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Why Twitter's purge of old accounts is bad for Bitcoin's history

The upcoming removal of inactive accounts may remove crucial aspects of Bitcoin's history, including one key person.

2 min read

Update: Since this story was published, Square Crypto has confirmed that Hal Finney's account won't be shut down. It tweeted, "Way ahead of you. Checked with [Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey] last night. It won't be affected."

Twitter announced yesterday that it will be removing accounts that are more than six months old, in an attempt to present more accurate information—although this measure will not remove inauthentic and bot accounts currently in use. But, this has caused panic amongst Bitcoiners who fear this will remove the account of Bitcoin figurehead Hal Finney.

Hal Finney was a computer scientist and cryptographer who was the first person to receive a bitcoin transaction from Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous inventor of Bitcoin. He died in August, 2014, after being diagnosed with Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Some believe that he was Satoshi.

One Twitter user posted, "Retweet to stop [Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey] deleting part of Bitcoin history. Please don't delete [Hal Finney's]account!!" This tweet was retweeted more than 100 times by members of the Bitcoin community.

A pseudonymous user known as Hodlonaut, who infamously started the Bitcoin Lightning Torch—which sent an increasing amount of bitcoin around the world over the Lightning networkcommented, "This is definitely an important piece of history. Exception should be made."

Many users tweeted at Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, who is a Bitcoin fan and has become increasingly involved in this space over the last year. He has invested in Lightning Labs, which builds a version of the Lightning network and set up Square Crypto, a division of the payments company, to focus on building the Bitcoin network and products for Bitcoin. In fact, if the purge does go ahead, it will make Square Crypto's Twitter feed pretty quiet; the only person it follows is Hal Finney.

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