January 23, 2016 – Bitcoin Core launches Social media accounts as well as a public Slack in an attempt to interface more directly with the community. This follows a controversial hashing algorithm change proposal that could have made bitcoin less accessible, altering the utility of the entire specification.
Negative Response to DOA Hard Fork
Dashjr, an influential Bitcoin Core developer, proposed a hard fork that would change bitcoin to another PoW algorithm on the 17th, as an alternative to block size increase. The need for these changes stems from the perception that mining hash power is becoming increasingly centralized – in China. The change proposal was internally shot down, but the idea was taken onto Reddit and consider.it by Dashjr after his rejection. The bitcoin community responded in kind, expressing outrage and confusion at the proposal. The original hard fork description reads:
“This solves mining centralisation by enabling GPU miners to be the leading-edge again. (Hopefully, the next generation of ASIC miners will have learned their lesson, so we don’t need to do this again.)”
Critics of the hard fork lambast Dashjr for targeting the solution specifically towards Chinese miners at the cost of value and functionality. Whether or not the proposal was sincere or serving his personal interest, the massively negative response among developers and the general Bitcoin community alike make changing the proof-of-work algorithm change even less likely; this fact may limit possibilities for real safeguards in the future.
Bitcoin Core Needs More Public Interface
In the fallout of these events and subsequent media coverage, the takeaway for Bitcoin Core was to fix their public outreach. They launched a Slack a few days ago and Twitter feed today as part of this initiative. This may help prevent controversy from being stirred up over trivial matters like this in the future — lag between the public and development side of things will be lessened.
The impact of these steps has yet to be seen, but in the recent rash of scandal and negative mainstream coverage surrounding bitcoin, it’s good to know the people responsible for maintaining and improving it are working towards greater transparency.
How do you feel about Dashjr’s proposal and handling of it’s rejection? Thoughts on the effect of Bitcoin Core’s Social media presence? Let us know in the comments.
Images courtesy of Twitter, Slack