Recently, Uphold (formerly known as BitReserve) CEO Anthony Watson has revealed his intentions to sue prominent security expert and highly respected author of “Mastering Bitcoin,” Andreas Antonopoulos, for his use of the phrase “The Internet of Money.”

Antonopoulos asks the community for help

Antonopoulos has offered a minimum 1 bitcoin reward to anyone in the community that can find the earliest use and application of this phrase.

Andreas Antonopoulos writes in his blog:

“The best and earliest example of the use of this phrase will be awarded a 1 bitcoin reward. If more than one example are worthy of reward, or more funds are raised, the operators of this site may (at their discretion) give additional rewards to the earliest or several examples. The minimum reward donated will be 1BTC.”

Chicken and egg debate

Since early 2013, many experts and startups including Antonopoulos have used and applied the phrase “The Internet of Money” as a general description of digital currencies such as Bitcoin. Some financial institutions like the Development Bank of Japan began to use the phrase as early as in November, 2010. In fact, Yoshitaka Fukui, former senior vice president of the Development Bank of Japan published a full report on the topic “The Internet of Money” on November 29, 2010.

Yet, Watson has continued to justify his possession of the phrase “The Internet of Money,” and explained that his former company BitReserve have been using the phrase as their company slogan. He further emphasized that he is not willing to engage in a legal dispute against a “random I’ve never heard before today,” referring to Andreas Antonopoulos.

The fight over “The Internet of Money” will continue

The disrespect Watson displayed against a highly respected member of the Bitcoin community like Antonopoulos agitated many individuals on Twitter and on Reddit. As a response, Antonopoulos explained that he is willing to fight for the “trademark” of the phrase and will continue to use it to describe Bitcoin and other digital currencies.

Andreas Antonopoulos says on Twitter:

“Trademarks must also be defended or they become invalid. I will continue to use. Sue me and lose it; don’t sue me and lose it.”