It has now been 10 years since the web domain Bitcoin.org was registered by the Bitcoin project’s first developers, Satoshi Nakamoto and Martti Malmi.
A post on the website commemorates the anniversary of the famous domain’s registration back in 2008, shortly before the release of the original cryptocurrency white paper on October 31.
Though the pseudonymous bitcoin founder’s real identity remains a myster, Satoshi made sure to lay the groundwork for a fairly decentralized ownership structure for the domain before bowing out of the cryptocurrency scene.
In order to prevent any centralized power from taking over the website, the domain’s ownership structure includes several individuals outside of the original bitcoin developers. Apart from decentralization for security purposes, this also helps make sure that the website’s operations remain in line with its original aim — to promote education about bitcoin and encourage its adoption.
Under this framework, the website’s source code is open and visible to all, with only final publication privileges restricted to the co-owners. All activities connected to the site take place only by means of a public pull request process. Maintaining Bitcoin.org is thus a community project that crowdsources development, maintenance and translation work from thousands of contributors around the world.
On GitHub, for example, 4,400 commits from 245 contributors have been recorded for Bitcoin.org. The work of over 1,000 translation volunteers makes it possible for the site to be viewable in 27 different languages, automatically defaulting to the language of the user’s location.
In October 2017, CCN reported that Bitcoin.org was a vocal opponent of the SegWit2x proposal for the Bitcoin blockchain, which a number of cryptocurrency companies suggested as a solution to long transaction times and high fees.
As the “original” bitcoin website, its community and co-owners pride themselves in being purists who do not look kindly on what some see as undeclared forks. The website went as far as uploading a public denunciation of companies supporting SegWit2x, urging their customers to avoid storing their bitcoin holdings with them.
“The signatories of this agreement wrongly believe that the currency created by adopting this contentious hard fork will eventually become Bitcoin,” an excerpt from the post read. “Therefore storing any BTC on services such as Coinbase, Bitpay and Xapo is strongly not recommended.”
This move did not go down well with many who did not agree with Satoshi’s legacy website being used to attack perceived opponents. Since then, Bitcoin.org has been involved in other political tussles, such as a recent public row on GitHub which saw the community split down the middle on the subject of longtime developer Cobra-Bitcoin’s possession of the domain.