What does Bitcoin code look like
Bitcoin is the first and most famous cryptocurrency in the world. Many users are interested in the question of who owns and controls bitcoin, and who can make changes to the source code of bitcoin. In fact, bitcoin is not just called decentralized. It belongs to everyone and nobody at the same time.
In essence, Bitcoin is a protocol, that is, a language that computers use to work together. A key feature of Bitcoin is full decentralization. There is no central administrator or equivalent to managing a coin. It is completely open. Those who want to become part of the network simply need to install the client program. All programs launched around the world are interconnected into a peer-to-peer network, where each node is self-sufficient and equal to the others.
It is important that Bitcoin is open source. Open source programs are available for study and change. This allows not only to verify the absence of vulnerabilities, but opens up prospects for the use of program code to their advantage.
Any user can view the Bitcoin program code, check for undocumented features or identify flaws in the system, propose a correction method, or create their own new product, an improved or a modified version based on the Bitcoin code.
In Bitcoin, trust in the issuer or any other governing body is replaced by cryptography, mathematics and algorithms. Decentralization, the lack of control of developers and the influence of the human factor ensures that at one fine moment the system does not close or fundamentally change the rules.
Despite the lack of control, the system is completely safe because it works according to a certain algorithm. As a decentralized payment system, bitcoin is characterized by the following features and features:
- Easy and quick payments with minimal commissions;
- Anonymity and protection of personal data during transactions;
- Equality and independence of participants;
- Security, reliability and security achieved by cryptography;
- An honest bitcoin market rate dependent on the ratio of supply and demand, and not established by the authorities or the creator;
- Lack of intermediaries when making a transaction;
- Full control over personal coins and lack of financial censorship, the participant’s account cannot be frozen, and payment cannot be prohibited.
Why the digital code of bitcoin does not belong to the developers
They first talked about Bitcoin in 2008, when all the information about the principles of its operation and a digital code appeared in the public domain. An article detailing the first cryptocurrency was posted on one of the forums, where anyone could get acquainted with it.
The main advantage of bitcoin is that it is completely decentralized, that is, it is not controlled and does not belong to the government, banks and even developers. Bitcoin is open source, but unlike most other open systems, it does not even have a single voter to control the operation of the system. Formally, the network is managed only by users and miners. Although Bitcoin developers have an influence on it, anyone can work with the source code.
Bitcoin’s digital code is hosted on a variety of information resources for developers. Changes are discussed in several chats and on websites, and the technology itself does not belong to anyone.
The creator of bitcoin, a person or a group of people hiding behind the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto and posting for the first time an article about the principles of his work, wished to remain anonymous and simply presented his creation to people. Cryptocurrencies are a supranational technology, comparing with the Internet.
Where can I get the source code of bitcoin
As mentioned earlier, the source code of Bitcoin is publicly available. Anyone can study or change it at their discretion.
GitHub is a portal for developers and programmers, where a lot of open source projects are laid out for joint study, work, commenting, as well as to confirm the reliability and openness of systems. On the service you can even find the source codes of such giants as Google or Microsoft.
Using this service, anyone can get a bitcoin code for study or change.
Code Management and Change
Ultimately, the management of bitcoin rests on the usual equal among themselves network participants who installed the appropriate software on their PC. This type of management can be compared with the use of English as an international language. There is no governing body that would fix the status of English as an international language, but it has unified grammar rules that all people who use it adhere to. Similarly, with bitcoin. There is no management in it, but all network participants adhere to a general consensus. The main tone is created by users who perform large transactions over the network or own large connected capacities.
Any programmer can get and change the bitcoin code. Some protocol changes can be supported by many network participants, others require coordination with the entire network to achieve general consensus. At the same time, even a slight change in the program code can create two completely incompatible networks, creating a new cryptocurrency.
Changes that are made to the bitcoin code must be accepted and agreed with users, since it is they who will need to update the software and upgrade to the new version, leaving the past. In other words, we can say that users should start using a new coin and take it for bitcoin.
Bitcoin developers do not have the authority to prohibit the use of the old network or force the use of the changed. This is a voluntary choice of each network member who has established a full node for himself, and ultimately the basic right to vote and influence lies with them. The maximum that developers can do is give advice and justify the need for acceptance of changes.
Developers can release many different versions with modified code, and participants can simply ignore the changes and continue to use the old version. Therefore, the real problem is not to make changes to the code, but to convince participants that these changes are justified and that you can switch to a new network, taking it for the only true bitcoin.
Therefore, due to such rules, in order to avoid a network split, the developers of the Bitcoin core make changes in software forks, in which all or no one should switch to the new network. Participants vote for the adoption of the changes by hashed power. If a decision is made, then users who do not want to switch to a new network should be prepared for the fact that, despite compatibility with the changed network, their operations will cease to be valid because they will not comply with the new network rules.
It is worth noting that in the same way, most users can make changes to the bitcoin code without the participation of developers, but if a group of miners makes changes that are contrary to user interests, the bitcoin protocol can be changed along with the mining algorithm by other users.
Popular Forks of Bitcoin
By changing the source code of Bitcoin, a new, similar to Bitcoin, but completely different coin can be created – fork, not compatible with the main network. Since the advent of Bitcoin, its code has been changed more than 70 times.
Only the Internet remembers some of Bitkon’s forks; they were never able to gain enough popularity and user attention. These coins include Bitcoin Star, Bitcoin Coral, Bitcoin Hush and many other names that few people have heard and met.
According to statistics, out of 70 forks of bitcoin, only 10 coins were listed on the exchanges, while their total value is only 0.12 MTC. The exceptions to this rule are Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin Cold. These forks of Bitcoin have gained the greatest popularity.
Bitcoin Cash was created as a result of a network split, when some users were seriously puzzled by the scalability problem of the Bitcoin block. The coin completely repeats the original blockchain, but has a block size of 8 MB versus 1 MB in bitcoin. Thanks to which her transactions are faster. In Bitcoin Cold, the hash algorithm was changed from SHA-256 to Equihash, which made mining on video cards more productive.
So, despite the statements of developers offering new improved versions of bitcoin with a modified code, few network members have a desire to support the coin and, moreover, unanimously take it for a new bitcoin, so the result of the changes is a completely different cryptocurrency, with a distinctive name.
Anyone can make changes to the source code of Bitcoin, since it is completely open and presented in the public domain. In order for these changes to relate specifically to the main Bitcoin network, they must be supported by most communication nodes, and for this they must be justified and useful. Even Bitcoin core developers cannot make changes without the support of ordinary users.