One of the many topics of discussion these days is which Bitcoin client people should use. Whether it is Bitcoin Core or Bitcoin XT, the debate will eventually be settled early next year. However, none of the other viable Bitcoin clients get mentioned in the discussion, even though there are a fair few to choose from. Does Bitcoin need more clients based on different coding languages, or is the situation fine as it is?
A Plethora of Bitcoin Wallets, or Centralized Options?
Bitcoin Core and Bitcoin XT — although the latter is a matter of debate — are the two most popular Bitcoin software clients for desktop users these days. Many people tend to forget there are a fair few other options as well, although most of these options serve as light clients, which is something a lot of users seem to prefer.
In truth, the two main Bitcoin clients are available for just about any operating system one can think of. Whether it is Windows, Linux, Mac OS or even mobile, there is a version of the Bitcoin wallet available on the platform of your choice. But the question becomes: are the choices for consumers are too limited?
Before anyone gets the wrong idea, no one is saying there should be more forks of the Bitcoin protocol to create additional wallet options. The point I’m trying to make is that the Bitcoin wallets at our disposal today are written in a certain coding language. But what if there are users who want to contribute to these wallets, and are not comfortable with using this certain language?
One of the beautiful aspects of Bitcoin — or the blockchain technology powering the network — is how developers can use any programming language at their disposal to interact with the network. Regardless of whether the developer prefers Ruby, Java, C++, Python or any other coding language, interfacing with the blockchain can be done quite easily
But when it comes to either Bitcoin Core or Bitcoin XT, contributing to these projects is restricted to one single coding language. While it is certainly possible to convert one language to another to get things working, the process is rather time-consuming and complicated. A solution might not be all that difficult, though.
This is where Bitcoin can take a page out of Ethereum’s playbook, as there are various clients available for Ethereum users, all of which are based on different coding languages. In fact, the Ethereum “core” developers urge for alternative wallets so that every major coding language gets supported.
The Benefits of Supporting Multiple Coding Languages
Even though the thought of creating duplicate versions of Bitcoin Core and Bitcoin XT to support all major coding languages seems daunting, there are clear benefits to doing so as well. Perhaps the biggest advantage is how various teams of developers can start bringing improvements to the table.
Once these improvements have been made in a certain version of the Bitcoin software client, these changes can then be adapted by other versions of the same client. However, should this idea come to fruition, the separate development groups will have to coordinate well with one another to avoid any issues.
Additionally, more people would be given the chance to experiment with Bitcoin client code, which can only be beneficial to the overall development of this disruptive digital currency. That being said, proposes changes may or may not be adopted by the other versions of the same client, unless a consensus has been reached.
What are your thoughts on creating multiple versions of main Bitcoin wallets to support different coding languages? Do you think it will succeed? Let us know in the comments below!
Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Codeeval