Although just recently we wrote about the promising future for bitcoin startups and millions of opportunities for cryptocurrency development, which is still forecasted by numerous financial analysts and cryptocurrency experts, the latest claim made by Mike Hearn in his blog on Medium.com has put the future of cryptocurrencies in question and caused a broad media coverage, including various claims by Hearn’s ex-partners and friends.
Mike Hearn is known as one of the most outstanding Bitcoin developers, having spent more than 5 years on software engineering. He also used to work for Google but left the company in 2014 with the intention to get totally engaged in work with cryptocurrencies. A real Bitcoin protagonist, the one who explained Bitcoin to the SEC, to bankers and ordinary people he met, Mike has been repeatedly cited by the Economist magazine as a Bitcoin expert, his ideas even encouraged the creation of several startups. And now, as a real professional, he explains why, in his view, this Bitcoin ‘experiment’ has failed. The main reason is associated with the society’s inability to let this project succeed.
Meanwhile, there have already been several vital controversies inside the Bitcoin society, including the blockchain size growth, a crisis in Bitcoin Foundation plus several cases of censorship on Reddit and other Bitcoin forums. Also, Mike noticed that the blockchain is actually controlled by Chinese miners – only two of them are in charge of 50% of all the hash power – which creates a certain inequality in control and causes a number of risks for other miners.
Hearn’s claim on Medium.com at once influenced the actual Bitcoin rate, which has considerably decreased in a night. But the reaction of the whole Bitcoin society turned out much more powerful. A big number of famous Bitcoin community representatives severely criticized Mike Hearn for his claims about Bitcoin being ‘an experiment that failed’. Some of them also referred to Mike’s new project R3CEV, a consortium of more than 40 leading banks and financial institutions, and supposed this provocative claim to be a deliberate try to support the interests of the ‘giants’ of the financial world, which goes along with Hearn’s new boss’s market strategy, suggesting Bitcoin inability to meet the needs of big banks. The harshest replies to Mike’s post were given by his colleague developers, especially Peter Todd, who doubted Hearn’s technical understanding of the Bitcoin network mechanism.
However, there have also been a lot of people, who supported Mike’s position. Thus, a famous Financial Times reporter Izabella Kaminska commented that Bitcoin is neither likely to solve the problems of the whole financial industry, nor offer any worthy theories of how society and economy can benefit from Bitcoin.
In conclusion to his media address, Mike Hearn says that “all is not yet lost”. He believes that two forks Bitcoin Classic and Bitcoin Unlimited can actually solve the problems with the blockchain.
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