The “why bitcoin matters” argument got a shot in the arm earlier this week when a hacker/leaking group called the Dark Overlord started offering what it said were incriminating documents about 9/11, for a price.
The Dark Overlords asked the internet community at large to send them bitcoins and as more bitcoins were sent, more documents are set to be revealed. The documents are set to come out in five groups with the most damming documents being the most expensive. “Layer 1” has already been released.
Almost immediately the authorities that be moved against them. They were banned from Twitter and Reddit. And so they moved to what many thought would be their bastion of free speech, the blockchain focused Steemit.
That faith, appears to be unfounded. While Steemit has its own cryptocurrency (two, actually) it is also just a website and that website has administrators like any other. So it is certainly possible that someone at Steemit removed their account. Attempting to go to the Dark Overlord’s posts or their account profile on Steemit results in a Page not found error. Fortunately, their posts are archived on the blockchain.
We reached out to Steemit CEO Ned Scott yesterday to ask if the hacker group’s removal was due to a ban or a the group itself, but have not heard back at press time.
It should be noted, however, that the removal from Steemit doesn’t mean the end of The Dark Overlord’s crowdfunding campaign. Bitcoin, unlike Steemit, cannot ban individuals or groups from using its network. And while it may be a little more difficult to find the Dark Overlord’s leaks and bitcoin address, that information is still out there (and can be found in their archived posts).
Previous to joining Steemit, there was speculation that they may join Voat or Gab, two other social media sites with a emphasis on free speech. We haven’t been able to find any such accounts at press time.
Ultimately, the event still showcases Bitcoin’s usefulness. In their Steemit post they mentioned that they weren’t politically motivated. They claim that their only motivation is money — or in this case — pseudonymous internet money.
While it would be nice if every leaker was a paragon of moral superiority, interested only in revealing the misdeeds of the powerful like Edward Snowden, that isn’t reality. In reality, most people are motivated by money. Only with a system like bitcoin, can people be incentivized in this particular way. Paypal and MasterCard aren’t going to allow their users to send money to the Dark Overlord hacking group. But Bitcoin will, because Bitcoin is freedom.
The Dark Overlord has already released “layer 1” of their documents, only time (and bitcoin) will tell if they have everything else they claim. We will continue to monitor the situation.