Justin du Coeur (jducoeur) wrote,
Justin du Coeur

Why Bitcoin is forking -- a case study in group dynamics

[Not really a tech post]

Came across this interesting article about Bitcoin this morning. The summary is that the Bitcoin project is splitting in two, because of an irreconcilable difference of opinion between the five people who control the project.

The details are technical, but it mostly stands as a good case study in why process matters: as described, the project has come to loggerheads because it depends fatally on the squishy notion of consensus -- worse, it sounds like it depends on unanimity. That's usually a bad idea for any project of serious scope, and this is a fine illustration as to why.

As it happens, the project *does* have a way of coping: fork the code and let the users choose, which is a common approach in the open-source world. But that's not an option in most situations...

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