Builders: 10 Bitcoin Contributors You Should Know About
Bitcoin is nearing the capping of its first decade in existence, and the OG cryptocurrency wouldn’t be where it’s at today, or where it’s going, without the builders who have made it so. Let’s take a look at some of the folks who have put excellent work into progressing Bitcoin and its proposed second-layer scaling solution, the Lightning Network.
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‘Build It, They Will Come’
If you’ve been in the space for some time, there’s a good chance you’ll know all 10 of the contributors and developers below. If not, several may prove to be new faces for you.
I list these individuals in no particular order. Some, like Wladimir J. van der Laan, are GitHub commit machines. Others, like Elizabeth Stark, deal with advancing the Lightning Network in their work. All of them have made a tangible difference in Bitcoin and its future, and they’re worth keeping an eye on in the space accordingly.
Let’s dive in.
1. Elizabeth Stark
Elizabeth Stark is the co-founder and current chief executive officer of Lightning Labs, the team steering the development of the Lightning Network. A former educator at Stanford University and Yale Law and Tech, Stark is also currently a fellow at Coin Center, the United States’ leading cryptocurrency think tank.
In her capacity as CEO of Lightning Labs, she finds herself daily at the vanguard of Lightning Network research. As such, she’s a mainstay on the Bitcoin thought leaders conference circuit.
Stark also recently partnered with Bitcoin developer Jimmy Song on scholarships for women for the Programming Blockchain seminar back in May 2018. She’s poised to continue being a driver of advancement in the space for years to come.
— elizabeth stark (@starkness) August 12, 2017
2. Wladimir J. van der Laan
As the current maintainer of Bitcoin’s GitHub repository, Wladimir is Bitcoin’s commit beast. The man’s a machine. Just look at this breakdown of the top committers in the Bitcoin Core GitHub, via bitcoin.org.
“Prolific” is the word that comes to mind. And he doesn’t seem set to slow down any time soon.
3. John Newbery
John Newbery is one of the leading faces of Chaincode Labs, a respected cryptocurrency research and development group that is a force to be reckoned with in the space.
Somehow Chaincode residencies produce more people who I'd want to hire than any other course or residency program I've ever seen. Great opportunity. https://t.co/bw4JXhtMBQ
— Peter Todd (@peterktodd) September 5, 2018
Newbery is also the Director of the new Bitcoin Optech group, which is focused on aiding companies in adopting contemporary bitcoin scaling techniques.
2017: The year Satoshi Nakamoto wins the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences? 🏆
— John Newbery (@jfnewbery) October 6, 2017
4. Peter Wuille
Blockstream co-founder Pieter Wuille is another prolific contributor in the Bitcoin repository, his commits reaching well past 1,000.
Wuille recently set off a wave of cheeful rallying cries in the ecosystem in publishing a Schnorr Signatures BIP draft, sooner than many thought was technically feasible.
More like that’s a’comin’, too, if his track record is any indication.
— Pieter Wuille (@pwuille) July 24, 2018
5. Olaoluwa Osuntokun
Olaoluwa Osuntokun is the chief technical officer at Lightning Labs. Following that, you’ll routinely find him in the credits of recent Lightning Network Daemon betas, like the v0.4.2 release that Bitsonline covered and beyond.
the upcoming major release of lnd, v0.5-beta has just had it's first release candidate tagged!!https://t.co/o2STeKJ5LO
calling on active node operators, testers, and devs to give the new version a spin to help shake out any lingering bugs
⚡️TESTERS ASSEEEMMMMBBBLLLE!!! ⚡️ pic.twitter.com/fZ451bgz3T
— Olaoluwa Osuntokun (@roasbeef) August 27, 2018
As such, Osuntokun’s poised to be a major player in actualizing the Lightning Network’s potential, step by step, release by release, in the months and years ahead.
6. Jimmy Song
A self-described Bitcoin “educator, developer, and entrepreneur,” Jimmy Song’s all-in when it comes to Bitcoin buildin’.
With that said, Song has flung the doors open in facilitating others’ journeys toward doing the same, being the lead instructor at Programming Blockchain, a developer-centric traveling Bitcoin seminar.
Want to contribute to Bitcoin as a developer but don't know how to get started? Sign up for my course, where you'll make your own Bitcoin library from scratch!
You too can learn Kung Fu:https://t.co/4Z4YCHMUYY
Click here to sign up:https://t.co/6mmuaOwBi5
— Jimmy Song (송재준) (@jimmysong) November 16, 2017
7. Lightning K0ala
The pseudonymous Lightning K0ala is the lead maintainer of satoshis.place, the Lightning Network-backed collaborative artboard.
This summer, Casa engineer Jameson Lopp hailed Lightning K0ala’s work on the pixel-hosting LApp as directly leading to performance patches for the fledgling layer-two payment protocol.
https://t.co/bTmCvRb8Hj is driving Lighting innovation via real-world stress testing. Over 8,000 daily users, 8,000,000 pixels drawn, and 3,000 settled payments. Lightning devs are writing performance patches in direct response to feedback provided by @LightningK0ala
— Jameson Lopp (@lopp) June 14, 2018
LK has now even been invited to Chaincode Labs’ first Lightning Residency program as a guest speaker accordingly.
Proud and excited to be joining as a guest speaker for the first Lightning Residency hosted by Chain code Lab!
Sign up if you're interested in developing lightning network enabled apps!
— Lightning K0ala 🐨⚡#SIGHASH_NOINPUT (@LightningK0ala) August 20, 2018
8. Peter Todd
None of these dynamics will be changing any time soon, either.
Probably the closest thing we're going to get to a Shapeshift warrant canary. https://t.co/q8wclXV2st
— Peter Todd (@peterktodd) September 4, 2018
9. Cory Fields
Cory Fields is another bitcoiner who is respected for his development work, but he definitively vaulted into the limelight earlier this year in what was arguably the cryptoverse’s greatest expression of the Golden Rule to date: his anonymous reporting of a critical flaw in Bitcoin Cash’s code that could’ve resulted in catastrophic chain splits for BCH.
He didn’t have to, but he did unto BCH as he’d hope they’d do in return.
That’s the kind of stand-up guy any team would be happy to have in the technical trenches.
Bitcoin dev Cory Fields discovered a BCH vulnerability that could have resulted in a split chain and substantial loss of funds. He responsibly(and anonymously) reported it to BCH devs and they fixed it before it could be exploited. Read this.https://t.co/wEQ6vkoe9m
— Matt Odell (@matt_odell) August 10, 2018
10. Alex Bosworth
Speaking of in the trenches, that’s where you’ll find Alex Bosworth when it comes to the Lightning Network. Which is undoubtedly why he was just hired on as Infrastructure Lead over at Lightning Labs.
Thrilled to announce starting today I join Lightning Labs as Lightning Infrastructure Lead. Psyched to join a dream team at @lightning focused on delivering this very ambitious vision. A ton of work is needed to bring Bitcoin to scale across the world, we’re just getting started!
— Alex Bosworth ☇ (@alexbosworth) September 4, 2018
If you’re looking for excellent daily commentary and ideas on LN, then his Twitter is a must-read indeed.
What’s your take? What honorable mentions would you put in your own top 10? Let us know in the comments below.
Images via Pixabay, bitcoin.org