One of Bitcoin’s leading developers, Jeff Garzik, has given away over $100 million in Bitcoin throughout the duration of his career, and he can’t help but look back on his actions with a smile on his face.
Who Is Jeff Garzik?
Garzik is widely considered to be the third-most influential developer on Bitcoin’s code after creator Satoshi Nakamoto and Gavin Andresen. He’s proud of Bitcoin and its legacy, though he admits it’s not what he envisioned it to be:
As a father, I enjoy watching my kids grow up, even as they make mistakes or grow in ways that I wouldn’t expect.
Why Give Away So Much Bitcoin?
To this day, Garzik has given away roughly $100 million in Bitcoin – based on current prices – for developer bounties to push work on the currency’s software. In all, he estimates he’s given away roughly 15,678 individual coins. He comments:
It was a question of whether this thing would survive at all, and there’s no question of that today.
How It All Started
The 44-year-old coder and entrepreneur worked directly with Satoshi Nakamoto in 2010, corresponding via the Bitcointalk forum and private email. This continued until 2011, when the alleged founder of everybody’s favorite cryptocurrency disappeared. It is estimated that Nakamoto controls roughly one million bitcoins and can alter the coin’s price whenever he or she wants.
During a recent interview, Garzik spoke with journalists and contemplated on who Nakamoto could be:
My personal theory is that it’s Floridian Dave Kleinman. It matches his coding style. This gentleman was self-taught, and the bitcoin coder was someone who was very, very smart, but not a classically trained software engineer.
Kleinman was a former sheriff’s officer in Florida who became a computer forensics expert. He died in 2013. At the time of writing, his estate is suing Australian Craig Wright for reportedly seizing billions of dollars in Bitcoin and intellectual property from the former officer. Wright – who has recently claimed to be the elusive Nakamoto – denies any allegations of theft or seizure.
Bitcoin is Still a Good Thing
At the same time, Garzik admits this is all speculation, and to this day, he has no idea who the real Nakamoto could be. He also described bitcoin as something of a living entity that’s constantly changing and adapting to its environment:
It’s an organism. It’s something that evolves. It hasn’t evolved in the direction of high-volume payments, which is something we thought about in the very early days: getting merchants to accept bitcoins, but on the store-of-value side, it’s unquestionably a success.
Could you be happy knowing you gave away so much money? Post your thoughts below!
Image courtesy of Shutterstock, Jeff Garzik