Mike Hearn: Bitcoin Farewell Post Was No 'Banker Conspiracy'

Former bitcoin core developer Mike Hearn has issued a follow-up post in response to his controversial farewell letter to the industry.

AccessTimeIconJan 18, 2016 at 8:28 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 11, 2021 at 12:05 p.m. UTC

Former bitcoin core developer Mike Hearn has issued a follow-up post in response to his controversial farewell letter to the industry.

Issued last week and widely regurgitated in the media, Hearn’s declaration that the bitcoin project had “failed” drew massive, and mostly negative, attention, due to its implications for an important and long-standing industry debate.

As a result, it wasn’t long before theories emerged suggesting that the post and its media placement may have been encouraged by his new firm R3CEV, the secretive startup working to build distributed ledger technology with 40-plus banks and for which Hearn serves as chief platform officer.

In his latest Medium post, Hearn took aim at these assertions, noting that his work with R3 had already been announced and stating his belief that bitcoin and his new firm are not in competition.

Hearn wrote:

"R3 is not a bitcoin company, or even a cryptocurrency company, and there is no 'BankCoin' or 'R3Coin'. So this is really nothing to do with them and conspiracy theories are just a waste of time when there are more serious issues to consider."

Included were statements from R3 co-founder Todd McDonald in which he emphasized his belief that both projects can coexist, comments echoed by Hearn.

"Bitcoin competes with some things banks do but a big part of banking is about lending and trading, and those activities would still occur even in a world where bitcoin was the one global currency. It’s not a zero-sum game, banks and bitcoin co-exist and R3’s fate is independent of Bitcoin's," he wrote.

The statements are a step removed from Hearn’s comments in his original post, in which he wrote that the bitcoin network was "on the brink of technical collapse" due to the lack of consensus on how to scale the network.

Dollar bill image via Shutterstock


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