The Bitcoin community has been urged by some of its most prominent members to do more to achieve “technical consensus” over security and scalability.
More than 30 developers and contributors involved with the virtual currency – also known as cryptocurrency – have come together to submit an open letter calling on influential figures and organisations to work harder to improve Bitcoin collaboratively.
They note that while there has been significant progress over the years, including improvements in CPU bottlenecks, memory usage and network efficiency, many challenges remain.
“There will be controversy from time to time, but Bitcoin is a security-critical system with billions of dollars of users’ assets that a mistake could compromise,” the group said.
“To mitigate potential existential risks, it behooves us all to take the time to evaluate proposals that have been put forward and agree on the best solutions via the consensus-building process.”
Some of the signees to the open letter include Bitcoin lead developer Wladimir van der Laan; Bitcoin project developer Amir Taaki; and Bitcoin software developer Luke Dashjr.
Bitcoin has gone from strength to strength since since it launched as an open source software in 2009.
It was developed by the deliberately enigmatic Satoshi Nakamoto as a way of offering the world a new payment system and currency type that was solely digital.
As Bitcoin has explained: ‘It is the first decentralized peer-to-peer payment network that is powered by its users with no central authority or middlemen. From a user perspective, Bitcoin is pretty much like cash for the internet.”
While it has had a relatively strong security record, it has been subject to a number of attacks and vulnerabilities have been identified.
The likelihood is that as it evolves and becomes more prominent and lucrative, it will face even greater threats from cybercriminals. Security, as outlined by the signees of the open letter, will be high on the agenda.
by Karl Thomas, ESET