There are a few characters within the bitcoin space who are anonymous but have enormous amounts of control over certain aspects within the bitcoin space. For instance, there is Theymos, the co-owner of Bitcoin.org, and Bitcointalk who helps operate those sites with Cobra Bitcoin. (Theymos also controls r/bitcoin and the bitcoin wiki page). Cobra was first introduced in a Github update over three years ago as the co-owner of Bitcoin.org alongside Theymos. Since then his commentary and Bitcoin.org Github requests have been very contentious.
A few tendentious discussions Cobra has brought up over the years include kicking Coinbase off the website’s recommended business list when they said they would support an alternative software client other than Bitcoin Core. Cobra has asked the community and fellow Bitcoin.org team members to change certain statements Satoshi Nakamoto made in the Bitcoin white paper. He’s asked the community to change the Proof-of-Work (PoW) consensus algorithm as well, among many other controversial subjects. Cobra is not a software developer, but he is mentioned as a contributor to Core’s scaling roadmap. Moreover, there is very little information about Cobra, as Bitcoin.org’s Whois records are protected by Whoisguard, and the owner’s identity remains private.
Recently, Cobra started a Twitter account and Medium blog that allow him to be a lot more vocal towards specific issues within the bitcoin community. He has written many times that bitcoin is centralized by mining entities, explicitly talking about Jihan Wu and Bitmain. The Bitcoin.org co-owner suggests an immediate change to the PoW algorithm as a solution. Back in November of 2017, he hated bitcoin cash and said it was centralized by one developer and two other men.
“Bitcoin cash is a cancer on bitcoin that we need to cure ourselves of,” Cobra said that month.
However, in December he said that BTC and BCH communities should form some sort of “truce and peace”, even telling core supporters not to use the phrase ‘Bcash.’ In late January of 2018 Cobra said to his Twitter followers that he was upset that Bitcoin.org removed the “cheaper fees” description on the website because BTC fees were not cheap. Finally, on March 5, Cobra appears to have switched sides entirely by supporting bitcoin cash. He now says the digital asset has a much better chance of competing against the Lightning Network (LN) strategy.
“Increased my holdings of Bitcoin Cash today,” Cobra explains to his Twitter followers.
There was a long need for a blockchain good for payments, that makes certain tradeoffs to achieve that, and I think from a UX point of view, Bitcoin Cash has much better chances of winning the upcoming payments war than LN.
Many Core supporters are very skeptical of Cobra’s words lately, as he doesn’t seem to be supporting their ideological battle as he did in the past. Some Core proponents believe that Cobra’s Twitter handle or identity, in general, has been compromised. Furthermore, bitcoin cash supporters also don’t know what to think of this anon character who used to hate BCH, but is now suddenly stocking up his BCH holdings. Whatever the case may be, Cobra has been a man of mystery for quite some time, with a lot of power at his fingertips.