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I mean no disrespect to Gavin Andresen whatsoever. I think someone needs to be at the head of the project and Satoshi has stepped down / disappeared / gone back to the NSA / returned to his home planet / choose your conspiracy theory.

But why Gavin? What's the succession plan? What if Gavin gets tired of the project and chooses not to work on it any more? There certainly are core contributors, but exactly how is the "organization" set up? I know there's no actual "organization", but what I mean is the people in charge of the direction of the Bitcoin project.

  • You may want to search for a video of Gavin's talk from the NYC conference, where he addressed some of these points. – Meni Rosenfeld May 2 '12 at 14:14
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    youtube.com/watch?v=0ljx4bbJrYE#t=2m35s is the talk Meni's referring to. The production quality is pretty poor, but I don't know of a better copy. At around 6m30s he starts talking about how he became the project lead. – Chris Moore May 2 '12 at 16:39
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Satoshi essentially named Gavin project lead by putting his contact info on bitcoin.org, giving him a copy of the alert key, giving him control of the SourceForge project, etc. Not many people have a problem with this, since Gavin has done a great job. I don't think anyone else in the Bitcoin community could have done better.

Gavin doesn't have exclusive control over many assets, so development can continue without too much trouble if he disappears without "naming a successor". Releases can even now be created and published on bitcoin.org without Gavin. bitcoin.org and the Bitcoin Forum are owned by Sirius, not Gavin. I have a copy of the alert key.

If Gavin disappears, I'd expect the project to continue reasonably well without a clear leader for a while before someone steps up to Gavin's responsibilities and is recognized by the community.

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