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GitHub CEO Isn't Concerned Central Bank Censorship Will Hurt Bitcoin

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It's no secret that many central bank officials are no fans of Bitcoin. 

Jerome Powell, current Chairman of the Federal Reserve, framed Bitcoin as a "speculative store of value" in a 2019 speech in front of the U.S. Senate. Powell then dismissed fears that Bitcoin would "diminish or remove the need for a reserve currency." Other central banks have gone as far as to launch their own digital currency initiatives, seemingly to prepare for a world in which Bitcoin and digital currencies are prevalent.  

Considering the aversion many central bank representatives have to Bitcoin, Kraken's Pierre Rochard recently published a tweet stating there was a scenario in which central banks would attempt to censor Bitcoin development. One way they could do so, Rochard suggested, was through pressuring GitHub into removing the Bitcoin Core repository: 

"I would not be surprised if central banks pressure GitHub into delisting the bitcoin/bitcoin repository. Development work would go on, but it would be far slower and more decentralized."

But according to the chief executive of GitHub, this shouldn't be a concern worth focusing on.

GitHub CEO Isn't Concerned Bitcoin Development Will Be Affected by Central Banks

Nat Friedman, the CEO of GitHub, isn't concerned potential central bank censorship will harm Bitcoin's development. Responding to Rochard's comment, Friedman wrote on September 9th: 

"No plausible scenario where that becomes a meaningful issue for bitcoin development."

It's important to note, though, that GitHub is far from decentralized despite being predicated on the concept of open-source. 

Friedman previously shared that GitHub had to restrict users from Iran, Syria, and Crimea in 2019 due to U.S. trade laws: 

"It is painful for me to hear how trade restrictions have hurt people. We have gone to great lengths to do no more than what is required by the law, but of course people are still affected. GitHub is subject to US trade law, just like any company that does business in the US."

GitHub also previously stated that it may need to block content if it receives a "valid request from a government official": 

"Although we may not always agree with those laws, we may need to block content if we receive a valid request from a government official, so that our users in that jurisdiction may continue to have access to GitHub to collaborate and build software." 

But if Friedman's comments are anything to go by, any censorship of Bitcoin development via GitHub, if it happens, should not hamper this industry's growth. 

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Nick is a writer and analyst who has been following Bitcoin since 2013. When he is not writing, he works on HTC's Bitcoin phone, EXODUS.