Mike Hearn Quits Bitcoin

Who is Mike Hearn?

Mike Hearn was a Bitcoin Core developer for around 5 years.

On his website, Hearn claims:

I had a variety of conversations over email with Satoshi Nakamoto before he departed the project

Quitting Bitcoin

Frustrated with the lack of support for one of his feature ideas for Bitcoin, Hearn labeled Bitcoin a failure.

He quit working on Bitcoin, and sold all of his bitcoins in January 2016 when the price was around $400 US dollars.

Block Size Debate

To understand why Mike Hearn “quit” Bitcoin and considered it a failed experiment, we need to understand a bit about the Bitcoin block size debate.

The block size debate was between “small blockers” and “big blockers”.

The big blockers wanted to increase Bitcoin’s block size to increase the network’s ability to process more transactions.

The small blockers were against increasing the block size because it would make it harder for people to run Bitcoin nodes.

Hearn in the Block Size Debate

Mike Hearn was on the side of the big blockers.

When it became clear that the small blockers were winning and that the block size was not going to increase, Hearn made his famous blog post titled “The resolution of the Bitcoin experiment”:

Ross Ulbricht photo
The intro paragraph of Hearn's famous blog post.

Here’s a short excerpt from his post:

But despite knowing that Bitcoin could fail all along, the now inescapable conclusion that it has failed still saddens me greatly. The fundamentals are broken and whatever happens to the price in the short term, the long term trend should probably be downwards. I will no longer be taking part in Bitcoin development and have sold all my coins.