Gavin Andresen Gavin Andresen
Residence USA
Affiliations Bitcoin Core (Developer with commit access), Bitcoin XT (Developer with commit access), , Bitcoin Classic (Developer with commit access), Bitcoin Foundation (Chief Scientist)

Gavin Andresen

Gavin Andresen is one of the most important Bitcoin developers. What makes him special is the fact that Andresen is one of the original developers of the Bitcoin protocol, having had direct access to the original code. At this moment in time, he is the Chief Scientist, over at the Bitcoin Foundation. Gavin has commit access to Bitcoin Core, Bitcoin XT and Bitcoin Classic

Prior to joining the Bitcoin Foundation, Andresen has been involved in numerous other projects. His influence can be noted in a couple of important software ventures and his contribution to the MIT.


As Bitcoin’s past is shrouded in mystery, there also isn’t too much information available about its core developers. Fortunately, Gavin Andresen, aged 49, has been a bit more open in regards to his background. Currently based in Massachusetts, Gavin Andersen, originally born Gavin Bell6, has been involved with technology and coding for a few decades. After successfully graduating in computer science from the Princeton University in 1988, he proceeded to take a job with the Silicon Valley-based computing company Silicon Graphics6. Over there, he worked on a couple of important projects for a total of 7 years. Following this, Andresen proceeded to work on a few start-ups and built numerous products such as online games for the blind, 3D drawing software, and more, only to eventually come across Bitcoin in 2010.

Work Experience

His Curriculum Vitae includes the following work experience1:

Member of the Technical Staff and Software Engineer over at Silicon Graphics (SGI), in charge with graphic coding, and working on a couple of important projects for the company. During his time at the company, his work revolved around 3D graphic design, with Andresen writing most of the VRML spec. Together with this, he also worked on the Open Inventor team during that period and handled a couple of 3D Graphic demos for SGI. After getting the job in 1988, he decided to move on in 1996.

Head of Engineering over at Resounding Technology, in charge of working on the Roger Wilco VOIP (voice over the internet) application. During his time spend at this company, Andresen played an important role in the development of the app, until the company was sold to HearMe in 1999, when he moved on to start his own business venture.

Chief Technology Officer (CTO), but also Founder over at Wasabi Software. This represents Andresen’s first real business venture. During his time spent at this company, from January 1996, to January 2000, Andresen created SkyPaint, a great tool for panting and editing 3D, but also for wraparound panoramas, thus using his experience from SGI.

Lead Engineer over at HearMe. During his time spent at HearMe, from July 1999, to January 2001, Andresen was in charge of leading the creation for a couple of VOIP products. Unfortunately, many of these did not have the chance to become successful before the .com domain implosion.

Head geek, over at All inPlay. This represents an honourable position, considering the fact that during his time spent at this company, from January 2001 to 2005, he worked on creating and launching a total of three online multiplayer games, meant for blind people, to play with their sighted friends and family. Most of these games managed to become quite successful with blind people.

Code monkey over at gravity Switch. During his time spent at Gravity Switch, Andresen was in charge with leading the implementation, but also writing most of the code meant for the company’s content managing system. What made it special was the fact that it was a high-performance and easy to use system that made creating websites a task that almost anyone was able to perform.

Software expert over at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Upon joining the university in October 2007, and until June 2009, Andresen worked half-time in the Information and Synthesis Laboratory at UMass. The projects that he worked on included a web spider capable of finding and downloading research papers via the Yahoo and Google search engines. Another project he took on was the Perfect Author Homepage Rexa, where manual corrections could be applied to author homepages that were automatically generated by pdf file extraction tools, working alongside with machine learning algorithms.

Lead Bitcoin Core Developer

In the year of 2010, Andresen discovered Bitcoin and was left as a successor by Satoshi Nakamoto, after being given access to the Bitcoin repository. Since his start on the development in the digital currency, he has worked for various companies, and quickly became one of the most important coders in the industry. As Andresen believes that money should be owned by the people, he has developed numerous tools meant to keep Bitcoin alive, while also making it adoptable, by just about anyone. He then stepped down from this position in April 2014, with Wladimir van der Laan replacing him2.

Bitcoin Foundation

At this moment in time, he is Chief Scientist, over at the Bitcoin Foundation3, since 2012, where he is involved in a couple of important projects. One of these is leading a team of programmers in charge of making additions to the Bitcoin Core, and sustaining the system.

Bitcoin XT Developer

In 2015, Andresen proposed BIP 101 as a scalability solution. The Bitcoin Core development team, however, wasn't been able to reach consensus on the correct strategy to accomplish this, so Andresen along with Mike Hearn launched Bitcoin XT4.

While the blocksize debate has divided the Bitcoin community into two separate teams, Andresen believes that a block size increase should be made as soon as possible. Andresen is also aware of the fact that it may take around 6 to 12 months for such a change to be implemented, which is why the solution should be applied as soon as possible in his view. While there may be other keys to the scalability issue, Andresen stated that “I want to see as many people using Bitcoin as possible, and I want to see transaction fees as low as possible.” For those that do not know, the Bitcoin community is split into two sides. One half believes that hard-forks like Bitcoin XT, meant to increase the blocksize limits have the chances to ruin the digital currency and that we should stay with Bitcoin Core, whereas the other side believes that there is a conflict of interested with Blockstream employees, which hired lots of Bitcoin Core developers to develop off-chain solutions such as the Lightning Network, and wish to push these solutions to the network.

Bitcoin Classic Developer

Recently, Andresen stated5 that he supports Bitcoin Classic and joined the team as a developer. Little is known about his current position in Bitcoin Classic.


Bitcoin is designed to bring us back to a decentralized currency of the people.7

This is like better gold than gold.8

My vision is really to give people more control over their money in the financial world.9

Further Reading and Useful Links

Commits to Bitcoin Core:

Bitcointalk profile:;u=224 AMA:

Bitcoin Core developers with commit access

Active: Gavin AndresenJeff GarzikJonas SchnelliPieter WuilleWladimir van der Laan

Retired: Gregory MaxwellMartti MalmiSatoshi Nakamoto

Bitcoin Classic developers

Gavin AndresenJeff GarzikPedro PinheiroTom ZanderJon Rumion

Bitcoin Foundation board members

Bobby LeeMeyer MalkaBrock PierceMichael PerklinVinny LinghamFrancois PouliotBruce FentonGavin Andresen

This article was last modified on 2 February 2016, at 19:28 GMT.