Hyperbitcoinization enthusiast and writer

 Educating the Next Wave of Bitcoin Developers

Educating the Next Wave of Bitcoin Developers

Bitcoin is an open-source protocol that anybody can interact with. It is getting attention and attracting participation in different ways, whether it is through speculation, investing and sending money, all the way to contributing to what’s underneath the hood. The entire Bitcoin repository is on GitHub, inviting any developer to see the protocol’s code and perhaps contribute toward solving existing problems if they can.

A noteworthy fact, however, is that the pool of developers today is quite small.

“It’s not an easy field to get into,” Jimmy Song, author of Programming Bitcoin and instructor at Programming Blockchain, told Bitcoin Magazine. “Interestingly enough, the thing that makes Bitcoin hard to get started on is the cryptography, and that’s hard because the math is not familiar to developers. Specifically, finite fields and elliptic curves.”

Some would argue, though, that the small number of developers in Bitcoin today is not too small. In fact, it’s perfectly fine at the size it is for such a new industry.

“Bitcoin has only been around for 10 years, and it only started getting a lot of mainstream attention in 2017, so it hasn’t been a long time to build up an ecosystem of developers,” said John Newbery, a Bitcoin Core developer and Bitcoin engineer at Chaincode Labs.

“It’s something that we hear a lot, that it is difficult to find experienced Bitcoin engineers … [Bitcoin] really only started getting mainstream attention two or three years ago, so it’s as expected. We’re doing everything we can at Chaincode to widen and deepen that pool.”

Even outside of developer knowledge, there are many aspects of various fields of expertise that require a significant level of understanding in order to grasp Bitcoin all around. Since there are so many paths that need to be explored, the question is: Where do you start?

It is important to be realistic and realize that a complete understanding of the digital currency will always be unreachable.

“I don’t think it’s possible to understand all aspects of Bitcoin,” Newbery said. “The frontiers…