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Bitcoin Is A ‘Failure’, Leading Developer Claims

Michael Moore joined TechWeek Europe in January 2014 as a trainee before graduating to Reporter later that year. He covers a wide range of topics, including but not limited to mobile devices, wearable tech, the Internet of Things, and financial technology.

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Mike Hearn quits as he says the “fundamentals are broken” in Bitcoin technology

One of the most prominent figures in Bitcoin has said he will no longer be working with the technology due to a range of failings in the system.

Mike Hearn, who has been working in the space for more than five years and is a regular media spokesperson for the technology, said that Bitcoin “has failed” in its aims to offer a new way of finance.

“The fundamentals are broken and whatever happens to the price in the short term, the long term trend should probably be downwards,” Hearn wrote in a blog post, “I will no longer be taking part in Bitcoin development and have sold all my coins.”

Failed

Bitcoin (c) Tomas Daliman, Shutterstock 2014Hearn says that the main issue concerns the regulation of the Bitcoin industry, which is now controlled by “just a handful of people”, making it no better than a multinational banking corporation.

“It has failed because the community has failed,” Hearn says, noting that when it began, Bitcoin was meant to offer a community-driven alternative decentralised type of money.

Hearn also notes that the Bitcoin system itself is on the verge of technological collapse, as the network capacity supporting the technology is now “completely exhausted”, and the Blockchain itself is full.

This lack of capacity has led to many Bitcoin transactions becoming unreliable, with backlogs now occurring at peak times due to growing congestion caused by size limits within the currency’s ledger of transactions.

The limits need to be raised in order to lower the risk of bottlenecks, but doing so requires altering the system, a move that would be potentially damaging for those developers using heavy computer power to record transactions and profit off of this.

Attacks

mikehearnMost damaging, Hearn (pictured right) says that most of these issues have been covered up, meaning many Bitcoin owners would never have been aware of any problems.

“One of the most disturbing things that took place over the course of 2015 is that the flow of information to investors and users has dried up,” he says, noting that the fact that Bitcoin is an open-source community, supported by users around the globe, means that the people with the most responsibility cannot have this taken away from them easily.

“In the span of only about eight months, Bitcoin has gone from being a transparent and open community to one that is dominated by rampant censorship and attacks on bitcoiners by other bitcoiners,” Hearn added, “This transformation is by far the most appalling thing I have ever seen, and the result is that I no longer feel comfortable being associated with the Bitcoin community.”

“Despite knowing that Bitcoin could fail all along, the now inescapable conclusion that it has failed still saddens me greatly,” Hearn noted.

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