Bitcoincore.org, a communication gateway for the ongoing open source development of the Bitcoin Core client software, has removed a link to Bitcoin.org from its list of recommended resources. The link was deleted so it doesn’t seem as if there’s “only one resource that educates about bitcoin”, according to Wladimir J. van der Laan, the lead maintainer of the Bitcoin repository on Github.
Reportedly, this was done just two days after Cøbra, co-owner of Bitcoin.org and the Bitcointalk forum, revealed he likes certain aspects of Bitcoin Cash (BCH), a cryptocurrency forked off of the Bitcoin blockchain in the culmination of a years-long scaling debate.
In response to Cøbra’s comments, Blockstream CEO Adam Back said he aims to “preserve that the content on [Bitcoincore.org] remains about bitcoin.” This, according to Back, is the “current economic” view supported by the majority of the crypto community.
The ownership issue started gaining notoriety, with the controversial @Bitcoin account, well known for being a BCH proponent, commenting on it:
https://t.co/HUKYLdp7Qj officially removes https://t.co/CCX98aPWqc from their list of web resources, 2 days after the lead maintainer of https://t.co/CCX98aPWqc publicly stated he liked aspects of Bitcoin Cash, and that people can have nuanced opinions about it. pic.twitter.com/hnRpKu4w6w
— Bitcoin (@Bitcoin) July 29, 2018
The British cryptographer added that it was wrong to promote Bitcoin Cash on Bitcoin.org and that he would never do such a thing, even if he went “completely insane.” Meanwhile, Cøbra told Back his “notion of community property” was being used “to influence who owns bitcoin.org so they submit to [his] agenda.”
During the argument Cøbra noted he can like certain aspects of BCH, without thinking it’s the “real bitcoin.” Nevertheless, the Bitcoin.org co-owner was accused of being an “unreliable person.” In a follow-up on Github, user beyourseff wrote:
A number of individuals (including myself) feel that @Cobra-Bitcoin has become an unreliable person to own the Bitcoin.org domain name, mainly given his public support for BCH.
Per the Github post, various users on the Bitcoin Core #UASF Slack channel revealed they fear Cøbra could start promoting Bitcoin Cash as the “real bitcoin,” and potentially sell his domain for personal gain.
If this were to happen, the Bitcoin.org domain, initially registered and owned by Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto and Martti Malmi, could end up in the hands of BTC opponents who could use it to the flagship cryptocurrency’s detriment.
In order to resolve this issue, beyourseff noted that Cøbra could transfer the domain’s ownership back to Theymos, a veteran Bitcoin developer and a moderator at the r/Bitcoin subreddit. This, the Bitcoin Core slack members said, would prevent him from potentially abusing the Bitcoin.org domain.
Alternatively, beyourseff recommended that “a select few veterans within the Bitcoin community would be chosen to form a non-profit, and the domain would then be transferred into this non-profit.”
Responding to the criticism, Cøbra stated
I won’t deny I can be erratic at times, but there’s a difference between ‘difficult to work with’ and outright malicious intent. Maybe go on Bitcoin.org, and try to find something egregious enough that even comes close to the type of garbage and outright fraud you see on Roger’s site. I’m sorry if I don’t call Bitcoin Cash ‘Bcash’, or hate it with a fiery passion (I used too), or I don’t have exactly the same set of opinions as you. But that doesn’t mean you can attempt to pressure me into handing over the domain to some random group (of strangers no less!).
Notably, both Theymos and Cøbra are extremely influential community members who’ve managed to remain anonymous throughout the years. Their influence over the BTC community worries some, and in Cøbra‘s case having a not-so-hostile approach to BCH seems to be worrying developers.