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June 24 2020 / Bitcoin.org maintainer Will Binns regarding seizure of control over site

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Hello,

My name is Will Binns. For several years, I've been responsible for maintaining bitcoin.org, the original website used by Satoshi Nakamoto to provide early releases of Bitcoin, and one of the most visited resources about it on the internet.

Bitcoin.org, where many people also download the latest version of Bitcoin Core software, is now in danger of becoming compromised, if it hasn't just happened. @Cobra-Bitcoin has removed my access and seized control of the site and accompanying code repositories. I do not believe Cobra is the sole and lawful owner, nor does he have any right to do these things without just cause.

Cobra has referenced recent messages I sent in regular conversation regarding my work and the management of bitcoin.org as reasons for my departure. This has been taken out of context in an attempt to manipulate public opinion and infringe upon my rights, along with the rights of others. I believe he is looking to illegally transfer ownership of the site without due process, and this may only be the beginning.

I'm writing this message to request assistance setting up a legal fund and the help of experts, to help stop this. In the interim, the website's treasury will be placed under the control of a trusted third party. The funds are safe, the site is not.

Please email will.binns@protonmail.com if you would like to help.

Regards,

Will

@michaelfolkson

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@michaelfolkson michaelfolkson commented Jun 24, 2020

s/July/June

@wbnns

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@wbnns wbnns commented Jun 24, 2020

Thanks.

@masonicGIT

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@masonicGIT masonicGIT commented Jun 25, 2020

Where can we send funds?

@gmaxwell

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@gmaxwell gmaxwell commented Jun 25, 2020

@wbnns Your position appears to be a misplaced and inappropriate response to cobra-bitcoin suggesting that he was considering not handing you unilateral control of Bitcoin.org. I hope you reconsider your approach.

In particular, no urgent handling is required because fundamentally nothing has change: Cobra currently retains actual control over the domain, as he has for years since long before your involvement, a fact which you have raised no complaint about until now.

Cobra reached out to me this morning to ask me to make sure my contacts at Mozilla knew that in fact that you and your company did not own Bitcoin.org and had no right legally or ethically to sell a state in bitcoin.org (itself) and he was concerned that you might be misrepresenting things otherwise. My initial impression was that it seemed like he was likely over-reacting and reading too much into your comments. But your actions since, including this post, force me to admit that I was mistaken and that cobra was appropriately concerned.

I still think that it's likely mostly a misunderstanding fuelled by high emotions (and Cobra's sparkling bedside manner)... but publicly soliciting funding for a legal attack is essentially validating the least chartable interpretation of your actions.

I hope you'll reconsider, take a break, and pick your discussion with cobra up again with a calmer perspective.

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