In August 2008, an individual believed to be Bitcoin creator, Satoshi Nakamoto, purchased Bitcoin.org through an anonymous domain registrar.
When Satoshi left the community, he entrusted control of the site to a number of impartial individuals. Since that time, Bitcoin.org has largely operated as an educational resource, helping newcomers to the space learn about Blockchain technology.
However, following Theymos’ departure from the website in April, and news that its current administrator, Cobra, is looking to part with the website, the future for Bitcoin.org appears unclear.
Bitcoin.org’s anonymous curator, Cobra, was announced as a co-owner of the website six and a half years ago by the site’s then-manager, Theymos — another anonymous figure who has garnered controversy within the space for his administration of r/bitcoin, the Bitcoin wiki page, and the BitcoinTalk message board.
Since assuming the website’s reins, a number of Cobra’s decisions — which include pushing for changes to Bitcoin’s Proof-of-Work, or PoW, algorithm and attempting to alter the Bitcoin Whitepaper — have colored him as a controversial character.
Cobra attracted further criticism amid the Bitcoin hard fork that created Bitcoin Cash in 2017, flipping from staunch opponent to an apparently devoted proponent of the chain sometime in 2018.
During early May, Cobra announced that he will gradually reduce his involvement with the website over the course of 2020.
Cobra sought to assure the community that “the domain name will be left in trusted hands, adding that he has “a few people in mind already.”
The administrator added that he is open to recommendations as well, asserting that he will be “thorough and meticulous here and find the right people.”
While Cobra did not name any prospective buyers for the domain, a thread on Reddit suggests that Bitcoin.com owner and fellow Bitcoin Cash (BCH) advocate, Roger Ver, is interested in purchasing Bitcoin.org.
Discussing possible new owners for the website, a Redditor asked Cobra if he would sell the coveted domain to Ver if he presents a good offer.
Roger responded to the comment under his MemoryDealers handle, stating:
“I have cash in hand.”
During the fork which led to the creation of Bitcoin Cash, Roger Ver faced a number of complaints. Some accused him of leveraging his ownership of the Bitcoin.com domain name to create uncertainty as to which chain comprised the “real” Bitcoin — reportedly resulting in crypto newcomers accidentally purchasing Bitcoin Cash instead of Bitcoin Core.
Ver stated that while he “would gladly buy it,” he does not expect Cobra to sell it to him. He also stated that he has not made any efforts outside of the comment on Reddit to negotiate the website’s sale.
When asked what he would do with Bitcoin.org should it come into his possession, Ver stated he “would use it to promote peer-to-peer electronic cash systems,” however, added that he hasn’t put much thought into the subject as he does not expect to take ownership of the domain.
When asked who would be best suited to take over Bitcoin.org’s administration if not himself, Ver stated:
“Maybe a Bitcoin Foundation-like organization that is made up of the businesses building on crypto. The [Electronic Frontier Foundation] EFF might not be bad either. Anyone who supports free expression of ideas would be better than the current group.”
In a discussion on the topic of Bitcoin.org’s future on Bitcointalk, crypto OG Gregory Maxwell posted that “anyone who is trying to buy [the domain] should under no condition be allowed to have it,” adding:
“Buying it would create a need to recoup the investment which would be at odds with the public interest.”