With Bitcoin all the rage and startups popping up left and right, it's hard to know who's an expert in the virtual currency and who just has an opinion. Most people would put Jeff Garzik in the former camp.
A Bitcoin core developer for three years, he left his job at Red Hat on Friday to start work at Bitpay, the biggest Bitcoin payment processing service. IDG News Service caught up with him at the Bitcoin 2013 conference in Silicon Valley this weekend, where he talked about the state of Bitcoin today, the parallels with open source, and Bitcoin's pseudonymous creator, the elusive Satoshi Nakamoto. Following is an edited transcript of the conversation.
IDGNS: What's on people's minds at Bitcoin 2013? It feels like the Wild West right now—the exchange rate's up and down, the government's starting to regulate, there are startups cropping up everywhere, where are we at?
Garzik: Bitcoin's growing up. It's been a hobbyist-grown organic piece of software, an organic community. I was one of the hobbyists. It grew up slowly, slowly, slowly over time, and now VCs are all over the place trying to write checks. As a developer, I've told several people, I don't want your check. I just started work for a startup called Bitpay, my first day is today.