Last Updated: 10 July 2022
Shortly after Pieter Wuille, Bitcoin Core master, stepped down from his role as administrator of the bitcoin software, a new developer has already been appointed: Gloria Zhao.
A week ago, Zhao opened a pull-request on Github. It quickly received enough ACKs, which stands for acknowledgments, from other developers to carry out this plan.
This makes Gloria Zhao (from what we know) the very first female maintainer of Bitcoin Core. This software was created by Satoshi Nakamoto himself, and hundreds of developers have been improving this code since 2009.
Gloria Zhao, a developer, has become the first female #Bitcoin Core maintainer as per our findings, making a major milestone in the 13-year-old history of the world’s biggest #cryptocurrency. https://t.co/BZaYV4JHNa
— BitcoinWisdom (@BitcoinWisdom) July 9, 2022
In addition, female devs have been around for a long time, but not maintainers. Until now!
However, the improvements do not just appear in a release. This is where these maintainers play an important role: they do not code (per se) themselves but do the accounting for the decentralised decision making.
On Bitcoin Focus, we previously wrote an in-depth article about the dynamics between developers and the improvements that actually get into bitcoin.
Dutchman Wladimir van der Laan is the lead maintainer of the open-source software — the one who is sort of the last to push the button before new updates to Bitcoin Core. However, as he shared in an earlier blog post, he wants to scale down his role and position in the whole thing too.
Fellow mainstay Michael Ford has good words for Zhao:
“She has been actively working on Bitcoin Core for over two years, mainly on the mempool and validation code. I know she has a lot of ideas on how to improve the code around here, and more recently, she has also reviewed and helped improve the wallet.”
Zhao was born in Cupertino, California (US), and graduated in computer science from UC Berkeley in December 2020.
She was the first “student” at Brink, a UK-based non-profit organisation that focuses on training developers.