All publicity is good publicity.
Yes, this is a massively overused phrase, but it holds true in the Bitcoin space. Whether the price is skyrocketing towards the moon or crashing back down to reality, the media tends to cover the story with the same level of interest.
When looking at the Google Trends data for Bitcoin, the last two sharp increases in search volume were early April, when the price rose more than 20% in a matter of days, and the middle of November, when the price dropped more than 40% in two weeks.
More discussion about bitcoin price movements, whether they be bullish or bearish, leads to more people learning about the digital asset. Bitcoin companies, such as hardware wallet manufacturer Ledger, have admitted as much.
With this in mind, it’s interesting to look at the recent Bitcoin SV (BSV) delisting controversy. While the incident has led to a sharp price decline over the short term, there may be benefits to be had from a long term perspective, especially for nChain Chief Scientist Craig Wright, who is the key figurehead behind the altcoin.
Effects on BSV
BSV’s April has been rather horrible thus far, losing nearly 40% of its value in the first two weeks of this month. Having said that, it hasn’t been all bad news for the altcoin.
Although Binance and Kraken delisted BSV, most of the other major exchanges have remained quiet on the matter. Bitfinex and Poloniex, two of the most well-known brands in terms of cryptocurrency exchanges, have not announced any plans related to the delisting of BSV. Bitfinex CTO Paolo Ardoino even stated that such a move could end up harming the exchange’s customers.
It’s clear that more people are aware of BSV than there were before this incident, at least according to Google Trends. In this way, it’s unclear if the added attention of Binance delisting BSV and the Bitcoin community coming to the aid of those targeted with legal threats for referring to Wright as a fraud will actually harm the altcoin over the long term.
The possible benefits of this controversy for BSV become even more interesting when considering the fact that much of the altcoin’s success is based on the dubious belief that Wright is Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto.
Positive Benefits for Craig Wright
Wright has been heavily criticized by the Bitcoin and greater cryptocurrency community due to the various unverifiable claims he’s made over the years, with the claim that he is Satoshi receiving the most attention.
Examples of Wright’s alleged deceit include Lightning Network technobabble, backdated blog posts, PGP key forgery, and pretending to own a yacht (among other things). However, the most relevant aspect of his story in terms of this article is the $15 million in Wright’s old companies’ debts that were paid off by someone on the basis that Wright is Satoshi.
If Wright is indeed running a scam in order to profit off of convincing people that he is Satoshi Nakamoto, then the “any publicity is good publicity” mantra makes perfect sense. In fact, the BSV price doesn’t even necessarily need to be a source of revenue for the con.
For some people, Wright won’t have to provide any proof that he is Satoshi. Simply putting the possibility into the individual’s head would be enough to get what Wright needs out of them. For this reason, getting his name out there as the guy who invented Bitcoin would be all that matters.
The situation is not too dissimilar to Trump making false claims throughout his run for the Presidency of the United States. Those statements had the media covering him 24/7, so it was all free marketing aimed at people he could convince to vote for him via his “fake news” sales pitch.
It’s possible that BSV is just a cult of personality in that, once Wright has someone convinced he’s Satoshi, he can do no wrong. As Trump said during his campaign, he could shoot someone in the middle of the street and people would still vote for him.
Note: This article was updated to place the word “alleged” before the list of supporting evidence around Wright’s potential deceit.