Craig Wright is suing Twitter user Holdonaut for defamation of character, and today offered a $5,000 bounty for any identifying information, according to CoinGeek. Already, fans of Bitcoin SV—the cryptocurrency that Wright supports—have started tracking the Twitter user down online, and publicly revealed his home address.
Wright’s move has shocked the crypto community, with many users reporting that tweets contained personal information and expressing dismay at the bounty. Some responded with a lighter touch, and even offered to be included in the lawsuit. Overall, the move demonstrates a deepening divide over cryptocurrency affiliations within the crypto community and could potentially make it look even more toxic to outsiders and dampen its prospects for wider adoption.
Since the personal information was revealed online, other twitter users have changed their profile pictures and names to match Hodlonaut’s. They include Bitcoin developer Udi Wertheimer, Bitcoin enthusiast Max Hillebrand and entrepreneur Giacomo Zucco. Hodlonaut’s real account has been deactivated.
Hodlonaut was the person behind the Bitcoin Lightning Torch, a project which saw a small amount of Bitcoin passed around from person to person on the Lightning Network. This helped to raise awareness of the network's growing popularity and received the support of Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey.
CoinGeek expressed support for Wright's lawsuit and the bounty, which is unsurprising as the site has close connections to him (it even encouraged its readers to look for tattoos matching the ones seen on a supposed picture of Hodlonaut.) It is one of the few outlets that advocate that Wright is Nakamoto and is a big proponent of Bitcoin SV, which Wright supports, and which is the cryptocurrency the bounty will be paid in.
Wright first “came out” as Nakamoto in May 2016 and continues to maintain that he is the Bitcoin inventor, most recently in an email to Roger Ver. He has offered various proofs but they have been refuted on the basis that anybody could create them with the information that’s available publicly. In fact, this site lets you create similar “proofs” that you are Nakamoto.
Within the crypto community, it’s quite rare for someone to be targeted and have their personal data revealed in public, but it has been happening more frequently. Recently, Messari founder Ryan Selkis was targeted by fans of the cryptocurrency XRP who phoned his home address and people he knew.
There has always been a divide between the Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash communities (the later has now split into Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin SV) over how big the block sizes should be in the blockchain. The debate has become more fervent over time, with personal attacks made on the leaders of both sides. Now it appears the line has been crossed and people are being personally targeted. Can the crypto community fix these cracks or are things about to get a whole lot worse?