Blockchain developers have begun declaring that they will no longer use GitHub, the world’s largest code repository, after news broke that Microsoft would acquire the platform for $7.5 billion.
Microsoft announced in a June 4 press release that it would be acquiring GitHub for $7.5 billion in Microsoft stock in a deal that is expected to close “by the end of the calendar year.”
Much of the source code for cryptocurrency projects, including Bitcoin, resides on GitHub. Although Microsoft accounts for over 2 million code repositories from GitHub’s 85 million total, many blockchain developers are suspicious of the transnational tech company.
Microsoft has been roundly criticized for its previous bumpy acquisitions of Nokia’s phone business and of Skype, with users across the world complaining about Skype’s clunky, hard-to-use redesign. By comparison, Microsoft’s acquisitions of LinkedIn and Minecraft have gone fairly smoothly. However, this did not stop many influencers in the blockchain community predicting the end of GitHub.
When asked whether the Bitcoin repository should move from GitHub, Bitcoin core developer Wladimir van der Laan answered “Yes. No real hurry, but I expect this is the beginning of a long painful road for GitHub toward obsolence [sic], possibly ending the same way as Codeplex did.” Codeplex was a competing repository platform created by Microsoft which ultimately failed.
Since the acquisition announcement, some in the blockchain community have called for repository migration to rival platform GitLab, with the hashtag #movingtogitlab trending on Twitter.
GitLab experienced 1000% growth in repositories being added to their system on a daily basis, and have been scaling “to try to stay up” in response to the new traffic. It’s unclear how many new users and repositories have come from blockchain projects.