Bitcoin SV (BSV) is going through some major controversy right now, and it is about to get a whole lot worse. The coin, founded by Craig Wright, is being delisted from several exchanges after some very contentious conversations on Twitter.
Craig Wright may be the most controversial figure in the whole space, because of his claims that he is Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of Bitcoin. These claims intensified in the past few weeks as fights broke out on Twitter regarding these claims. Things got rather nasty, and now it is costing BSV big.
Binance Makes the Move
Binance is the largest exchange by reported volume, so its delisting of Bitcoin SV could cause a ripple effect through the industry. Binance’s CEO, Changpeng Zhao (CZ), had previously threatened to delist BSV if Wright didn’t stop attacking people on Twitter who were fighting his claims of being Satoshi. On Monday, CZ followed through and announced that BSV would be delisted from their exchange.
You could say that petty Twitter fights shouldn’t be the concern of Binance, but there are two aspects that make them more than just “social media fodder”. First, Wright actually put up a bounty for a user’s identity. Doxxing is a serious matter, and should not be condoned by a public figure that is associated with a cryptocurrency. Second, using claims of being Satoshi when he has refused to prove it could be considered fraud. When you consider how Wright uses his claimed identity to boost the profile of BSV, it actually does factor into Binance’s standards.
As a fork of Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin SV was already subject to a lot of debate, but now the dynamic is changing. Trading of BSV will cease on April 22nd, but Binance will continue to support withdrawals until July 22nd. ShapeShift has also announced the delisting of BSV and it sounds like Kraken is considering it.
Power of an Icon
It’s easy to understand why Wright would go out of his way to claim he is Satoshi. Not only would it boost the profile (and price) of BSV, but he would have an endless level of clout in the community that he could parlay into a massive income.
It would be easy enough for Craig Wright to prove his identity as Satoshi Nakamoto with a digital signature, but he has refused to do so, which allows naysayers to assume he is not Satoshi.
Nakamoto’s anonymity is part of the reason Bitcoin has such a powerful grasp over the industry as a whole. There is something mythological about a rebellious creator who fades away into oblivion while letting his work speak for him. Compare this to having an attention-seeking Craig Wright constantly implying or outright saying that he is Satoshi, and it is clear which adds more power to Bitcoin’s story. Having a good story may sound trivial, but it is hard to deny that people need to “believe” in something in order to invest in it.
Centralization is somewhat of a tired issue in the world of cryptocurrencies, but it is very relevant here. The fact that these exchanges have the power to delist these tokens and hurt their liquidity is not necessarily a good thing for the ecosystem. Some users have said that these delistings are similar to Paypal cutting off Wikileaks, but there is one big difference: potential fraud and the threat of physical violence is involved.