An Open Source History: from Linux to Bitcoin’s Blockchain

Open-source software may be developed in a collaborative public manner and is a prominent example of open collaboration.

In this video, Rusty Russell uses his 20 years of experience writing community-produced software to discuss his open source programming experience with Linux and Bitcoin and what can be done by a group of volunteers releasing world-class software for all to use freely.

Open-source software is a widely used in the blockchain community and contributes to the currency of network “trust.”

Establishing a high level of trust is only possible when the software that powers the network is free and open source. Even a correctly distributed proprietary blockchain is essentially a collection of independent agents running the same third party’s code. Open source also facilitates innovation as different perspectives contribute to the ecosystem and keep it growing.

It’s worth mentioning that while the open nature of blockchains has been a source of innovation and variation, it has also been seen as a form of governance.  By virtue of the code itself, where users are expected to run whichever specific version of the code contains a function or approach they think the whole network should embrace, the code represents a type of governance.