Why is bitcoin using MIT? From what I understand, MIT doesn't care about trademarks, whereas Apache2 will prevent from using the BTC name. This should help identify the difference with the looming s2x fork where misinformation won't be spread.

From what I understand btc1 is trying to exploit this loophole so they can inject code like this without documenting it properly.


2 Answers 2


Think of it like Internet.

Tim Berners-Lee could submit patent applications and be much richer, but he wanted everyone to use the Internet.

Satoshi could choose a strict license, but then there won't be that much users and merchants, and only one client. 3-4 devs, editing code would be illegal. This would cause node centralization and if an exploit was found an attacker would illegally change the code of the client and make 51% attack easily.

Main idea: Satoshi wanted everyone to use bitcoin, and allowed everyone to change the code that they're running. Thank you Satoshi for BTC freedom!

And now, they can't change the license, but you can be sure that if BTC had a strict license, the attackers (IYO) would still use changed code client with TOR and no one would be able to stop them.


Disclaimer: IANAL.

Satoshi Nakamoto licensed the original Bitcoin client under the MIT License. Because Bitcoin Core is the evolution of the original Bitcoin client, it retains the same license. Changing the license would require all contributors to agree to change the license, but given that many contributors are unknown and cannot be contacted (e.g. Satoshi Nakamoto), the license cannot be changed. Furthermore, the names Bitcoin and Bitcoin Core are not trademarked, so the Apache license would not make a difference.

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