Mike Hearn, a prominent Bitcoin developer, has decided to abandon the project by calling it a failure. He worked on the project for five years and was one of the five senior-most developers.
The Bitcoin community was taken by this announcement and Bitcoin slid by 10 percent. “Despite knowing that bitcoin could fail all along, the now inescapable conclusion that it has failed still saddens me greatly,” Hearn said in his a long post on Medium.
In his blog post, Hearn detailed many reasons that compelled him to take this step — a dying community, lack of improvements in the system, lack of communication, and domination of a minority. Calling Bitcoin an ‘experiment’, he said that like all experiments it was vulnerable to failure.
Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto chose Hearn and Gavin Andresen as his successor when he stepped aside in 2011. However, from the past few months, Hearn was having a hard time adjusting with other developers over the size of ‘blocks’ in which Bitcoin transactions are processed.
Hearn says that current Bitcoin network will soon run out of capacity as the number of transactions increase.
“The block chain is full. You may wonder how it is possible for what is essentially a series of files to be “full”. The answer is that an entirely artificial capacity cap of one megabyte per block, put in place as a temporary kludge a long time ago, has not been removed and as a result the network’s capacity is now almost completely exhausted,” he writes.
Back in August, Hearn and Andresen released Bitcoin XT — their own version of the current software — that would increase the block size to 8 megabytes, allowing 24 transactions per second. Despite the attacks that stopped this alternative completely, Hearn writes that people are still trying to develop alternatives.