Is there anything comparable to a "board of directors" for Bitcoin or is the software on complete cruise-control?

  • 3
    possible duplicate of Is there a list of core Bitcoin committers?
    – ripper234
    Commented Oct 15, 2011 at 16:51
  • Was this closed and reopened? Anyone care to explain?
    – ripper234
    Commented Jan 31, 2012 at 22:08
  • meta.bitcoin.stackexchange.com/questions/238/…
    – ripper234
    Commented Jan 31, 2012 at 22:14
  • Having push access to the GitHub repo doesn't necessarily make a "board of directors" - though it does confer some degree of power over the codebase. I'd suggest that as a distributed project, anyone who can get 51% of the network to use their version of the client could usurp any existing power structures and as such no "board of directors" model could exist. In any case, I don't feel that "who writes the code" and "who controls the direction of the software" are necessarily identical, though if you'd like to cast votes the community is welcome to contradict me :) Commented Feb 1, 2012 at 8:37
  • Another related question: bitcoin.stackexchange.com/questions/2094 Commented Apr 17, 2013 at 21:17

4 Answers 4


There are a number of "core" developers. And the ones who have access to commit directly to the Github project obviously have more "power" than other people. Since the software is open source you can of course make your own copy of it and modify it to your likings but you won't be able to change any of the "rules" of the network unless you get the rest of the Bitcoin world to follow you and use your client.

According to bitcoin.org the core developers are Satoshi Nakamoto, Gavin Andresen, Pieter Wuille, Nils Schneider and Jeff Garzik. According to a recent message on the Bitcoin Development mailing list Wladimir (J. van der Laan?) is now also part of the core development team. Obviously Satoshi is not anymore, so I don't know how accurate the list on bitcoin.org actually is.

The ones who have push access to the Github project are according to this message:

Gavin, who is the lead developer is active here so I'm sure he can give us a clearer answer himself. Also see Is there a list of core Bitcoin committers?


You control it.

It is open source, so if you want to modify the copy you're running, go right ahead.


The list of project mainters who have commit access is listed here: Team of bitoin core

Currently they are

  1. Wladimir J. van der Laan
  2. Jonas Schnelli
  3. Marco Falke

In some sense don't the miners control the software? If there are some changes made to the bitcoin code and the majority of miners (by hashrate?) don't upgrade for what ever reason then the changes won't be implemented.

  • 3
    Even if a large number of miners switched to a new rule set, everyone running the bitcoin software would ignore them. The blocks from the miners who are still in agreement with the community would be accepted. So if any miners were to try this, they would only lose out on revenue and be ignored.
    – osmosis
    Commented Oct 16, 2011 at 2:18

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