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Who is Mike Hearn?

Mike Hearn
Mike Hearn

Mike Hearn Early CORE BTC – 21 Members

The vast majority of mining hash power was controlled by people who were psychologically incapable of disobedience to perceived authority.” -Mike Hearn


Mike Hearn
Mike Hearn

I’ve spent more than 5 years being a Bitcoin developer. The software I’ve written has been used by millions of users, hundreds of developers, and the talks I’ve given have led directly to the creation of several startups. I’ve talked about Bitcoin on Sky TV and BBC NewsI have been repeatedly cited by the Economist as a Bitcoin expert and prominent developer. I have explained Bitcoin to the SEC, to bankers and to ordinary people I met at cafes.

From the start, I’ve always said the same thing: Bitcoin is an experiment and like all experiments, it can fail. So don’t invest what you can’t afford to lose. I’ve said this in interviews, on stage at conferences, and over email. So have other well known developers like Gavin Andresen and Jeff Garzik.

Mike Hearn
Mike Hearn
2018 04 05

Hello again. It’s been a while.

People have been emailing me about once a week or so for the last year to ask if I’m coming back to Bitcoin now that Bitcoin Cash exists. And a couple of weeks ago I was summoned on a thread called “Ask Mike Hearn Anything”, but that was nothing to do with me and I was on holiday in Japan at the time. So I figured I should just answer all the different questions and answers in one place rather than keep doing it individually over email.

Firstly, thanks for the kind words on this sub. I don’t take part anymore but I still visit occasionally to see what people are talking about, and the people posting nice messages is a pleasant change from three years ago.

Secondly, who am I? Some new Bitcoiners might not know.

I am Satoshi.

Just kidding. I’m not Satoshi. I was a Bitcoin developer for about five years, from 2010-2015. I was also one of the first Bitcoin users, sending my first coins in April 2009 (to SN), about 4 months after the genesis block. I worked on various things:

You can see a trend here – I was always interested in developing peer to peer decentralised applications that used Bitcoin.

But what I’m best known for is my role in the block size debate/civil war, documented by Nathaniel Popper in the New York Times. I spent most of 2015 writing extensively about why various proposals from the small-block/Blockstream faction weren’t going to work (e.g. on replace by feelightning networkwhat would occur if no hard fork happenedsoft forksscaling conferences etc). After Blockstream successfully took over Bitcoin Core and expelled anyone who opposed them, Gavin and I forked Bitcoin Core to create Bitcoin XT, the first alternative node implementation to gain any serious usage. The creation of XT led to the imposition of censorship across all Bitcoin discussion forums and news outlets, resulted in the creation of this sub, and Core supporters paid a botnet operator to force XT nodes offline with DDoS attacks. They also convinced the miners and wider community to do nothing for years, resulting in the eventual overload of the main network.

I left the project at the start of 2016, documenting my reasons and what I expected to happen in my final essay on Bitcoin in which I said I considered it a failed experiment. Along with the article in the New York Times this pierced the censorship, made the wider world aware of what was going on, and thus my last gift to the community was a 20% drop in price (it soon recovered).

Mike Hearn
Mike Hearn

      Mike Hearn speaking to Peter Todd

2020 05 08 Bitcoin History Part 2: ‘We were all big blockers, except Greg’. Kurt Wuckert Jr

2019 08 08  An interesting timeline… Mike Hearn ? Zhell   – Mike Hearn being Unwriter?

2019 07 02 El secuestro de Bitcoin y la visión original de Satoshi. Por IGOR DOMSAC

2018-10-08 – VIDEO DevDay – Looking forward, looking back, things you might see discussed on Slack

2018-04-06 Mike Hearn: Bitcoin Cash Is Repeating Bitcoin’s Mistakes.  coindesk

2017 09 04  An Apology to Mike Hearn. Eli Afram  (CoinGeek)

2017 03 26 – VIDEO Mike Hearn: Autonomous agents, self driving cars and Bitcoin

2016 06 18 R3’s Hearn Discusses Corda Platform Features, Relying on Proven Industry Protocols |…

2016 01 18 A small followup.  Mike Hearn “…Most of the negative feedback was in the form of conspiracy theories about me, rather than addressing the issues raised”.

Mike Hearn

2016 01 17 A Bitcoin Believer’s Crisis of Faith. Nytimes By Nathaniel Popper “It never occurred to me that the thing could just fall apart because of people getting crazy and having fundamental political disagreements over the goals of the project,” Mr. Hearn said in a Skype interview from his apartment. “It’s really shaken my faith in humanity.”

2016 01 17 “El bitcóin ha fracasado: he vendido todas mis monedas” – RT en Español

2015 11 20 –    Bitcoin core developer joins blockchain consortium with 5 global banks. By Michael del Castillo – Reporter, New York Business Journal

2015 11 20 – 30 top banks and Mike Hearn have now joined R3 Global Consortium 2015 11 07 I’m Mike Hearn, creator of Lighthouse, bitcoinj and Bitcoin XT. Ask me anything! 2015 08 15 Why is Bitcoin forking? A tale of differing visions. Mike Hearn

Mike Hearn
Mike Hearn


2015-08-06  Block size following technological growth Mike Hearn hearn at – linuxfoundation

2015-06-08 – VIDEO EB82 – Mike Hearn – Blocksize Debate At The Breaking Point

2015-06-01 [Bitcoin-development] soft-fork block size increase (extension blocks) From: Adam Back <adam@cy…>

2015 05 07 Crash landing. Mike Hearn

2015 05 05 The capacity cliff. Mike Hearn – This article analyses some proposed alternatives to raising Bitcoin’s network capacity, specifically, the Lightning network. But the arguments made are general and could apply to other proposed alternatives too.

2015 04 18 – VIDEO CoinScrum: QA with Gavin Andresen and Mike Hearn. London 2015 2015 03 28   “Double spending in Bitcoin” A good explanation with example cases by Mike Hearn

2015 03 28  Replace by fee. by Mike Hearn

2015 03 23 Bitcoin’s seasonal affective disorder. Mike Hearn

2014 12 24 –On December 27, 2014 Hearn released version 0.10 of the client, with the BIP 64 changes.[6]

2014 06 10 –On June 10, 2014 Mike Hearn published a Bitcoin Improvement Proposal (BIP 64), calling for the addition of “a small P2P protocol extension that performs UTXO lookups given a set of outpoints.”[5]

2014 05 24 – VIDEO Mike Hearn, Bitcoin Core Developer NBC2014 – General thoughts on Bitcoin and how it’s doing, how it might work out. 

2014 01 – VIDEO  Coinscrum – Mike Hearn – Recorded By IamSatoshi – London 2014

2013 11 11 – VIDEO Mike Hearn, Bitcoin Core Developer, About Smart Contracts And Smart Property.

2013 – Mike Hearn, Bitcoin Developer – Turing Festival 2013


2012 – VIDEO Bitcoin 2012 London: Mike Hearn – Future of Bitcoin and rebuilding the financial system 27 sept. 2012  Bitcoin 2012 London: Mike Hearn 2012 – VIDEO Abuse at Scale (RIPE 64)  A talk in 2012 at the RIPE64 internet engineering conference, on trends Google was seeing in email abuse.

2011 04 23  “I’ve moved on to other things. It’s in good hands with Gavin and everyone”.   Satoshi Nakamoto

2011 03 07    Open sourced my Java SPV impl

2011 01    BitCoin meetup in Zurich, Feb 2011?  January 10, 2011, 10:57:22 AM

2010 12 29  Happy Christmas Satoshi.    To: Satoshi Nakamoto

2010 12 27  Happy Christmas Satoshi.  Date: Mon, Dec 27, 2010 at 8:21 PM  To: Satoshi Nakamoto

Mike Hearn

Mike Hearn 2009 10 24  > The following four lines print from the terminal when I start Bitcoin.   Sourceforge

2009 04 12 Mike Hearn/Satoshi Nakamoto Email 1  From: Mike Hearn <>


“on 12 January 2009 – it is the first outgoing transaction we know to have come from Satoshi. Satoshi also sent four other transactions on the same day. I asked Wright who the recipients were – who the four addresses belonged to. ‘Hal, Dave, myself,’ he replied. ‘And another I cannot name as I have no right to do so.’ Wright told me that around this time he was in correspondence with Wei Dai, with Gavin Andresen, who would go on to lead the development of bitcoin, and Mike Hearn, a Google engineer who had ideas about the direction bitcoin should take….”

 The Satoshi Affair. Andrew O’Hagan : 30 June 2016  


Craig Steven Wright academic (1992-2012)







What do you think?

Written by Ramon Quesada

Passionate about Blockchain & Bitcoin technology since 2013, Co- Founder of, Team Manager in the CoinTelegraph Spain franchise (2016-2017 years) Co. Organizer of the Blockchain Boot camp Valencia 2018, Co. Organizer of the mini Hackathon BitcoinSV Barcelona, in August 2019, current coordinator of the BSV Valencia Meetup.


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