Meet Luke Dashjr, one of the world's most prolific developers of free software and Bitcoin. A great freedom activist who has put all his effort into making Bitcoin and GNU / Linux an even better ecosystem.

Unot of the older ones Bitcoin developers is Luke Dashjr, based in Tampa, Florida. Luke Dashjr's private life is an enigma. He is known to be married and has 7 children, information that is available on his Twitter profile. But beyond that, nothing else is known. Neither date of birth, nor who are his parents, where he studied, the name of his wife and children, certainly a jealously guarded private life.

But what he does know about Dashjr is his large number of contributions to Bitcoin and the large number of projects that he has been part of in his more than 23 years of career as a developer.

Beginning of his career

Luke Dashjr's career as a developer begins in 2001. In that year he was part of Development Leader for Kye 3.0, a simple puzzle game that dates back to 1992 and was practically completely rewritten.

Later that year he took the lead on the project Open Direct Connect. This is a P2P protocol file sharing system that allowed direct file sharing among those who were part of the network. The protocol is part of the well-known DCC clients widely used in 2002 to share files and widely used today even on the darknet. In this project, Dashjr was the one who wrote the interfaces to connect services like IRC / DCC, NeoModus Direct Connect y OpenNapster. Any user of these services back then and now will appreciate this work from Dashjr.

In 2002, he also designed a small bot for the XMMP distributed communications protocol, this simple work was widely accepted by the community and gave rise to several control bots in XMMP.

In 2003 Dashjr joins as developer of Gentoo Linux, a source-based distribution in which each and every one of the pieces must be compiled and configured by hand. Then Dashjr participated as a maintainer and writer of ebuilds (scripts or software installation and configuration scripts). This is work he still does on Gentoo.

In fact, his most recent contribution is patching lots of software to use. RETPOLINE, a compilation feature that prevents vulnerabilities like Spectre o Meltdown affect the security of operating systems and the software they run, especially useful on systems using Intel processors, where vulnerability is most critical.

Other projects in which Dashjr participated were the projects OpenZaurus (2005), Utopios (2003-2011), GammaMOO (2004-2012), House Control Automation Framework - HCAF (2007-2012), in all of them played an important role in the development of these tools.

  • Luke Dashjr is an acquaintance
  • Luke Dashjr one of the Bitcoin developers

His arrival in the world of Bitcoin

Luke Dashjr meets Bitcoin in 2011 and shortly after meeting him he joined the project as a developer. His programming skills allowed him to quickly become a major developer in Bitcoin, helping the project to get ahead in its early years.

His early contributions to the Bitcoin software focused on troubleshooting security, performance, and advanced features within the Bitcoin Core.

But in 2014, Dashjr began to take on greater relevance in the ecosystem because its modified version of BFGMiner, a Bitcoin miner who used But by the full GPU acceleration tech, allowed miners to mine with higher performance compared to other miners of the moment. This is partly due to the enormous knowledge of software optimization that Dashjr had accumulated during his years of work and his participation as a developer of Gentoo, a distro characterized by its high performance.

In 2016, Dashjr is once again the center of attention with the presentation of the BIP-2, a substantial improvement of the BIP format given by Amir Taaki, another Bitcoin developer and renowned cryptanarchist. During 2016 and 2017, Dashjr was also a key player for the activation of Segwit in Bitcoin. Dashjr's support allowed the Bitcoin Core team to get a way to apply Segwit as a soft fork for Bitcoin, limiting the negative impact of making a hard fork on Bitcoin and the risks that this entails.

Other contributions to the development of Bitcoin, is the presentation of BIP-22 y BIP-23. The first is aimed at creating a structure to generate block diagrams that allow miners to perform a more optimal generation job and that is supported by different mining software and Bitcoin clients. The second is an improvement aimed at making the generation of blocks within mining pools more efficient, using as a basis the proposal presented in BIP-22.

Curiosities of Luke Dashjr

  1. Luke Dashjr was one of the first to detect a Bitcoin hard fork in 2013, due to a software bug in Bitcoin Core. The nodes that upgraded to Bitcoin version 0.8 triggered a bug that led to an accidental hard fork. Dashjr detection and fast team action prevented the net from falling completely.
  2. Luke Dashjr identifies himself as a militant Roman Catholic who dislikes the Vatican authorities. He acknowledges this publicly and in several interviews and AMA has openly discussed this. This has caused him various public and opinion problems in the community, who sometimes see him as a "religious and social extremist".
  3. He has been a Gentoo user for over 17 years, making him an extreme connoisseur of GNU / Linux operating systems. His main contributions in this community go to the optimization and security of the systems.
  4. He is a cybersecurity extremist. In fact, he thinks that Bitcoin in its current network state has security weaknesses, because its network is not yet fully decentralized. For this reason, it invites everyone who uses Bitcoin to install their own full node.
  5. Luke Dashjr is ranked 11th in the ranking of contributors to the Bitcoin Core code.
  6. In 2017, Luke Dashjr and his family had a hard time being affected by Hurricane Irma. The hurricane wiped out his belongings, so Tuur Demeester started a fundraising campaign to help him. In total, 5 BTC (approx. $ 20 USD) were raised.