One of the earliest Bitcoin developers, Mike Hearn, held an Ask Me Anything (AMA) session on Reddit earlier today. Among other responses to the public AMA session, Hearn felt that Bitcoin Cash (BCH) was “nowhere near radical enough” as an alternative to Bitcoin. He further recommended that challengers to the world’s most used cryptocurrency “be willing to think radical, even heretical thoughts.”.
Hearn also expressed “alarm” at Bitcoin Cash’s planned hard fork, cautioning against a move without any “attempt to measure support or whether people are ready or even agree”.
Nevertheless, the former Bitcoin developer said that both Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash held some interest for him. He said, “Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash show that disagreements can be ongoing and coexistent… I’m interested enough to support (hold both coins) through the hardfork and still today.”.
Commenting yet again on the scaling issue for Bitcoin, Hearn insisted that cryptocurrency continues to face critical issues of invalid assumptions: that price was proportional to utility, and that miners and other participants were economically rational. He went on to say that future [Bitcoin] conflicts were unavoidable but suggested that they could be “contained and channelled”.
During the AMA, Hearn also detailed his current work on business blockchain platform Corda and denied having ever worked for British intelligence.
The developer who turned his back on Bitcoin
Hearn made his first public appearance in over two years after decidedly after famously abandoning the Bitcoin project in early 2016, formally signing off with a blog post entitled “The resolution of the Bitcoin experiment“. He cut a frustrated figure then, blaming infighting and network instability for his decision to leave after “the now inescapable conclusion that it [Bitcoin] has failed…”.
Nevertheless, when news of his AMA session surfaced on Wednesday, scores of redditors responded enthusiastically, indicating that much of Hearn’s popularity was intact.
Hearn joined Bitcoin development in 2010 while still a Google employee. He conversed regularly with Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto, and was the source of new e-mail correspondence with Satoshi that resurfaced in August 2017. Previously not public, they revealed Hearn’s curiosity with the Bitcoin software and showed that his infamous concern with scalability had started very early on.
Although best known for his role in the so-called “Bitcoin civil war” as scaling debates intensified in 2015, Hearn is noted for building the BitcoinJ Java implementation of Bitcoin. He is widely credited with helping build and popularize Simplified Payment Verification (SPV) wallets which today is used by many to transact in Bitcoin on mobile devices. He also claims to have written the first documentation on smart contracts.