Exchanges and wallets have began to delist Bitcoin SV, a fork of Bitcoin, after its chief booster Craig Wright began suing anyone who dared to claim he was not actually Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous inventor of Bitcoin.
But because it’s improper for an exchange to delist a cryptocurrency based on the character of a single developer, all have put forth their own convoluted reasons. (None immediately responded to explain precisely which conditions had been broken, but we will update when and if they do.)
Binance, the world’s largest exchange by trading volume, cited a breach of one—it didn’t say which—of its many listing criteria, which include:
- Commitment of team to project, Level and quality of development activity
- Network / smart contract stability
- Level of public communication
- Responsiveness to our periodic due diligence request
- Evidence of unethical / fraudulent conduct
- Contribution to a healthy and sustainable crypto ecosystem
But statements from Binance’s CEO, made only days earlier, paint a different story. “Anymore of this sh!t, we delist!” wrote Changpeng Zhao. (He also said, “I normally don’t like [to] get involved in debates, pick sides, etc. But this is going too far. I also didn’t like the fact that the fork caused BTC to drop below $6k, which caused pain to many in the industry.”)
Meanwhile, cryptocurrency wallet “Blockchain” said it had decided to stop supporting SV after “careful consideration,” and that the move was for the “health of the crypto-ecoystem.” It, too, failed to specify precisely why it had disqualified Bitcoin SV.
Cryptocurrency exchange Kraken, for its part, put the matter to a vote; it referred its decision to mob rule:
Only ShapeShift’s Erik Voorhees reached some semblance of sincerity. “We stand with @binance and CZ’s sentiments,” he wrote on Twitter. “We’ve decided to delist Bitcoin SV #BSV from @ShapeShift_io within 48 hrs.”
When a commenter asked Voorhees whether the move was at odds with the decentralized, anti-censorship ethos, Voorhees said: “We are a market participant, and are making decisions about our own property and product.”
He continued. “Ostracism and voluntary association are crucial to open markets. Paypal can do what they want with their systems, and we can use Bitcoin instead. Nobody has an obligation to associate with those they don’t like. This is why I don’t use Paypal.”
Obviously (unless you are a Wright supporter) the exchanges were correct to delist Bitcoin SV, whose leadership has crossed over from endearing iconoclasm into straight-up harassment and bullying. But few recognize the irony of cryptocurrency exchanges like Binance—itself the source of questionable business ethics—virtue signalling. Nic Carter, a partner with crypto fund Castle Island Ventures, put it succinctly. The popular Twitter pundit, tweeted, “If fraud from the chief promoters is sufficient reason for a delisting from Binance… almost everything should be delisted.”
Then again, Gemini’s Tyler Winklevoss may have stolen everyone’s thunder. He declared: “JUST IN: @Gemini never listed $BSV in the first place.”
But for many exchanges, perhaps it’s better to have listed and delisted, than to never have listed at all.