In 2018, Microsoft acquired the GitHub repository bridgehead for developers that are actively used worldwide, including in the crypto industry. As a result, GitHub has started to ban developers from Iran, Syria and Crimea, and recently removed APK is an application created by protesters in Catalonia. Cryptoguru Andreas Antonopoulos believes that the next victim of the area may become the Bitcoin developers. What is the reason? What damage will incur digital assets? Is there an alternative?
The importance of GitHub for crypto industry
GitHub is the largest online service to store and share the development of codes of different projects. It was launched in April 2008, and for 11 years with an audience of 20 million people. It is a social network for programmers, where they exchange experiences, publish their products, communicate and comment on each other’s decisions. It is the largest developer community on the planet, and there’s no place on earth where the program codes can be stored in larger quantities.
Platform GitHub was warmly received by the decentralized cryptocommunist, which was to use it to collaborate on projects. If the product has open source code that anyone can make audit and to propose any changes. This platform is used by developers of Bitcoin and thousands of other coins with the improvement of the software component and create new versions.
The role of GitHub in the development of the crypto-industry is really very important but it should not be overstated. If GitHub will close its doors to the crypto community, then developers will not lose the tools for working with code. They just lose a convenient place where these tools can be applied.
It is important to understand the difference between Git and GitHub:
- Git is a program for managing different versions of the code. What Git allows you to monitor the current status of the product and to test new developments, having the ability at any time to revert back. Git helps to bring Bitcoin to the ideal and every time to upgrade to the improved version. With his help, created the latest version of Bitcoin: 0.17.1, 0.18.0, and August 9, 2019 was the last update — 0.18.1.
- GitHub is a website for storing files created by Git. Therefore it is called the repository (repository). Thanks to GitHub conveniently interact with Git files, communicate with other programmers and work together on different projects.
So even if continues to use GitHub, Git is not going anywhere (it’s a distributed system that has no Central core). Of course, the impact the community will have, since GitHub interface main crypto and blockchain developers, but this impact will not be critical. Moreover, there are convenient alternatives, where the community could «move». However, this greatly slows down development in the cryptocurrency sphere, because the process of «moving» and adaptation to new platforms will take time.
But is it worth worrying about what GitHub will suddenly begin to act against the crypto industry?
The reasons for the unrest
When a year ago the American IT-giant Microsoft has acquired the GitHub for $75 billion, its representatives expressed their intention to contribute to the active development of the site. However, the bulk of the community, including cryptologist, did not show delight, rushing to write negative comments to the official tweet of the repository. The first reason for dissatisfaction is that, in the opinion of users, Microsoft often «kills» the top services of the company and their inept actions. Remember where was Skype, Hotmail and Nokia before the acquisition of the American giant and where are they now? The second reason is Microsoft is famous for the fact that it is under scrutiny of the authorities and promptly perform any of their requirements.
It took quite a bit of time to make sure that concerns were raised knowingly. Since Microsoft swallowed GitHub:
- Started bans developers from regions under US sanctions. 29 July of this year it became known that GitHub limits the ability of or prohibits the use of the site to users from Iran, Syria and Crimea. May have suffered and residents of other States, the authorities which fell out of favor with U.S. authorities. And no matter what project people work and how to relate to the political situation. If he is a citizen of a country under sanctions — he likely will be blocked. It is noteworthy that when the lock company is not even trying to verify a person’s citizenship, and bans solely on the basis of IP addresses and payment history. Theoretically, if some Europeans go on vacation in the Crimea and begin to work there on GitHub, then it may be banned.
- Began to block the project, questioning the credibility of the authorities, and not necessarily American. Another sensational incident happened just a week ago. 30 Oct GitHub at the request of the regulators of Spain has removed from its platform APK-app «Democratic tsunami». The main goal of the program is to organize political protests in support of independence of the Autonomous community of Catalonia. The app helped to coordinate meetings, communicate with other supporters of the movement and plan protests (for example, to block the road). Streets of Catalonia filled with people demanding change, but though the protests are within the law, the Spanish government, wishing to keep Catalonia in its composition, are trying these actions to discourage. So they asked GitHub to remove the app, citing the fact that it supposedly provokes the terrorist attacks. Microsoft has kindly agreed to do it.
The management platform sure that is functioning properly.
«We may not always agree with the laws, but we are forced to block content at the request of state authorities», — commented the incident, the representatives of GitHub.
That’s just before the platform under the control of Microsoft it freely working from Iran, Syria and Crimea, and also created the application contrary to policy. And no one is blocked until real serious precedents (e.g., fraudulent or terrorist projects). It is noteworthy that the situation with the APK-app does not even touch the authorities of the United States, and Catalonia is not under any sanctions. It turns out, Microsoft is happy not only performs the requirements of the United States and other governments.
No impact is so strong cooperation with the authorities on Bitcoin and other digital money? The prerequisites for this are: recall, for example, like Google and Facebook banned advertising of crypto-currencies. And what hinders to do the same to Microsoft?
Cryptologist a year ago, predicted trouble. In particular, the main Bitcoin developer Wladimir van der Laan noted that the repository main cryptocurrencies will have to reschedule. But now fears are confirmed real actions Microsoft and become even stronger. Immediately after the news from Catalonia one of the most respected crypto experts in the world, Andreas Antonopoulos, called the current situation on GitHub shame.
It only took a few months for Microsoft to destroy GitHub culture and openness. Such a shame https://t.co/89nJmFpxmA
— Andreas ☮ 🌈 ⚛ ⚖ 🌐 📡 📖 📹 🔑 🛩 (@aantonop) October 30, 2019
Microsoft took a few months to destroy the culture and the openness of GitHub. What a shame.
Later in the discussion with users, he noted that the next goal can be a GitHub Bitcoin-the developers, resulting in the user platform will cause damage to the whole cryptologist.
For now. Fortunately the underlying protocol (git) is decentralized. But the collaboration platform (pull request, issues, discussion) are on GitHub.
Wouldn’t be surprised if GitHub de-platformed Bitcoin devs at some point
— Andreas ☮ 🌈 ⚛ ⚖ 🌐 📡 📖 📹 🔑 🛩 (@aantonop) October 30, 2019
The user question: «Bitcoin is on GitHub, right?». Reply Andreas Antonopoulos: «At the moment — Yes. Fortunately, the underlying Protocol (git) is decentralized. But the collaboration platform (requests, notes, discussion) is located on GitHub. Do not be surprised if one day GitHub will be driven out of platform developers of Bitcoin.»
What will replace GitHub?
If, however, the question of «moving» from GitHub will be relevant, in what direction to move?
Select three options adequate replacement GitHub.
- Networks. A year ago, as soon as takeover rumors site, competitive service Networks recorded a tenfold increase in the import of the repositories. Moreover, while Twitter launched #movingtogitlab that Networks supported with discounts up to 75% on paid services for beginners. This is the main competitor to GitHub, which implements all the necessary tools for interaction between developers. Besides, unlike GitHub, the open source Networks that better fits the ideology of cryptocurrency. Many developers have already moved to this platform, for example, the developers of Sia (Siacoin, SC), who now feel better and safer.
When it became known that Microsoft buys GitHub activity on Networks has increased 10 times. Source.
- Radicle and other decentralized platforms. If you look at the situation from a different angle, then change to GitHub on Networks means instead of one centralized platform choose another. Let the Networks less susceptible to censorship, but no one knows what will happen in the future. For example, if they will absorb the same Microsoft? Therefore, the problem can be solved only high-quality decentralized repositories. One of these solutions is peer-to-peer platform Radicle, which is already undergoing beta testing.
- The repository for Tor. Also there is a version Bitcoin repository directly in the Tor network, which is supported personally by the developer of the code, the first cryptocurrency — Wladimir van der Laan. Theoretically, go into the Tor network can not only specialists to improve Bitcoin, but all the programmers of the crypto community. Yes, it’s a much less convenient solution, as it requires work through the same browser and requires regular and difficult settings. However, as an option of last resort, it is great.
While the main part of the crypto industry still remains true to GitHub, including the developers of the Bitcoin Protocol. But for how long? The main drawback of alternative sites — the lack of popularity and large audience, but thanks to a new vision of the owners of GitHub, this problem is gradually being solved. In light of recent events, the community will become more engaged in movement of their cryptoprocta to other platforms. The process has already begun, and if Microsoft doesn’t change its policy, the final «transfer» of cryptarithmetic is only a matter of time.