The holder of the bitcoin account had three-quarters of a million fewer followers when the account was reinstated, though the numbers are starting to come back. Accusations are flying about the temporary suspension of the wildly popular Bitcoin account on Twitter. The account holder, whose identity is unclear (though there are plenty of conspiracy theories), goes by the handle @bitcoin, and the controversy involves bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and the Lightning Network.
On Sunday, the @bitcoin account was banned with no public explanation. Some suggest it was in response to massive complaints on Twitter by bitcoin core supporters who weren’t happy about the account’s plugs for Bitcoin Cash, the altcoin that spun off from bitcoin in August 2017. With a handle like @bitcoin, it’s impossible to keep everyone happy. The ban ignited a tweet firestorm among bitcoin veterans including Roger Ver, who has denied owning the @bitcoin account.
— Roger Ver (@rogerkver) April 8, 2018
The @bitcoin handle was then hijacked, so to speak, by a new account holder, who according to the original @bitcoin was “posting nonsense.”
@bitcoin’s original followers protested to Twitter, and the account was reinstated to its rightful owner, though the number of followers was mysteriously slashed by 750,000, at least at first. When Twitter reinstated the account, the original @bitcoin account holder let their followers know by tweeting –
Bitcoin Core vs. Bitcoin Cash
The shout out to @jack is for Twitter’s co-founder Jack Dorsey, who is among the backers of Lightning Labs in a $2.5 million round. This has led to speculation that the account suspension was personal because @bitcoin has shown support for altcoin Bitcoin Cash, the bitcoin fork that is also a rival to the Lightning Network, both of which are designed to deliver faster and cheaper transactions versus the Bitcoin network. But Bitcoin Cash is an altcoin, and Lightning is built on top of the Bitcoin network.
BCH supporters argue Bitcoin Cash is a closer reflection of Satoshi Nakamoto’s vision for a peer-to-peer payment network versus the direction in which developers were taking bitcoin core.
Meanwhile, @bitcoin is the namesake of the No. 1 cryptocurrency, but it’s not an official representation of the network. Therefore when the @bitcoin Twitter account began to show support for Bitcoin Cash, which was created from a hard fork in August 2017 amid a differing of opinions among devs on how the technology should expand, it also upset Bitcoin Core loyalists.
It’s not the first time @bitcoin has been suspended. In fact, it’s the second time in 2018 that Twitter has banned @bitcoin from having an account. The @bitcoin Twitter account has 827,000 followers as of press time.