As self-professed “Satoshi” Dr. Craig Wright has escalated his campaign against his critics, the Bitcoin community has rallied around the popular Bitcoiner Hodlonaut (@hodlonaut), who has repeatedly blasted Wright’s claim of being Bitcoin’s creator and thus irritated the nChain CTO enough to launch a lawsuit and a $5,000 bounty to unmask the pseudonymous crypto pundit.
Wright and his associates, namely CoinGeek magnate Calvin Ayre and backers in the Bitcoin Satoshi Vision (BSV) community, have been teasing increased legal action in recent days against what they’ve characterized as the “harrassment and libel” hurled by those who have condemned the Satoshi claimant.
— Calvin Ayre (@CalvinAyre) April 10, 2019
The episode escalated on April 11th when CoinGeek announced that Wright was offering $5,000 USD worth of BSV for information leading to the real identity of Hodlonaut. The unmasking attempt is connected to an alleged defamation lawsuit filed by Wright’s legal team late last month.
In the announcement, CoinGeek relayed that Wright demanded Hodlonaut to appear in court and apologize for suggesting he was a fraud.
The pro-BSV crypto outlet went even further in highlighting the Bitcoiner’s upcoming conference plans, his country of origin, and his identifying tattoos to aid in effots to doxx him — a flex, to be sure, but one that tilts the publication as a de facto propaganda arm rather than an institution with rigorous journalistic or ethical standards.
hahaha…guy is in hiding. Lots more letters going out shortly. I notice a lot of "nutters" asking to be sued. All those who want to spend your way into the history books should continue to apply 🙂 https://t.co/N8J0F3vstg
— Calvin Ayre (@CalvinAyre) April 11, 2019
As a result of the increased pressure, Hodlonaut has since deleted his Twitter account for now. CoinGeek cast the legal press as part of the BSV community’s wider struggle against Bitcoin (BTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH):
“Rest assured, @Hodlonaut and the other trolls are about to discover why ‘he who laughs last, laughs best.’ They’re in for an even greater shock when they realize that the bastardized Bitcoin variants they’ve championed can’t scale to meet the needs of a truly global financial platform, and thus they’ve expended all this vitriol for nothing.”
Wright became a firebrand figure in the cryptoverse after he first publicly claimed to be Satoshi Nakamoto in 2016. That assertion has been widely disputed by stakeholders across the cryptoeconomy ever since. Wright became even more controversial in later backing the BCH fork from BTC and then the BSV fork of BCH.
Likely to be emboldened by Hodlonaut’s profile deletion, Wright and Ayre are sure to continue their legal posturing so long as they remain committed to attacking challenges to Wright’s identity.
Bitcoiners Rally to One of Their Own
Prominent Bitcoin proponents and companies quickly expressed solidarity with Hodlonaut’s position by changing their Twitter usernames and profile pictures to variations of Hodlonaut’s profile. The hashtag #WeAreAllHodlonaut began trending in the cryptocurrency ecosystem’s nook of social media accordingly.
Enterprises like Bitcoin Magazine and bitcoin rebates venture Lolli participated in the support campaign, having temporarily changed their Twitter usernames to reflect their backing of Hodlonaut.
Craig Wright is not Satoshi.
Anymore of this sh!t, we delist! https://t.co/hrnt3fDACq
— CZ ???? Binance (@cz_binance) April 12, 2019
As the specter of the legal stakes spread through the crypto space, some lawyers even came forward to offer to defend Hodlonaut free of charge.
In case Hodlonaut is dragged into court, I offer myself as pro-bono counsel.
Fellow lawyers – please consider doing so too.
Craig Wright may file any bar complaints he wants, I will sue him back. I can play this game too. https://t.co/cyaqP6ybX8
— Rafa (@intjr) April 11, 2019
Whether Hodlonaut will return to social media any time soon remains to be seen. And how many resources Ayre and company will be willing to eat through to fight for their position on Wright’s identity is also an open question going forward.
However, if the community response to Hodlonaut’s targeting is any indication, Bitcoin’s supporters won’t go gently into that good night either. And so the battle lines are drawn: those who side with BTC typically see Wright as a charlatan, while those in the BSV camp think Wright is persecuted and is, in fact, Satoshi Nakamoto.
Neither side is likely to cede any ground any time soon. So for now we wait and see what happens next.