What Is Bitcoin's Barry Silbert Doing?

I continue to believe strongly, and publicly state whenever convenient to do so, that Barry Silbert's "Ethereum Classic" scam is, well, a scam.

I try to honor as many different beliefs and views as humanly possible - that's part of what being a researcher, journalist, and investor entails in the 21st century.

But try as hard as I might, Silbert's "Ethereum Classic" strikes me as little more than a cryptographic scam. I didn't particularly like how Microsoft Corp rolled out Windows 10; does that mean that "Microsoft Corp Classic" will rise to parity with legitimate Microsoft shares? No, of course not.

I don't like much of what Google has been doing the past... three years? Or so. I don't like Eric Schmidt's face, either. I don't like Google's many failed speculative projects. Does that mean that if I create a cryptocurrency with minimal hashrate I can announce "Google Classic" and achieve parity with the market capitalization of regulated Google Inc shares? Probably not. Certainly not.

We can agree and disagree on a bunch of points, but Silbert's "Ethereum Classic" redefines the boundaries of sensible property ownership in a way that is sure to stir up regulatory interest. And that's bad for cryptocurrency, to be sure, but more importantly it is bad for Barry Silbert's Digital Currency Group.

Silbert's Classic pump has been senseless, unnecessary, and sloppy. Consider the vast disparity in messaging:

That was on August 7th. What changed Mr. Silbert's mind so drastically versus on August 3rd, when he tweeted the following mess:

Paging the United States Department of Justice. Anyone home? Guys? This is just another pump and dumper. I'm not worried at all about the increased trolling I've received after publishing my stories about Mr. Silbert. This is newsworthy and The Huffington Post isn't in the business of slowing editorial for the benefit of subjects we report on. In fact, all the heat we've taken over this Silbert story leads one to believe we are dropping inconvenient bombs over an inconvenient target.

And that will continue.

Disclosure: At time of publication, I hold some bitcoin, ether, US dollars, and gold in my long term portfolio. As I held ether at the time of the fork, I also have a "Classic" position by default but have not sold any - Classic is a scam and I am uninterested in profiting from the sale of duplicate tokens.