Gavin Andresen (born Gavin Bell) is a software developer best known for his involvement with Bitcoin. He is based in Amherst, Massachusetts.
Originally a developer of 3D graphics and virtual reality software, he became involved in developing products for the Bitcoin market in 2010, and by 2011 was designated by Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous inventor of Bitcoin, as lead developer on Bitcoin Core, the reference implementation for Bitcoin client software. In 2012 he founded the Bitcoin Foundation to support and nurture the development of the Bitcoin currency, and by 2014 left his software development role to concentrate on his work with the Foundation.
Andresen graduated from Princeton University in 1988. He began his career working on 3D graphics software at Silicon Graphics Computer Systems. In 1996, he co-authored the VRML 2.0 specification, and later published a reference manual for VRML 2.0.
Since leaving Silicon Valley in 1996, Andresen has tackled a wide variety of software-related ventures, including CTO of an early voice-over-the-Internet startup and co-founder of a company that made multiplayer online games for blind people and their sighted friends.
Prior to 2014 Andresen was the lead developer for a part of the bitcoin digital currency project, working to create a secure, stable “cash for the Internet.” Andresen discovered bitcoin in 2010, quickly recognising the brilliance of its design. Soon after he created a website called the Bitcoin Faucet which gave away bitcoin. In April 2011, Forbes quoted Andresen as saying, “Bitcoin is designed to bring us back to a decentralized currency of the people,” and “this is like better gold than gold.” He was soon designated by the inventor of bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto to lead development of the client software for the bitcoin network which is now known as Bitcoin Core.
Andresen also created ClearCoin, an escrow-type of service, which was closed c. June 23, 2011. After several years working on the software, Andresen left the role of lead developer of bitcoin to work on the strategic development of its technology. He conceived of the Bitcoin Foundation which became reality in 2012.
Gavin initially stated he believed that Craig Wright was the real identity of Satoshi Nakamoto, but later retracted this statement. As of June 2017, he has not contributed to Bitcoin Core since February 2016. His commit access was revoked in May 2016.