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Bitcoiners' efforts to put Bitcoin back on Wikipedia, 2010
On July 30, 2010, the Bitcoin article on Wikipedia was deleted, and it took until December to restore it. "No notable third-party coverage" was the main reason for deletion. Yes, there was a time when Bitcoin wasn't even being used by drug-dealers, so there weren't great stories for the press. Frustratingly, the Bitcoin Wikipedia page had existed since March 8, 2009, and by July 2010 it had been refined and polished to the point where it seemed to have met Wikipedia standards. More frustrating about the deletion, perhaps, was that Bitcoin was not easy to comprehend in July 2010, so a Wikipedia article was critical to helping bitcoin adoption. Without it, how else were you to tell your friends, taxi drivers and parents what it really was? On August 4 of 2010, the outcry was great enough from the community at bitcointalk that the Bitcoin page on Wikipedia was put up for deletion review. However the page's deletion was upheld. Then when bitcoiners lobbied for another deletion review in September the deletion was once again upheld. The main reason for keeping it deleted in each instance was the lack of notable, credible sources. One of the wiki editors said "The message to Bitcoin's supporters is: you would be better spending your energy in writing articles about it and getting them published in some reliable industry journals (i.e. those with enough editorial control to be accepted here as reliable sources). When you have achieved that, you can cite them as references and there will be no problem here. Your mistake is to try to use Wikipedia as the start of your promotion campaign - that's not what it's for." Fair enough! Bitcoiners at the time were using bitcoin-related sources as their "credible sources", and wiki editors weren't falling for it. Eight out of eight citations on the June 2010 Wikipedia page were from bitcoin.org. Here's another brief interaction between non-deletion user "Em3rgent0rdr" and glacier expert (and wiki deletionist) Polargeo:
There are now close to 5 million bitcoins, and at the current exchange rate of ~$0.22 USD/bitcoin, that means approx $1,100,000 USD worth of bitcoins exist in the bitcoin economy. This is significant. --Em3rgent0rdr My uncle has a house worth more than that. Do you think his house should have a page on wikipedia? Polargeo
I understand Polargeo's point, but I've always taken a guilty satisfaction in knowing that Bitcoin's market cap has eclipsed the value of his uncle's house. Eventually coverage from The Irish Times, Lew Rockwell and PCWorld put enough independent journalistic credibility into bitcoin, that the third deletion review came back with a Restore decision. The conservative crew at Wikipedia gave this warning before restoring the page: "if restored, protect immediately from new users-this one is a crapmagnet". Take a deeper look at the Bitcoin Wikipedia page's stats, you'll see lots of work put in (for no miner's reward!). 2,452 editors and over 13,000 total revisions. If you're a Bitcoin Wikipedia editor, I'd love to hear from you in the comments below.
On November 28, a federal judge ordered Coinbase, a company that facilitates transactions in crypto-currencies like Bitcoin, to comply with an IRS summons to identify more than 14,000 user accounts. The decision is a victory of sorts for Coinbase, because the IRS originally demanded that the exchange turn over data on more than 1 million accounts. But as Lew Rockwell taught me while working with me on the above article about Bitcoin (he made me rewrite the ending before publishing it), there is no one solution to any societal problem. The phrase he uses is “Let a thousand flowers bloom.” In other words, because you see a solution doesn’t mean it has to be the solution. As an article by John Skar published at the Lew Rockwell website points out, the confusion is understandable when you look at the origins of bitcoin. The original bitcoin white paper by Satoshi Nakamoto described a digital currency produced on a unique-to-bitcoin blockchain platform. Here is an essay published on June 10th, 2011, in response to a post by David Kramer on Lew Rockwell’s site one day earlier. Eight years later, we now know that Bitcoin works exactly as we said it should, and we now know that all the naysayers were 100% wrong. As an article by John Skar published at the Lew Rockwell website points out, the confusion is understandable when you look at the origins of bitcoin. The original bitcoin white paper by Satoshi Nakamoto described a digital currency produced on a unique-to-bitcoin blockchain platform.
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