Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies have long struggled to find their place on some of the world’s biggest technology platforms.
Twitter, whose chief executive Jack Dorsey has emerged as one of Silicon Valley’s biggest bitcoin proponents, is plagued by crypto scams—despite the likes of Tesla boss Elon Musk raising concerns.
Now, some influential members of the bitcoin and crypto community have complained Twitter has “shadow-banned” them, limiting their reach and impressions.
“They’re doing it, people,” tech investor and founder of bitcoin and cryptocurrency news and analysis website The Block, Mike Dudas, said. “Crypto Twitter has been shadow-banned. I’ve noticed this on my account this week.”
Dudas was commenting on a complaint made by crypto developer Anthony Sassano who said: “Any tweets that I post get way less impressions than normal.”
“I think [Twitter] limited tweet reach [and] impressions,” said Neeraj Agrawal of Washington D.C.-based cryptocurrency policy think tank Coin Center.
“I started using LinkedIn again out of desperation,” added partner at blockchain-focused venture capital fund, Castle Island Ventures, Nic Carter.
Twitter has yet to respond to a request for comment.
The reports of shadow-banning come as the bitcoin community gears up to one of the biggest events in its 10-year history.
On May 12, the number of bitcoin rewarded to those that maintain the bitcoin network, known as miners, will be halved for the third time, dropping from 12.5 bitcoin per block to 6.25.
It’s unclear how the looming supply squeeze will impact the price of bitcoin, however, many expect bitcoin and crypto trading volume to spike in the run up to May 12—with a surge of media attention potentially pushing up the bitcoin price.
This week, the bitcoin price has soared almost 20%, making it one of the best performing assets so far this year.
Meanwhile, Twitter is embroiled in an internal battle that could see it drastically change how it deals with some of its most influential users, including U.S. president Donald Trump.
Earlier this year, Twitter was rocked by news the powerful Wall Street activist investor Elliott Management has bought $1 billion worth of Twitter stock and is working to oust co-founder Jack Dorsey from the company he helped build.
Dorsey, one of the tech world’s biggest bitcoin cheerleaders, has spoken highly of bitcoin, crypto and blockchain technology—going so far as to create a crypto division of his payments company Square to work on bitcoin development full-time.
Dorsey’s Twitter bio currently reads, simply: #bitcoin
Dorsey’s growing interest in bitcoin and cryptocurrencies has, however, caused him problems.
Dorsey attracted criticism from Twitter and Square investors last year when he promised to spend from three to six months in Africa to explore cryptocurrency opportunities in 2020. He has since cancelled the trip due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Silicon Valley’s fraught relationship with bitcoin and cryptocurrencies has deteriorated in recent years as some of the world’s biggest technology companies increasingly look toward financial services to bolster advertising revenue.
Toward the end of last year, Google sparked an ongoing war with the bitcoin and cryptocurrency community by removing many bitcoin and cryptocurrency videos from its video-sharing site YouTube in what was branded a “crypto-purge.”
YouTube was quick to reverse most of the video removals, claiming they were made in error, however, crypto content has reportedly been targeted by attempts to limit the spread of false information amid the coronavirus pandemic.
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