Inside the Dragon's Den: Bitcoin Core's Troll Army
Yesterday, Lightning Network developer Joseph Poon wrote in a Reddit comment:
They just have a secret channel where they organize their PR and trolling campaigns. Many people have talked about it (more than 5 people) and it's alluded to in various places which are publicly accessible, since it's basically where a lot of decisions around PR happens.
I'm extremely upset that they are attacking me for going to the press when they participate in far more underhanded tactics, and all of Core knows full well what they're doing if not actively contributing.
I believe what Poon was referring to is a private channel in the Bitcoin Core Slack called #dragonsden. This channel's existence was publicly revealed during a talk given by Bram Cohen. During Cohen's talk, a notification minimized his slides, and he had the Bitcoin Core Slack open to the #dragonsden channel.
You can see this happen at 14:26 in the video of his talk.
bashco: @mrhodl any details?
alp: jihan like bitcoin trump: talk big game and threat to just get negotiation [obscured]
alp: mrhodl lol that british guy on whalepool
alp: more users with fewer more expensive transactions = more fees for mi[obscured]
moli: belcher hm that link is archived doesn't work for me.
moli: i'll google
moli: hm i think the BFX hacker must be on this slack. I just talked to bambou about him yesterday and today he moved his coins.
alp: how does that follow?
moli: [link to his own message]
moli: just speculating. no big whoop
moli: btcdrak now that dude is talking shit in #debate
moli: after telling me shits in DM
The above transcription is provided only for the sake of convenience, and does not prove anything itself. Here's what is known:
- Poon alluded to "a secret channel where they organize their PR and trolling campaigns" which is "basically where a lot of decisions around PR happens."
- There is a secret channel on the Bitcoin Core slack called #dragonsden
- There are 21 members in this chat group, as of January 27th, 2017 (the date of Cohen's talk)
- The known members of this channel, based on the information in the above glimpse of the channel are: BashCo (/r/bitcoin moderator), mrhodl (twitter troll), alp (twitter troll), moli (unknown), belcher (JoinMarket developer), BtcDrak (Bitcoin Core developer/activist) and Bram Cohen. These seven members represent 1/3rd of the total members in the channel.
- BashCo is Theymos's second in command. Fellow /r/bitcoin moderator ThePiachu wrote in a blog post:
A few more perceptive readers might notice something has changed in the mod team on /r/Bitcoin - I'm claiming to have been moderating for four years, but the page only accounts for seven months. This mod reshuffle has been due to the alleged discussion between Coinbase and Reddit CEOs about removal of Theymos from the /r/Bitcoin mod team. Our top mod reshuffled the mod team to ensure BashCo would be the first in line in case he gets removed, as unfortunately Reddit has some issues when it comes to managing moderators. While not an ideal situation from my perspective obviously, I could get behind BashCo being the top moderator if worse came to worse.
6. This establishes proof that there is collusion between Bitcoin Core and the moderation team of /r/Bitcoin.
7. At least one Bitcoin Core developer is present in this chat. There are 14 more chat members we cannot see.
This information provides further evidence of the Bitcoin Core propaganda machine and demonstrates the conclusive link between Bitcoin Core and the /r/Bitcoin moderation team. Everything written above is factual and verifiable.