Coinbase, the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency exchange, is telling its users to take their Bitcoin SV (BSV) off the platform by January 9, 2024, or face liquidation.
The move is a hammer blow for the coin, formally known as Bitcoin Satoshi’s Vision, as it becomes ever harder to acquire and trade. Although, the actions of its leadership have left much to be desired, and few places to go.
In November 2018, a cryptocurrency called Bitcoin Satoshi’s Vision (BSV) emerged, spearheaded by a group of individuals led by self-proclaimed Bitcoin creator Craig Wright . BSV claimed to be the true vision of Satoshi Nakamoto, the mysterious pseudonymous figure who birthed Bitcoin in 2008.
Wright’s vision for BSV was rooted in the idea of “scaling” Bitcoin to a global payment system, increasing its block size limit to accommodate more transactions and reduce fees. This approach diverged from the path taken by Bitcoin’s main chain, which resulted in the creation of Bitcoin Cash (BCH) in 2017.
However, few outside of its core support thought it would ever eclipse its namesake, Bitcoin. It has never even come close to presenting a challenge, despite being once ranked the fifth-largest coin by market capitalization.
At the time of writing, BSV has a market capitalization of 0.1% of Bitcoin’s. Craight Wright’s offshoot is approximately $934 million, whilst the original cryptocurrency, on the other hand, sits on over $678 billion.
BSV’s history has been fraught with controversy, too. Wright’s claims of being Satoshi Nakamoto have faced considerable skepticism within the cryptocurrency community, to put it mildly, and have helped create an element of farce around BSV.
Currently, Wright is in a legal battle with 12 Bitcoin developers in the UK to return 111,000 BTC allegedly lost due to hacked wallets—now worth nearly 8 billion.
Wright has demanded that developers amend the Bitcoin protocol code to recover the funds. The Bitcoin developers, on the other hand, maintain that the 111,000 BTC claim is based on fabricated ownership documents .
What began as a principled fork of the Bitcoin blockchain has devolved into a one whose fortunes have often rested on the behavior of its founder.
Many observers regard Wright’s legal claims as dubious at best, considering them attention-seeking tactics to maintain Wright and BSV in the public discourse. In July, 2023, a UK court dismissed Wright’s lawsuit alleging crypto exchanges Coinbase and Kraken infringed on his copyright by using the name “Bitcoin.”
In January 2021, an Australian exchange delisted BSV because of Wright’s behavior of “bullying”—according to a statement given to CoinDesk at the time. Earlier that month, Wright had sent take-down letters from his lawyers to several entities hosting the Bitcoin whitepaper, saying he owned the copyright.
Rather than express shock, the industry simply rolled its eyes. It has been doing so repeatedly in the four years since.
With BSV’s removal from Coinbase, traders looking to swap and sell the coin have few options among the big exchanges. However, OKX, Kucoin, and HTX still support the BSV.
Despite BSV being highly scalable, more private, and with faster transactions than the original Bitcoin, it has since struggled to justify the hype behind its launch in 2018.
Its development team is notably smaller, and in the limited times it has broken through the industry noise, it has rarely been for good reasons.