This week after a few months of controversy, the owners of Bitcoin.org reverted its descriptions about what Bitcoin is on the website’s front page back to “fast peer-to-peer transactions” and “low processing fees” after removing the descriptions this past January. The front page descriptions were changed by the website’s co-owner, a pseudonym called ‘Cobra Bitcoin,’ who has been a very controversial character in the cryptocurrency community.
Bitcoin.org Reverts Back to 2010 BTC Descriptions After Removing Them This Past January
Back in December, as the BTC chain started to see a lot more usage than previously, the miner fees for the Bitcoin Core (BTC) network were incredibly high, rising to $40-60 per 225-byte transaction. BTC network fees dramatically jumped throughout the entire year of 2017. A trend that caused cryptocurrency enthusiasts to get upset because they either had to wait a really long time to send a transaction, or pay through the nose using a BTC network fee. On December 24 the developers of Bitcoin.org decided to discuss making specific changes to the BTC network descriptions on Bitcoin.org’s front page to reflect the high fees, and slow confirmation times. Then in January of 2018, the front page descriptions of BTC attributes were changed and “peer-to-peer transactions” and “fast” was removed. Further the description “low processing fees” were replaced with “fraud protection.” When the pull request on Bitcoin.org’s Github repository was merged the co-owner Cobra seemed pretty upset.
“I feel like I’ve lost a piece of my soul after merging this pull request,” Cobra explains to his followers on Twitter.
At some point we all forgot that Bitcoin was supposed to be decentralized money, and we became OK with outrageous fees and centralized mining, all to chase the $$$.
BTC Fees and Congestion Times Decline
A few months later during the beginning of 2018’s spring months, BTC fees had dropped significantly alongside the network’s transactions (tx) per day. After network fees touched a high of $60 per tx last December, on April 28 the average median BTC fee for a 225-byte transaction is 6,750 satoshis or $1.90 USD. Transactions per day slashed in half from its high of 400,000 this past December to 190,000 today. Some speculators believe the ‘Crypto Winter’ over the past four months where cryptocurrencies lost an incredible amount of value may have led to mainstream investors losing interest, to which, also may have caused a decline in BTC network demand. On the other hand, BTC proponents believe the network fees and congestion time have been remedied by the adoption of the Segregated Witness (Segwit) protocol and a controversial process called transaction batching.
Cobra: “Fees Were Temporarily High, and There Was Little Adoption of Segwit and Batching”
Now, this week the operators of Bitcoin.org have decided to revert back to the old descriptions (created in 2010) that state the BTC network has “fast peer-to-peer transactions” and “low processing fees.” Two days ago Cobra reverted the Github pull request bitcoin-dot-org/bitcoin.org#2010 and merged the 2010 descriptions back to Bitcoin.org’s front page.
“This reverts the referenced pull request and restores the mention of the ‘Fast peer-to-peer transactions’, ‘Worldwide payments’ and ‘Low processing fees’ features that were previously highlighted on the homepage — At the time the pull request was created, the fees were temporarily high, and there was little adoption of Segwit and batching. Since then, the fees have been low,” Cobra details in the revert request 2317.
There was also not enough thought put into the original pull request, since it’s still showing the old labels for languages other than English — I propose we comprehensively change the text across all languages when the fees are very high on a permanent basis, which I think is some years off thanks the ecosystem taking better care to optimize usage of the blockchain.
The Curious Case of Cobra Bitcoin
The history of Bitcoin.org’s ownership has been interesting, to say the least as the domain is currently owned by two anonymous pseudonyms — Cobra Bitcoin and Theymos. When the page first got started it was assumed Bitcoin.org was created by Satoshi Nakamoto before the protocol was launched. Then it was operated by Martti Malmi (Sirius) for a little while, and the owners alongside the community developers enact changes to the website through an MIT licensed open source repository on Github. As the co-owner of Bitcoin.org, Cobra is very active throughout the repo, and more so than Theymos, another well-known anon who controls Bitcointalk.org, the Reddit forum /r/bitcoin, and the Bitcoin Wiki.
Cobra has always had extremely contentious viewpoints over the past couple of years proposing to alter the Bitcoin white paper hosted on Bitcoin.org, while also actively pursuing a BTC consensus change that would remove the network’s Proof-of-Work (PoW). Just recently Cobra caused a stir within the community when he accused Halong Mining of being a scam, but later apologized when Halong mining rigs were delivered to customers. What’s even more strange is how Cobra has since become an alleged Bitcoin Cash (BCH) supporter, telling people over Twitter how BCH has many benefits. Cobra states on April 24:
To be honest some very cool stuff is being built on top of Bitcoin Cash like Joystream and Memo.cash. Fast growing merchant adoption too. Bitcoin Cash community should be proud of themselves for these achievements even though it’s not even been a year since the split.
To many in the bitcoin community, no matter which side you support, the co-owner of Bitcoin.org Cobra has been somewhat of an enigma. Bitcoin Core supporters don’t trust him and believe his account has been ‘compromised,’ even though Cobra has provided his digital signature on numerous occasions. Bitcoin Cash proponents also have a distrust for Cobra due to his past statements, and his tendentious proposals to eradicate PoW and the mining industry. However the bitcoin community as a whole on both sides of the equation, do find interest in what Cobra states on Twitter, and the changes this anonymous individual merges into Bitcoin.org. The website is transparent and somewhat ‘community controlled’ via the page’s codebase on Github — But there’s also no denying the co-owner of Bitcoin.org, who refers to himself as a venomous snake, has a great deal of power much like his partner Theymos.
What do you think about Bitcoin.org reverting its 2010 descriptions back to the front page? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments below.
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