Bitcoin Twitter handle links to Bitcoin Cash website, prompting accusations of sale or hack

James Edwards 9 January 2018 NEWS

Bitcon Twitter handle In Text

Twitter users accuse Bitcoin Cash-affiliated Roger Ver of purchasing the domain name to spread propaganda.

In news that is sure to further fuel the ongoing feud between Bitcoin Core (BTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH), the @Bitcoin Twitter handle has begun tweeting links to articles hosted on bitcoin.com, a domain owned by the BCH-affiliated Roger Ver.

This has prompted Twitter users to suggest that the handle has been purchased with the intention of promoting BCH over BTC to unaware users in the Twittersphere, under the guise of the BTC Core-affiliated name.

BCH is a fork of BTC. BCH supporters claim it is the “real” bitcoin and caused substantial controversy in November 2017 when its price nearly overtook that of BTC, in an event referred to as “The Flippening”.

Ever since, there has been a bitter rivalry from supporters on both sides, each trying to claim that its coin is the real coin that reflects the original vision of bitcoin’s founder, Satoshi Nakamoto.

BCH has been criticised for its heavy use of propaganda to try and assert itself in the debate, particularly targeting unaware newcomers to the cryptocurrency scene. One of the tactics used by the BCH camp has been to refer to BCH as bitcoin and to BTC as Bitcoin Core, in an attempt to claim the singular name “bitcoin” as their own. This is what makes the purchase of the Twitter handle such a concern.

Twitter behaviour before bitcoin.com links

Prior to the flurry of posts linking to bitcoin.com, the @Bitcoin Twitter handle had been relatively inactive, posting occasional links to a wide variety of news sources with no apparent agenda. This all changed on 2 January, when the account began linking to multiple articles hosted on Ver’s website per day. This culminated on 4 January, when a post comparing the merits of BCH over BTC was posted, sparking discussion across social media.

Users making claims and accusations

Twitter personality @WhalePanda was one of the first to address concerns, writing that the account had either been hacked or purchased by Ver, and cautioned that other users should “educate” their followers. This sentiment was echoed by a range of personalities in the Twittersphere, several with 100K+ followers.

The significance of the change of ownership

The possible purchase of the domain name is important because the bitcoin (BTC) brand is the strongest in the marketplace, enjoying enormous first-to-market success. It is also the main currency that all other coins are anchored to.

The Twitter account itself boasts over 660K followers, which is well ahead of the next most valuable coins: Ethereum’s Vitalik Buterin (517K followers), Ripple (589K followers) and Bitcoin Cash’s Roger Ver (386K followers). Any change in the ownership of the bitcoin brand could have an effect across the market.

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