TL;DR: Recently, Twitter sent notice to so-called inactive accounts, announcing holders must login by December 11, 2019 and follow certain instructions in order to keep the handle live. Bitcoiners immediately realized how community memorialized accounts, such as those like Bitcoin pioneer Hal Finney’s, were in danger. Online protests mounted, and the company seems to have backed off for the moment.
Twitter Threatens Hal Finney-Like Accounts
The ecosystem jury is still very much out as to who Satoshi Nakamoto might have been, be it a singular person or team. One aspect of the mystery is solved, however, and that was in the person of computer scientist Hal Finney. He was on the receiving end of the first every bitcoin sent by Satoshi, and therefore tied closely to the project from the beginning. Finney died tragically in 2014 from ALS complications after a very public battle with the disease.
Since then, his early tweets about Bitcoin and the circumstances of his death (being cryogenically frozen) have become legend, and the crypto community often cites Finney in exchanges, debates. He’s also a historical reference in financial technology development for scholars. One of the first social media messages ever about the subject was from Finney, reading simply, “Running bitcoin,” and dates to January 10, 2009.
And so Bitcoiners realized the implications of Finney-like accounts, nuggets of important documentary history, would be effectively ghosted by Twitter should its policy take hold. That, and as anyone can imagine, a loved one’s final words online might hold a special place independent of the person’s historical significance. Outrage from at least those two sides grew, and Twitter appears to be officially backing down on its ultimatum.
Looking at Ways to add More Anonymity to Bitcoin
“We’ve heard you on the impact that this would have on the accounts of the deceased,” the social media giant explained. “This was a miss on our part. We will not be removing any inactive accounts until we create a new way for people to memorialize accounts.” For now, Twitter elaborated, the new policy will only impact European Union users due to the company’s attempt at complying with GDPR regulations governing privacy.
Sad to be leaving the continent…for now. Africa will define the future (especially the bitcoin one!). Not sure where yet, but I’ll be living here for 3-6 months mid 2020. Grateful I was able to experience a small part. 🌍 pic.twitter.com/9VqgbhCXWd
— jack 🌍🌏🌎 (@jack) November 27, 2019
Blowback stems from the ubiquity social media now plays in everyday life. Twitter and related platforms have become where many gather news, research important topics, and, again, use for citation as proof buttressing whatever point. Regarding the on-going issue of Bitcoin and privacy, for example, Finney’s tweet later that same month in 2009, “Looking at ways to add more anonymity to bitcoin,” might help in present discussions about the subject.
In the meantime, Twitter co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey has gone native, apparently suggesting he’s to relocate in the future for a spell to undisclosed parts of Africa for an extended visit of up-to six months. For the last few weeks, Dorsey posted about his travels in Africa, from South Africa to Ghana and, more recently, Ethiopia. It’s at least due in part to something of a spiritual quest for the classic oversharing mogul and crypto advocate, a practice known as Vipassana. According to a link provided by Dorsey, “it means to see things as they really are,” a “process of self-purification by self-observation. It is an ancient technique from India, which was originally taught by the Buddha.” Because of course it is.
CONTINUE THE SPICE and check out our piping hot VIDEOS. Our podcast, The CoinSpice Podcast, has amazing guests. Follow CoinSpice on Twitter. Join our Telegram feed to make sure you never miss a post. Drop some BCH at the merch shop — we’ve got some spicy shirts for men and women. Don’t forget to help spread the word about CoinSpice on social media.
DYOR: CoinSpice is your home for just spicy crypto things. We’re not affiliated with any cryptocurrency project or token. Each published piece is intended for information purposes only, not investment advice and not in the hope of impacting speculative markets. There are plenty of trading sites and coin-specific advocacy journals out there, we’re neither. CoinSpice strives for rigorous accuracy in our reporting. Information presented here is contingent usually on a host of factors, and the ecosystem moves fast — prices change, projects change, and at warp speed. Do your own research.
DISCLOSURE: The author holds cryptocurrency as part of his financial portfolio, including BCH.