A foundational crypto ecosystem website, Bitcoin.org, promoted its new look this week. Designed to be more enticing and up-to-date, the site’s changes involve more than just cosmetics and graphics. For example, it has removed references to incredibly popular resources such as Coinbase, Blockchain.com, and Bitpay.
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Bitcoin.org Gets a New Look, and More
The mysterious avatar Cobra, apparently a key figure behind the important educational resource Bitcoin.org, tweeted this week, “We’ve finally updated http://Bitcoin.org to look modern and fresh. Check out the new design. Now people learning about Bitcoin for the first time can be presented with a more up to date and responsive website!”
Unpacking changes to the site tells a complicated story, one that involves ongoing debates within the crypto space. Right away, those clicking over to the new site are indeed greeted with stock Wix-like landing pages. The tri-color scheme is handsome and masculine, sporting burnt oranges, white, black. Pages load nicely enough, fast. Links and layout are clean and easy to access, read.
Only a few clicks in, however, a few other changes emerge. Weathered and tested ecosystem businesses such as Coinbase, Blockchain.com, and Bitpay aren’t even alluded to. Any organization serious about onboarding new folks would be hard pressed to find three private firms more responsible for introducing newbies to experiencing crypto, no matter how flawed.
Org’s history is said to begin (August 2009) shortly after Bitcoin’s pseudonymous creator released the client’s first iteration, and the site quickly became known as the ecosystem’s homepage. Controversy remains about just who began the site much less who now maintains it. Fin core dev Martti Malmi is said to be a good guess due to early registration records and attributions. Today, social media bomb thrower @CobraBitcoin, itself an unknown personage, is widely considered Org’s head or manager.
Though the cosmetic upgrade is novel, Org removing some ideas and inserting new ones is not. As a first online educational source, it made the case for years how the promise of bitcoin was both peer-to-peer and relatively quick and cheap. To its credit, the site was one of the only bitcoin core (BTC) supporters to face reality by late 2017. Transactions were no longer fast, and various devs were actively proposing off chain solutions. Fees were huge.
By the start of this year, Cobra seemed to have a sobering change of heart, tweeting, “I feel like I’ve lost a piece of my soul after merging this pull request. At some point we all forgot that Bitcoin was supposed to be decentralized money, and we became OK with outrageous fees and centralized mining, all to chase the $$$.” Prominent references to “peer-to-peer transactions” and “fast” and “low processing fees” were scrubbed from the site completely.
The controversial bitcoin influencer went on to post pro bitcoin cash (BCH) arguments, or lauds, very clearly stunning supporters who expected less charitable appraisals of BCH. And though Cobra was and continued to be at least open to rebuilding the fractured community in BCH form, it was also equally obvious where ultimate sympathies lay.
Curiously, just a few months later, by Spring of this year, Cobra and Org once again decided to make an abrupt change, a restoration. Prior to the present design changes, the site reinserted phrasing once synonymous with bitcoin core. Peer-to-peer returned. As did the other traits. Rather than continuing down the path of a dark night of the soul, Cobra chalked up the previous Twitter lament as “temporary.”
What do you think about Bitcoin.org’s changes? Let us know in the comments.
Images via the Pixabay, Bitcoin.org
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