Pieter Wuille

Pieter Wuille – Bitcoin Core Developer aka SegWit Master

Pieter Wuille – Championing the ongoing Bitcoin Development

Pieter Wuille is one of the most influential Bitcoin Core developers. He joined the Bitcoin train in 2010 and has been one of the most active bitcoin developers since 2011. He is the Co-founder and Core Tech Engineer at the well-known blockchain-based company Blockstream. He was also responsible for the design of Segwit and many other innovations in the Bitcoin code.

Who Exactly Is Pieter Wuille ?

Pieter was born in Belgium and raised in the city of Leuven. After finishing high school, he studied computer science at KU Leuven where he also finished his Ph.D. research. After completing his studies, he went to Switzerland to work as an engineer for Google. This was when he got acquainted with bitcoin. He then went on to become a head member of Bitcoin Core and co-founded Blockstream. Nowadays, he is a prominent figure in the world of Bitcoin and is considered one of the flagship cryptocurrency’s “code masters”. If you Google Wuille, you will most likely find some interesting “Chuck Norris-like” facts about him.

A Man Who Values His Privacy

Peter Wuille is a man who values his privacy. There is not much to find about him on the internet other than what we have already reported so far. His webpage takes us back to the 90´s. You won’t find anything there aside from a link to send him an email. You can find some information about him on the Bitcoin wiki. Other than this and a few papers, there isn’t much more information about Peter. Wuille has no facebook account, or at least you won’t find any profile with his name over there or on Instagram. He is quite a mysterious character following much of the footsteps of the original Bitcoin creator, Satoshi Nakamoto.

Pieter Wuille’s Contribution To Bitcoin

Wuille found out about Bitcoin in 2010. Back then, he was a regular member and user of the most popular Bitcoin forum, Bitcointalk. It was there that he saw a contest released by Hal Finney in which he was offering a 20 bitcoin prize to the first developer who could solve a coding “Puzzle”. Finney was one of the early adopters and the most prominent figure in the bitcoin world after Satoshi. With the contest, he was trying to lure a new breed of developers to Bitcoin, as well as looking to test the overall community knowledge on the blockchain theme. Wuille was one of the coders that tried to solve the puzzle.  He didn’t win the contest, but at the time, he was so attracted by the code that he became very eager and curious to understand the whole matrix of the code. After that, his popularity climbed within the community. In 2011, he was already one of Bitcoin Core’s most influential developers.

Many other Bitcoin Core members, as well as his colleagues over at Blockstream, consider him to be probably the only person who fully understood the bitcoin software protocol as a whole. This was the fundamental reason why he was able to integrate so many significant changes into the code in a short period. In fact, he is still working hard to improve Segwit, and never loses time with any debates as he always is “too busy writing the code.”

Wuille has been working tirelessly on the software upgrade. He is the second most actively participating, coder contributing to the development of the Bitcoin codebase, right after Wladimir van der Laan. He has been particularly committed to the improvement of Segregated Witness, the most important software update made on the bitcoin software so far. This was the most significant contribution made by Wuille to address the scalability issue.

Segregated Witness

Segregated Witness (SegWit) was one of the significant innovations to the Bitcoin code that Pieter Wuille singlehandedly authored. SegWit was introduced in 2015, at a time when scalability was the word of the day. SegWit is defined by the process of increasing the block size limit by removing unnecessary data from the transaction such as removing the signature data. By eliminating these bits of redundant data, the process opens a lot of space in a block for many more operations. With the SegWit fork, there was no need to increase the block size itself, but instead taking unwanted information out to give space for a lot more transactions. Apart from this, SegWit also paved the way for new implementations such as Lightning Network and Schnorr signatures. SegWit was undoubtedly the most important software update to the date.

Pieter Wuille is indeed a critical asset to the Bitcoin development. Without him, there is no way to tell what would become of Bitcoin and what the best answer to the scalability problem would be. Wuille is the developer that championed the latest revolution in the Bitcoin software. It is safe to say that we will undoubtedly see a lot of fantastic work coming from him in the years to come.

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6 Comments

  1. > SegWit is defined by the process of increasing the block size limit by removing unnecessary data from the transaction such as removing the signature data.

    SegWit doesn’t remove any data from transactions. It moves it to a separate area such that it doesn’t affect the txid hash, thereby fixing the malleability issue.

    > By eliminating these bits of redundant data, the process opens a lot of space in a block for many more operations.

    Signatures aren’t redundant. They are required to prove that the spender is allowed to spend. Segwit doesn’t eliminate them, it segregates them. That’s why it’s called Segwit, not Eliwit.

    > With the SegWit fork, there was no need to increase the block size itself, but instead taking unwanted information out to give space for a lot more transactions.

    This kind of misunderstanding is spread by the BCash people. Signatures are neither “unwanted” or “taken out”. Segwit is essentially an accounting trick. It moves the signature data to a part of the block where legacy clients won’t see it.

    1. You are right. The use of the words “unwanted”, “unnecessary”, “redundant” is actually incorrect. Your explanation of SegWit is 100% correct. Thanks for taking the time to clarify and correct us.

  2. He should start working on Bitcoin Cash before the old version he is working on becomes obsolete.

  3. It’s guys like this that make a reality out of a future we wouldn’t normally expect till the year 2500 …

  4. He looks like he just got finished laughing his ass off about something other than work haha I love it… Yeah I realize this isn’t FB hahha but the guy has a really cute smile on 😀 <3

  5. So glad we have these genius types tirelessly working to improve Bitcoin. And I’m glad to hear he stays above the fray of pointless debates. Let the best code win!

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