Who would invest money in a currency, which is held together by some software, which is currently in version 0.3.24? It is like putting ones money in a bank, which is currently undergoing in a test phase.

What is the rationale behind the decision not to go to 1.0? Obviously the incentives to break the security and steal all the money are there and have been there long enough for it to be deemed secure. I cannot even judge from the homepage, whether the client is in alpha or beta stage.

  • No-one is forcing you to invest money in it. It is very much still in a testing phase. Commented Oct 19, 2011 at 8:38
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    @SeanChapman I know this question is critical, but the reason is that I would really like to see BitCoin make rapid progress. Criticism means that someone cares.
    – David
    Commented Oct 19, 2011 at 11:49
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    You can't rush perfection! Commented Oct 19, 2011 at 12:45

4 Answers 4


The software is definitely in beta at the moment. There are many things that need working out before version 1.0 can be declared, like the blockchain for instance - many works in progress. And they're about to completely change the GUI to QT so it certainly wouldn't make sense to declare v1 just before releasing something a lot closer to the actual v1. Patience :)

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    :) Ok. Sounds like overwhelming reasons!
    – David
    Commented Sep 7, 2011 at 19:34
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    Also worth pointing out that none of the developers are telling people to pour money into bitcoin. In some ways bitcoin's popularity came despite the current state of the software, not because of it. All the developers are very open about it being very rough around the edges at the moment. Commented Sep 7, 2011 at 19:54

Software version numbers (as well as standards of when to do the 1.0 release) are somewhat arbitrary:

Proprietary software developers often start at version 1 for the first release of a program and increment the major version number with each rewrite. This can mean that a program can reach version 3 within a few months of development, before it is considered stable or reliable.

In contrast to this, the free-software community tends to use version 1.0 as a major milestone, indicating that the software is "complete", that it has all major features, and is considered reliable enough for general release.

By the above standard for Free Software, the mainline Bitcoin client is not yet feature-complete. Wallet encryption hasn't been enabled, scripting features aren't implemented, the GUI is still being overhauled, and the transaction fee mechanism is not finalized, to name a few things.


It's probably best to let the core developers answer this one...however, I'll offer a few educated guesses:

  1. The user interface is still very technically oriented
  2. It does not encrypt your wallet (thus leaving your coins highly exposed to theft if you don't take precautions to secure them)
  3. It does not backup your wallet (not easily anyway), hence if you accidentally erase it and haven't taken steps to back it up yourself, you've lost your coins
  4. It doesn't have more advanced features to prevent theft such as multi-factor transaction signing
  5. It doesn't offer any easy ways of making hard copy, encrypted paper backups of the wallet

For the reasons above, the Bitcoin client really isn't well suited to the non tech savvy user and giving it a pre-1.0 version number will cause people like yourself to stop and ask why before using it. I recommend that if you do use the bitcoin client that you educate yourself in these matters and don't try to handle a large amount of bitcoins until you're confident you know what your doing.


Because there is only one developer, Gavin Andersen who works part time on Bitcoin as a side project and he has inherited the code from the original developer, who is nowhere to be found.

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    I work on bitcoin core full-time. Commented Oct 18, 2011 at 15:24
  • And there are other people working on it. Commented Oct 19, 2011 at 7:53

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