Bitcoin Cash (BCH)–This past weekend, popular Twitter handle @Bitcoin had its account suddenly terminated, in a growing list of crypto-based suspensions and censorship being implemented by Twitter. Since last month, when Twitter joined Google and Facebook in banning all crypto-related ads on its platform, the social media giant has been facing criticism over interfering with free speech and taking an unprecedented stance against a nascent technology. Like certain government regulators, Twitter is another entity that has yet to fully understand or appreciate the value of cryptocurrency and decentralization, instead taking a negative-slant, blanket approach to suppressing crypto-related entities.
Roger Ver, Bitcoin Cash and the Hard Fork Debate
Ironically, as Cointelegraph points out, the most ardent instigators in the banning of @Bitcoin are BTC supporters. Despite operating under the handle of “Bitcoin,” the @Bitcoin account on Twitter is well known as a staunch advocate of Bitcoin Cash. This has led a contingent of users, primarily through Reddit’s r/Bitcoin page, to denounce the account as spreading propaganda and false information about Bitcoin.
— Roger Ver (@rogerkver) April 8, 2018
Bitcoin Cash constitutes a contentious hard fork from BTC Core, first hitting the market in August 2017. Since that time Roger Ver, the self-appointed figurehead for BCash, has been outspoken against Bitcoin as the “false” version of the currency, while purporting Bitcoin Cash to be the true successor to BTC creator Satoshi Nakamoto’s vision. Ver has been a mainstay in the industry of cryptocurrency since nearly the beginning, having done enough media press to be labeled the “Bitcoin Jesus.” However, Ver has also been accused on numerous accounts of manipulating the public perception of Bitcoin and introducing uncertainty and confusion into the market that has overwhelmingly harmed the industry of cryptocurrency. From the outside, Ver’s tactics appear largely self-serving: he has already accumulated a massive holding of BTC–worth millions from appreciation over the last decade–and now stands to benefit from Bitcoin Cash achieving a similar price increase.
Given the vitriol between Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash supporters, it’s arguable that the ban by Twitter represents less of an effort by the social media company to regulate the industry of crypto than it does self-censorship by the Bitcoin community. We have taken a hard stance against Bitcoin Cash and the uncertainty introduced to the market through contentious hard forks. The fiasco surrounding BCH being supported through Coinbase has not only resulted in insider trading lawsuits for the company, but marked the start of the the present bear market and the sharp decline in Bitcoin (BTC) valuation.
Twitter Attacking Cryptocurrency
Even if you don’t support Bitcoin Cash or Roger Ver’s heavy handed tactics, the outright banning of the BCH platform on Twitter constitutes another blow to free speech and a tightening by outside forces on the industry of cryptocurrency. Twitter has already taken a hard stance against crypto by instituting a ban on all cryptocurrency related ads–not just those targeted as scams or fake ICOs–which constitutes an unprecedented attack by the social media company against an entire industry.
The @Bitcoin account has been suspended (again) by @TwitterSupport only because Core trolls constantly submit fake reports about it. @Jack why do you guys keep letting this happen? Instead of suspending all the fake scammer accounts you suspend the real ones. WTF. pic.twitter.com/Z6yWR0y81N
— David Shares (@DavidShares) April 8, 2018
Twitter’s censorship behavior contributes further to the growing resentment among investors and enthusiasts in the cryptospace with Twitter, Facebook and other centralized digital platforms acting as a gatekeepers for what can be published on their platform. On Monday it was announced that organizations in several more countries would be joining Russia, China in South Korea in a lawsuit against the Social Media Crypto Ban. Even if you don’t believe in a conspiracy or targeted attempt to suppress the growing crypto movement, all enthusiasts and investors in the space should take interest in what these digital giants are doing with their platform. Crypto represents only the first of many industries that will be targeted for censorship by the growing centralization of online media outlets. These companies are now having an impact on people’s livelihood, causing the price of many currencies to drop well below 50% of their value to start the year. We have already seen the implications of Facebook interfering with government elections in U.S. Twitter, through a guise of protecting its userbase, could go after other industries, creating public perception backlash and decreased investor trust. Imagine the continued effect on budding technology and growing industries, and the scale of impact could be much greater than banning a single, outspoken account.
Bitcoin is an open-source project. The account @Bitcoin should be restored and allowed to express their opinion on scaling.
Policy of adhering to the mob rule of haters is not going to serve you or the Bitcoin project well.
— Coinivore (@Coinivore) April 8, 2018
Either way, the emphasis on centralized powers suppressing communities founded on decentralized principles only furthers the need for cryptocurrency as a component of the digital and global age. As we have previously written on, Twitter’s actions could force disenfranchised crypto-enthusiasts to look for other outlets, potentially in the form of TRON or other network-based currencies.