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List of people who have had commit access to Bitcoin Core
I decided to attempt to figure out who has ever had commit access to Bitcoin Core's git repository and from when to when. I also posted this on Bitcointalk, but I will not link the thread due to the doxxing rule (that thread contains real names taken from the commit messages). This list contains the git names (to avoid doxxing) of everyone who I can find evidence for ever having commit access to Bitcoin Core, the dates during which they had commit access, sources for all of this information, and reasoning for the access. Those who currently have commit access are in bold.
satoshi, s_nakamoto: 1/3/09 - 9/13/11 Creator, first Lead Maintainer
gmaxwell: 2/11/12 - 12/17/15 Frequent contributor; Gave up commit access due to toxicity and drama from the community
jonasschnelli: 11/13/15 - present Frequent contributor; given access after becoming GUI Maintainer
MarcoFalke: 4/13/16 - present Frequent Contributor; given access after becoming QA/Testing Maintainer
MeshCollider: 12/6/18 - present Frequent Contributor: given access after volunteering to be the Wallet Maintainer
fanquake: 6/8/19 - present Frequent Contributor; given access after being nominated by several other frequent contributors and maintainers to become a maintainer.
 The move to Github occurred before the last SourceForge commit, but the last SourceForge commit declares sourceforge as dead. Presumably those who only committed to SourceForge no longer had commit access after the move
 Sirius was the one who created the original SVN repo on SourceForge.
 gavinandresen was the Lead Maintainer from 2/23/11 until 4/7/14
 I cannot find anything that suggests that jgarzik has given up his commit access or has had it revoked I was informed via IRC PM by some of the Core devs that jgarzik was removed around August 2016 after he had been inactive for several months.
 MeshCollider is currently the Wallet Maintainer. He had been contributing for a while, particularly to wallet related things. When laanwj asked if anyone would like to be the role of Wallet Maintainer, MeshCollider volunteered.
 fanquake is currently the Build System Maintainer as well as a general maintainer. He had been contributing for a while, particularly with updating dependency versions and build system related things. He also had been doing a lot of janitorial things in the repo such as tagging issues, closing old issues and PRs, nominating things to be merged, etc. At the CoreDev event in Amsterdam which several maintainers and contributors attended, he was nominated to be a maintainer by the entire group.
Dates are Month/Day/year
There may be people missing and dates may be slightly incorrect. These are all that I can determine by looking at old emails and the commit history. Please let me know if anything is incorrect
The start date is determined by the first merge commit made by that person. The end date is determined by the date of the last merge commit made by that person or other announcements of commit access revocation.
After scrolling through nearly the entire git merges history, I have found a couple of interesting things. Satoshi did not use a Version Control System originally. The releases and source code were originally in a rar file that was uploaded to bitcoin.org. Sirius had to setup the original SVN repository on SourceForge for him. This was then later migrated to GitHub by gavinandresen. Originally patches were authored by developers and then emailed to Satoshi, Sirius, or gavinandresen who then committed the changes to the source tree with the commit message containing the attribution, but not the actual commit itself. Another interesting fact is that the giving out of commit access has become more strict. It is now a privilege held by those given maintainer positions and those whose privilege was grandfathered in (i.e. they had it previously and kept it). Previously it was simply given out to those who contributed frequently and revoked after they stopped contributing. This appears to be no longer the case, although there are still multiple people who can commit to the repository so that there is not any reliance on one person. The maintainers are still given to frequent contributors as the maintainers are frequent contributors to the set of functionality for which they are maintainers of. They received the positions because of frequent contributions to those functionalities. Lastly, I could not find any evidence for Satoshi ever publicly announcing that gavinandresen was to be the Lead Maintainer after him. It seems that Gavin was already a frequent contributor and already had commit access for a while before Satoshi disappeared. After Satoshi disappeared and Sirius stopped contributing as much, gavinandresen simply took over the role as lead maintainer as he was the only frequent contributor with commit access. Edits: Dooglus -> dooglus jgarzik's commit access was revoked a while ago. Bolded those who still actively contribute to the project Clarified how maintainers got their roles
I scraped all bitcoin addresses from signatures on the bitcoin forum. Here is a sorted list of all 810 users with nonzero Received BTC. All 810 users have received in total 135227.70032101 BTC, that means over $2,000,000 in today's bitcoin value moved through their public addresses. Top 20% of users (the first 162 users on the list) received 133313.68094269 BTC, that is 98.5% of total. Top 4% of users (the first 32 users) received 121680.67078403 BTC, that is 90% of total. Looks like the richest users in the Bitcoin world are more rich than in a typical Pareto distribution of wealth, where 20% of richest people have 80% of wealth, and 4% of richest people have 64% of wealth. Here is a list of 20 users with the largest Received BTC:
Wired recently reported that Mike Caldwell's Casascius Physical Bitcoin service was halted due to being categorized as "money transmission" business by FINCEN. Curious to learn more about the coins and why they were created, I prepared a short timeline from postings on the Bitcoin Forum. December 30, 2010 Member tcatm describes a prototype he created for a phycical bitcoin and posts an image:
I just made a "real" bitcoin. They'll eventually be made of real metal instead of glass epoxy + copper once I have better tools.
The point would be making BTC conveniently tradeable, like cash. It lowers the minimum required IQ to participate in the Bitcoin economy, which would really help Bitcoin be accepted as mainstream currency.
His first idea was to load bitcoin onto a "pre-denominated smart card". Reaction to the idea is mixed. Member Mike Hearn quickly questions the usefulness of a physical card when the balance could only ever be verified by a computer connected to a network:
... it's very easy for you to pay me with a used up card. I would then pass it on (why redeem it, it's cash!) and it'd pass between people until one day somebody wanted to send the cash electronically. Only then would they discover the card had already been redeemed and was useless.
June 24, 2011 Undeterred by skeptics, Mike continues to iterate on his idea for a physical payment method backed by Bitcoin. This time, he suggests selling paper bitcoin wallets though PayPal. Wallets would be printed using an offline keypair generator. Although the idea receives some interest, most responses are negative. One member member called the idea "too complicated and messy for the average Joe." Another stated that "No one in their right mind would trust an unknown 3rd party with full access." Another summed the idea up in one sentence:
I can't even begin to understand how you could think that this would be a viable business.
Each coin has a private key embedded inside worth 1 BTC, covered by a custom Casascius hologram. ... Diameter: 1.125 inches. Material: brass. Price subject to revision with Bitcoin price fluctuations. The back side is flat for the hologram, except for a small circular well which holds the private key. The first 8 characters of the public Bitcoin address are visible on the outside, pre-printed on the hologram by the hologram manufacturer.
Reactions range from offers to buy to questions about long-term viability. The same day, member spiccioli points out that the Latin inscription on the front side, "VIRES IN NUMERIS", should have read "vis in numeris". September 6, 2011 Caldwell announces the availability of Cassascius Physical Bitcoins (image). Reactions are numerous, and mostly positive. Edits: grammar
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