Bitcoin development involves the contributions of its community, which is made up of developers, node operators, and users. How decisions are taken on what to change in the protocol is still vague and needs more clarity. As a core Bitcoin contributor, Tadge Dryja, former CTO of Lightning Labs, said that while he uses the Bitcoin core as that is where his assets are, he doesn’t agree that there will be just one Bitcoin software.
“I don’t necessarily agree with the idea that long-term Bitcoin really needs to be this one software executable that everyone runs in lockstep,” he said. Tadge believes that there will be multiple implementations of the Bitcoin protocol even though it seems dangerous.
He noted that there is a monopoly of implementation of proposals on the Bitcoin protocol that can be used by private individuals with or without the agreement of the entire community. It can be difficult to always get every user of the Bitcoin protocol to agree to a particular proposal for the network.
Factors that affect proposals on the Bitcoin protocol
For Amiti Uttarwar a Bitcoin Core Contributor, improving the Bitcoin protocol still involves a “nebulous process.” She noted that, depending on the complexity of the proposal, the time and focus it takes to review each varies. “Changes that are of different sizes are going to need a different level of review.”
The Bitcoin Contributor mentioned that “the amount of expertise of the person reviewing it gets factored in” as well. Persons who have been in the system much longer are expected to have a better and more relevant view of the protocol than a much younger contributor.
Jeremy Rubin, the founder of Judica, supported Amiti by saying that while “there are different ways of measuring technical consensus, the Bitcoin community hasn’t really adopted any.” He highlighted that it is important that, despite the lack of clear processes, there is a need to listen and “judge based on all the feedback.”
Citing an example of what he has experienced as a contributor, he said that there have been times when other contributors have had to write a counter to what has been written about how to make Bitcoin better. One other challenge he mentioned concerning the Bitcoin ecosystem is whether developers need to “prepare software and let the community decide what they want to run, or do developers prepare software and tell the community you have to run this?”
Lastly, he advised that while both seemingly good and bad changes are considered in the advancement of Bitcoin, there is a need for “some sort of standard of review that” proposals should go through before they are rejected or accepted. This he said will prevent Bitcoin from “being driven by memes” while “solid technical work that’s scientifically explainable to people” becomes the focus.