Not a day goes by without a healthy dose of Bitcoin drama, by the look of things. There have been so many discussions and debates over the years, it has become impossible to recollect them all. The latest incident involved a message on the Bitcoin.org website claiming the Core client would be replaced by Bitcoin Knots. While the note was removed quickly, it still sent an interesting message to the community.
What is Theymos Doing This Time?
Every time Theymos so much as farts, the entire Internet is up in arms. While it is certainly true this one individual has too much control over Bitcoin-related media – including Bitcoin.org, BitcoinTalk, and /r/Bitcoin – he doesn’t always seek to harm Bitcoin itself. The latest stunt Theymos pulled off tells a different story, though, as it is not something the overall community would have liked to see whatsoever. Then again, it remains unclear how serious this plan was to begin with, as the message posted on Bitcoin.org has already been removed.
The message in question pertained to potentially replacing the Bitcoin Core client with Bitcoin Knots. As most people should be aware, Bitcoin Knots is a valuable alternative client for Bitcoin and also offers full node capabilities. However, the message posted on the Bitcoin.org website talked about how the time had come to steer away from using Bitcoin Core. It was an interesting statement, especially given all of the advocacy Bitcoin Cash supporters have been doing in support of a similar agenda.
Bitcoin.org itself aimed to promote Bitcoin Knots as a viable alternative to Bitcoin Core. It is a compatible derivative of Core with a few improvements users may like to take advantage of. Everyone has a free choice to use whatever client he or she prefers, and Bitcoin Knots has been publicly available for download ever since the project went into development. It is not advertised as one of the main Bitcoin clients right now, but it seems Theymos intends to change that. On paper, there is nothing wrong with this approach, as the vast majority of Bitcoin users rely on Bitcoin Core first and foremost.
However, replacing the main client on the Bitcoin.org website with Bitcoin Knots seems like a hasty decision. After all, it was a decision made by Theymos alone without consulting the community or even asking for input regarding this matter. It was an unprofessional approach and a clear anti-Core move as well. While having multiple clients supported and promoted at the same time can only lead to more decentralization over time, it seems the general Bitcoin community doesn’t like this idea all that much. That may explain why this message was removed from the website.
A strong reliance on Bitcoin Core introduces a certain degree of centralization into the Bitcoin world. There are a fair few alternative clients out there, all of which are well worth checking out. Some offer very different functionality from Core, which can only be considered a good thing, as the goal is to make Bitcoin more resilient and diverse. In the end, all of these clients will adopt the changes proposed by the Bitcoin Core team and update their codebases accordingly. There is no reason not to give alternative clients such as Bitcoin Knots a try, but these decisions should never be forced upon Bitcoin enthusiasts by one individual.
All of this goes to show there are interesting changes coming to the Bitcoin ecosystem. Although people have always had the ability to choose which Bitcoin client to support, the vast majority of users have flocked to Core. That situation may soon come to change, even though everyone will use the major codebase from Core in the end. A more diversified Bitcoin client ecosystem would not be a bad thing by any means. That being said, it is not up to individuals such as Theymos to make these decisions for everyone else in the world.