On 15th January 2016, the Bitcoin community was greeted by the news that Mike Hearn, one of the most visible Bitcoin lead developers (shouldn’t be confused with a top lead developer) had decided to quit.
The British programmer, who worked for Google before joining the Bitcoin five years ago, had decided to make his exit dramatic by penning a scathing attack on Bitcoin. The long and short of his farewell article being that bitcoin is a failed experiment.
The Bitcoin price takes a hit
As the message sunk in, the price of Bitcoin whooshed from around $450 to about $350 in two days. This can be viewed as an indication that at least some investors had bought into Mike Hearn’s declaration.
A few days later, members of the community are reacting, and numerous rebuttals are coming out of the woodwork. They range from technical analysis such as Greg Slepak’s ‘Point-by-Point Response To Mike Hearn’s Final Bitcoin Post’ to comic reliefs such as Edan Yago’s tweet that reads “Bitcoin is such a robust system it works despite being dead.”
Online forums full of discussion threads
Another rebuttal that seems to invite the dismissal of Mike Hearn’s opinion on Bitcoin is Bram Cohen article on Medium, which he aptly titled ‘Whiny Ragequitting’. The article does call to attention the fact that Mike Hearn was not among the best of developers but took advantage of the lack of public speaking skills among the best.
“People who are best at science and engineering,” he opined, “have generally neglected their skills at public rhetoric.”
These are just but a few of the rebuttals online. Bitcoin online forums such as the Bitcoin & BTC sub-Reddits and Bitcoin.org are drawing long discussion threads on this issue.
Perhaps in response to these rebuttals, the Bitcoin price seems to be turning around. It is making a slow recovery.