Afaik at some point in 2014/2015, Bitcoin became known as 'Bitcoin Core'. I assume this was to differentiate it from other implementations of Bitcoin.

When and how did this decision come about?

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    You can read more about it here: github.com/bitcoin/bitcoin/issues/3203
    – MCCCS
    Oct 23, 2020 at 8:45
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    "from other hard forked variations" => This looks confused. The name isn't related to a hard fork in any way. (Although later dishonest advocates of said hardforks tried to mislead people by using the renaming of the reference client as such.) Oct 23, 2020 at 14:34
  • Thanks for this MCCS. I was looking for when the discussion occurred. Thanks for clarification Darosior, Ill change my phrasing in future :-)
    – Aman Saggu
    Oct 24, 2020 at 9:22

2 Answers 2


The renaming was merged in December 2013 with prior discussion on this GitHub issue. The general motivation was to distinguish between one particular implementation of the Bitcoin protocol (many refer to Bitcoin Core as the "reference implementation") versus other implementations (libbitcoin, btcd, bcoin, bitcoin-s etc) that either existed at the time or came later.

At the time most of the well known altcoins (Litecoin, Dogecoin etc) didn't hard fork the Bitcoin blockchain. They started their blockchain from a different genesis block to Bitcoin. The well known hard forks came later in 2017 with BCH, BSV etc.

  • Thanks for this Michael, this is exactly what I was looking for :-)
    – Aman Saggu
    Oct 24, 2020 at 9:20

As MCCCS commented, https://github.com/bitcoin/bitcoin/issues/3203 covers this

Rebrand client to 'Bitcoin Core' #3203

laanwj opened this issue on 5 Nov 2013 · 23 comments

laanwj commented on 5 Nov 2013

To remove the confusion between the Bitcoin network and the reference client implementation that we maintain in this repository, both confusingly named 'bitcoin', we'd like to rebrand the client.

This has been discussed a lot before, but the following is the proposal by @gavinandresen and I agree:

Bitcoin-Qt -->  btcore (full name 'Bitcoin Core')
bitcoind --> btcored (full name 'Bitcoin Core Daemon')
bitcoin-cli --> btcore-cli (full name 'Bitcoin Core CLI Client')

Renaming the executables is going to break some scripts, so we'd likely want to combine it with the bitcoind CLI deprecation to make sure the migration pain is short and swift instead of drawn out.

So the primary motivation seems to have been to avoid having the one word "Bitcoin" refer to both of two very different things - the network of Bitcoin nodes and a specific software implementation (one of many).

  • Thanks MCCCS. I did not realise we had terminology to differentiate between the network of nodes and software implementations. I had been referring so far in my work to 'Bitcoin clients' and 'Bitcoin nodes' ect to differentiate. Cheers for the clarification here :-)
    – Aman Saggu
    Oct 24, 2020 at 9:26

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