Bitcoin Core has released a new client, version 0.16.2, which has some very minor cosmetic changes, but has led to some confusion.
Node operators noticed a version discrepancy as bitcoin.org was still showing version 0.16.0. Some of them wondered whether bitcoincore.org was a scam. One of them says:
“I’m not budging. In the realm of crypto there are so many rotten people, so many scams; I won’t make a move until this version number discrepancy is explained.
If I get even a whiff of a rat I walk the other way. My Bitcoin Rule #2 is guilty until proven innocent.”
It is a reasonable approach when it comes to nodes, but this confusion is only due to petty politics that have led Bitcoin Core devs to now use bitcoincore primarily, if not solely.
This confusion suggests that’s a wrong approach, at least for now, and the Bitcoin Core maintainer should continue to update bitcoin.org, and perhaps even do that first.
Otherwise, node operators may well continue running old software because understandably they do not have much trust in the relatively new bitcoincore website.
That website was created only recently and it is apparently owned and operated by an anonymous individual called btcdrake who used to pay Peter Todd to work on some altcoin.
Unlike bitcoin.org which is open source, bitcoincore does not appear to have a community aspect, so node operators understandably are hesitant after years of getting their binaries from bitcoin org.
If a transition to a new website is desired, however, the website should be owned by a multi-sig of the five developers with commit access, the entire website should be open source, and of course it should be under a commons license.
One does not necessarily need to trust the website, however, as one can just verify Wladimir J. van der Laan’s Bitcoin Core binary release signing key.
Yet, a cautious approach when it comes to binaries makes sense, so some confusion should have been expected.