Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonym creator of bitcoin, may have long since disappeared, but his early followers are still around and their identities are still unknown. They go by pseudonyms, like Cobra, and often make unpopular rhetoric, pseudo-anarchic rhyming.
While the price of cryptocurrency increased dramatically in the last few years, old bitcoin money and new money coexisted only with occasional conflicts. But this year, a prolonged collapse has wiped out over $ 100 billion in wealth, and the resulting panic over how to stabilize the currency triggered a Gatsby class war.
A point of contention now concerns the ownership of Bitcoin.org. Nakamoto registered the Web domain a decade ago and handed it over to some early cryptoheads for security reasons. The site still exists as a destination to evangelize bitcoins and educate newcomers. The main owner is Cobra, with the support of another anonymous user, Theymos.
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In a recent post on the GitHub encoder site that has collected more than 100 responses, there are requests for Cobra removal. People express concern about their opinions and what it could mean for the digital currency.
"It would be wise for the responsibility to be shared between several parties rather than a single individual," Nicholas Moroz, a blockchain technology consultant,
On Twitter, Cobra spreads conspiracy theorists' messages, demonstrations for the release of a criminal convicted and preaches against government regulation. He also expressed support for a competing currency called Bitcoin Cash. Some of the biggest bitcoin holders bought over the years and could further depress the price if they switch to another currency.
"People on GitHub ask to be delivered because they are mostly uncomfortable that they do not hate Bitcoin Cash," Cobra wrote in a message to Bloomberg.
The initial vision for bitcoin was to create a form of money exempt from governmental or corporate supervision. But for all the talk about decentralization, the old-timer bitcoins still check some of the main places where currency changes are documented and discussed.
Cobra is also a co-owner of Bitcointalk.org, a popular online hangout where Theymos is an administrator. Theymos moderated the Bitcoin section on Reddit, which has more than 900,000 subscribers.
Cobra assured his critics about GitHub that they can trust him: "I will not deny that sometimes I can be irregular, but there is a difference between" difficult "to work with" and openly malicious intentions. " The bitcoin community is still shaken after losing a prominent disciple last year Roger Ver, who was known as Bitcoin Jesus, is now a supporter of Bitcoin Cash He said the original bitcoin "is no longer bitcoin"
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The alternative, a spin-off that requires faster and cheaper processing of transactions, is closer to Nakamoto's original vision, Ver has revised his website, Bitcoin.com, to promote Bitcoin Cash.
Much of what is known about Cobra comes from messages sent to online forums and its Twitter account, which it created in October His vision of the world is ch iara: does not love banks or the government. "Collaborating with statesmen and regulators is a path of weakness," he wrote in a tweet last month. He suggested bankruptcy to financial corporations by selling them in cash. He controlled Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley.
One of Cobra's recent pet projects is to obtain a pardon for Ross Ulbricht, who was convicted of money laundering and other crimes for running the Silk Road, a notorious online market for illicit goods.
Last month, Cobra called Ulbricht "a legend" and "a true thought leader" in a tweet. "We will not forget you, we will forgive and release you." Two days later, he retweeted a post from Alex Jones with a link to an InfoWars article called "The Secret to Winning the Cultural War".
This sort of hyper-libertarian perspective was common among the first users. It is not the prevailing point of view for today's pragmatic bitcoins. The support of financial institutions and pension funds is considered essential to increase the price of the digital currency.
Bitcoin has a market capitalization of about 130 billion US dollars, and another billion have been invested in companies built around it. "Bitcoin is an excellent candidate to become a global reserve currency, there will be a competition for control," said Bruce Rout, a mathematician who took part in the GitHub discussion. "It's a huge amount of energy and a huge amount of money."
The route of this year has not infused trust. About 300 hedge funds investing in cryptocurrencies are recording a 40% decline in yields this year, according to the Eurekahedge Crytpo-Currency Hedge Fund Index. This class of investors is more concerned with the legitimacy than the release of a prisoner.
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Although the influence of the Cobra website has diminished over the years, Bitcoin.org retains value. Last year, the cryptocurrency currency name Eth.com raised $ 2 million in a sale. Cobra said it did not intend to sell or refocus the site around Bitcoin Cash.
The guarantees on Bitcoin.org allow Theymos to take over in an emergency, as if "Cobra were hit by a bus or something," he said. Theymos, who was identified as Michael Marquardt by the United States Department of Justice in a summons in 2014 against Ulbricht, is against a change in ownership of Bitcoin.org.
"While domain names like Bitcoin.org are inherently centralized and therefore subject to at least some fallible humans, I find the idea of entrusting Bitcoin.org to a politically non-profit organization is very unpleasant" , wrote Theymos in an e-mail. "In a sense, the whole point of the bitcoin and the cypherpunk movement that triggered it was to escape politics."