Alternative Bitcoin Has Backers Nervous

The new software, Bitcoin XT, has much less support than the original, but it’s gaining traction quickly

Bloomberg News

August 24, 2015Bitcoin was built on the sort of open-source ethos that has driven generations of geeks. But the same principles it celebrates—a decentralized network of contributors, a transparent code base—are allowing competitors to flourish.

The Bitcoin faithful aren’t so sure that’s a good thing.

Two high-profile Bitcoin developers, Gavin Andresen and Mike Hearn, released an alternative version of Bitcoin recently. In software parlance, this kind of offshoot is called a fork.

Hearn acknowledged in a blog post that not everyone is thrilled with the endeavor. “The community is divided,” he wrote. “Such a fork has never happened before.”

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