Gavin Andresen

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Gavin Andresen
Occupation Chief Scientist
Employer Bitcoin Foundation
Location Amherst, Massachusetts
Twitter @BTCFoundation
Personal Twitter @gavinandresen?lang=en
LinkedIn Profile
Website Bitcoin Foundation Home
Blog Andresen's Blog

Gavin Andresen is the chief scientist at the Bitcoin Foundation. He worked as a software developer for a number of companies in the VOIP (voice over internet protocol),3D graphics, virtual reality, and gaming industries.[1]


Starting in late 2010, Andresen began to work with Satoshi Nakamoto on bitcoin. On December 19, 2010 Andresen wrote on "Bitcoin Forum" that he would " . . . start doing more active project management for bitcoin" and he set up a GitHub forum for testing and establishing official bitcoin code. GitHub is a collaboration portal for software developers to host and review code and build software together.[2] To stimulate interest in and to support the use of bitcoin, Andresen launched Bitcoin Faucet. The website at first distributed five tokens for free to each visitor. As bitcoins became more valuable he gradually reduced the number of bitcoins and stopped the distribution in 2012.[3] One of Andresen's key contributions to the development of bitcoin is widely acknowledged to have been bringing cryptographers and developers together to work on the open source. [4]

In April 2011, Satoshi Nakamoto, the inventor of bitcoin, sent an email to the bitcoin community saying he was leaving the project. Andresen filled the void that was left by keeping the project organized and moving forward. In 2012 Andresen helped found the Bitcoin Foundation and became its chief scientist, a full-time position he has held since then until at least mid-July 2018.[5]

One of Andresen's key development interests was bitcoin scaling, specifically, the block size. Andresen advocated for allowing for larger maximum block sizes but his views were often met with pushback from other developers. The issue remains unresolved. Andresen [6]

Andresen dropped out of the limelight after the CoinDesk Consensus 2016. On a panel there he stated that he believed Craig Wright's claim to be the real Satoshi Nakamoto. Craig Wright is an Australian bitcoin developer. Wright's claim and Andresen's support for it were widely ridiculed. Immediately thereafter, Bitcoin Core, a developer group, deleted Andresen's permission to commit new code in GitHub. As one tweet noted, "Core team members are concerned that he may have been hacked."[7]

On November 11, 2017 Gavin tweeted that he was looking into bitcoin cash because it can serve as both a store of value and a currency. In that Twitter thread, he states, "High validation costs lead to centralization . . ." Andresen submitted a concept for bitcoin cash to GitHub on January 2, 2018 called “Storing the UTXO as a bit-vector,” the purpose of which is to enable faster transaction validations in the future as the size of bitcoin cash blocks grows. UTXO is the acronym for unspent transaction output, where, for a transaction to be valid all inputs must be in the UTXO database.[8]


Andresen holds a Bachelors Degree in Computer Science from Princeton University. It was awarded in 1988.[9]