The Main Client of the Network
Bitcoin Core is a client that is used to connect to the bitcoin network, run a full node, and validate the blocks. The program was created by independent developers. In making decisions, they rely on what would be better for bitcoin's ecosystem and take into account interests of all parties, such as users, miners, exchanges, and wallet providers. It is developers who maintain the network and create updates and protocols aimed at improving the bitcoin's blockchain.
Along with that, Bitcoin Core is a wallet. It is the only thing that can be used to download the full chain of blocks in the network to your computer. Once the installation is complete, your PC becomes part of the network and stores one of the thousands of copies of blockchain synchronized with other nodes. Before installing, make sure that you have enough bandwidth and storage (over 145GB). The wallet also helps confirm other users' transactions.
Who Is Behind Bitcoin Core
The majority of users know only a few Bitcoin Core developers. The lead developers are Wladimir J. van der Laan, who assumed this role on April 8, 2014, and Pieter Wuille, creator of the SegWit protocol that has increased the throughput of the network. Pieter devotes most of his time to working on bitcoin updates.
Eric Lombrozo is another well-known Bitcoin Core dev, who is famous for calling ShapeShift's CEO Erik Voorhees a "greedy twat."
Remember that the network and blockchain are maintained by a huge team, and you can also become its part!
Bitcoin Core and Hard Forks
Bitcoin Core team did not support the hard fork that occurred in May 2017. They did not attend the meeting where the New York agreement was signed, as a result of which a new coin, bitcoin cash, appeared. And that's even despite the fact that the move was supported by some large mining pools and exchanges, such as Bitmain, Bitfury, F2Pool, Genesis Mining, ShapeShift, and Xapo.
After the hard fork had happened, Bitcoin.com CEO Roger Ver even dubbed bitcoin cash the "true" bitcoin and renamed bitcoin cash wallet to bitcoin wallet. Nevertheless, Bitcoin Core team still sticks with the classic bitcoin concept and encourages everyone in the crypto community to call the other coin BCash, so that no one would associate it with bitcoin.
Regarding the second fork called SegWit2x that was canceled on November 8, Bitcoin Core team admitted that it was necessary. But team members also stated that they would not go on to implement it until they understand how to execute it with no harm to the network. Besides, developers hope that this step would not be necessary if the Lightning Network helps solve bitcoin's scalability issue.
Who Is Financing Bitcoin Core
Among the companies that finance Bitcoin Core developers are a research laboratory MIT Media Lab's Digital Currency Initiative led by Wladimir van der Laan, Gavin Andresen, and Cory Fields; a blockchain technology company Blockstream which is also working on the network improvement; a research company Chaincode; Eric Lombrozo's Ciphrex; and a cryptocurrency exchange BTCC.
Why Satoshi Nakamoto Is Not Engaged in Bitcoin Core Development
The bitcoin network was launched in January 2009 when Satoshi created the "genesis block," the first entry in bitcoin's global transaction register. The Bitcoin Core client was previously known as Bitcoin-qt. Programmers, to whom Satoshi's ideas appealed, gradually helped improve the code and develop the client. Gavin Andresen was one of them.
Before disappearing, Satoshi empowered Andresen with the right to make final decisions on the official code. In 2014, Andresen wanted to focus on research work at Bitcoin Foundation and eventually granted that right to Wladimir van der Laan.