Recently, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) announced its acquisition of the GitHub code repository business, thus taking over some of the largest open source communities. In the past years, GitHub became instrumental to the crypto community.
Besides opening their code to the public, the various coin and token communities have used GitHub as a community outreach and PR tool. GitHub is also a source for wallets and verifications. The ease of putting up code has helped many projects launch very fast, with basic tools.
GitHub is also the way to monitor activity from teams, and is used as a proof that a coin or token are alive, with regular updates and improvements. Of course, using GitHub has had its troubles, like that time when access was given to the GitHub repository of Bitcoin Gold (BTG), and a tainted wallet was planted to steal private keys and balances.
Even prominent projects like Lisk (LSK) have used GitHub as the source of downloads, even after the site redesign. As for Ethereum (ETH), GitHub is a source of discussions and proposals.
But experts in the sector are worried that the influence of Microsoft may spell trouble for some of the projects.
“The open source code for the vast majority of blockchain projects are currently being stored in repositories on GitHub. While GitHub was already a centralized service, this Microsoft acquisition has been a wake up call for much of our community. Microsoft (and GitHub before that) can essentially censor, disrupt or remove any of the code repositories. Whether it be from government pressure or their own judgment, this poses a massive risk for the future of the decentralized web,” said Mick Hagen, CEO of Mainframe.
Hagen added that the solution may be a decentralized version of GitHub, which would be censorship-resistant.
There is also the danger of code simply disappearing, especially for smaller, less organized projects.
“Bitcoin and other well-organized blockchain projects have protocols to protect them from Github as a single point of failure, though. The protests are therefore more a cultural and ideological phenomenon, since Microsoft was once a historic enemy of open source,” said Eiland Glover, CEO of Kowala.
Others, like Altif Brown, CCO of Constellation, believe Microsoft may work to preserve the developer-first ethos of GitHub.
“I’m hopeful that in recognizing its value with this purchase, Microsoft will maintain, further, and amplify the ethos of GitHub and the community that it’s built,” he said.
This article appeared first on Cryptovest