Wladimir van der Laan - Lead Maintainer, Bitcoin Core

Wladimir van der Laan

Position: Lead Maintainer, Bitcoin Core

Twitter: @orionwl

GitHub: @laanwj

Wladimir van der Laan is a Bitcoin Core Developer and the Lead Maintainer of the Bitcoin repository on GitHub.

Bitcoin Core

From mid-2010 until April-2014, Gavin Andresen maintained control of the Bitcoin Core GitHub repository and was considered Bitcoin’s lead developer. On April 8, 2014, Andresen stepped down and van der Laan agreed to take over as Lead Maintainer of the Bitcoin repo. His salary is paid by MIT’s Digital Currency Initiative, where he works on Bitcoin development with Andresen and Cory Fields.

Scaling Debate

van der Laan has taken more of a backseat approach in Bitcoin’s scaling debate. He stated that there is “a problem with proposals that bake in expected exponential bandwidth growth” and that a “a hardfork is extremely hard to coordinate”.

Controversey

Because Bitcoin is a decentralized system, van der Laan believes that any code changes or BIP proposals must reach consensus among other Core developers before being implemented. Former Bitcoin developer Mike Hearn is one of the critics who have claimed that van der Laan’s approach is too conservative.

Quotes

On Bitcoin scaling proposals:

I mostly have a problem with proposals that bake in expected exponential bandwidth growth. I don’t think it’s realistic. If we’ve learned anything from the 2008 subprime bubble crisis it should be that nothing ever keeps growing exponentially, and assuming so can be hazardous. It reduces a complex geographical issue, the distribution of internet connectivity over the planet for a long time to come, to a simple function.

On hardforks:

On the other hand a hardfork is extremely hard to coordinate. Even one that just involves changing one parameter. Everyone with a full node has to upgrade. This is not something that can be done regularly. Certainly not with such a near time horizon. Changing the rules in a decentralized consensus system is a very difficult problem and I don’t think we’ll resolve it any time soon.

Related people

Bitcoin Core

Andrew Poelstra
Mathematician, Blockstream
Cory Fields
Bitcoin Core Developer
Eric Lombrozo
Co-CEO, Ciphrex
Gregory Maxwell
CTO, Blockstream
Jonas Schnelli
Co-founder, Digital Bitbox
Luke Dashjr (Luke-Jr)
Bitcoin Core Developer
Mark Friedenbach
Co-founder, Blockstream
Matt Corrallo
Bitcoin Core Developer
Peter Todd
Bitcoin Core Developer
Pieter Wuille
Bitcoin Core Developer
Satoshi Nakamoto
Inventor Of The Bitcoin Protocol

MIT Digital Currency Initiative

Cory Fields
Bitcoin Core Developer