OKCoin has announced that the company will no longer be managing the domain bitcoin.com, due to a dispute with the domain-owner, Roger Ver.
On May 22, Ver posted on twitter:
I have cryptographic proof of @OKCoinBTC forging my signature onto a fake contract, and then trying to present it as the truth. More soon...— Roger Ver (@rogerkver) May 23, 2015
The proposed “forgery of contract” was investigated by J. Maurice, an IT security consultant in Tokyo who has experience in investigating cryptographic and hacking incidents. Maurice performed technical analysis on five digital contracts between Roger Ver and OKCoin to verify the validity of digital signatures, specifically the SHA1 fingerprints and cryptographic signatures.
The findings of Maurice showed that the fourth document (Bitcoin.com_v8.pdf) which was identical to the first document had an additional provision added at the bottom of the contract. “OKCoin may cancel the contract by givin [sic] Roger 6 months advanced notice.” According to Maurice, the document did not contain any cryptographic signatures and the handwritten signature was stamped at the exact time as the first document.
Maurice concluded that the fourth and fifth documents had:
“No cryptographic signatures or other evidence of discussion or agreement between the parties, so they do not seem to fit into this timeline of events. Moreover, the timestamp of Roger’s handwritten signature in Document#3 is identical to the one in Document#1, so either he signed both of them within 1 second, or one of them is a forgery.”
As a response to Maurice’s evidence to what appears to be OKCoin’s forgery of contract, the company announced in their blog that “The contract was signed between Mr. Ver and ‘OKCoin,’ failing to detail the legal entity with which Mr. Ver entered into a contractual agreement with […] OKCoin is currently investigating the actions of the former employee for misconduct and other possibilities for the discrepancy.”
Apart from the legal dispute between Ver and OKCoin on the forgery of contracts, there have been extended delays in payments. In the original contract between Ver and OKCoin, the company agreed to pay Ver US$10,000 per month in return of the management of bitcoin.com and its advertisements regardless of its gross monthly revenue, as seen below.
After months of delay (monthly payments from February not paid until April), OKCoin has continued to justify its outstanding debts, such as:
At one point, OKCoin asked if the company can send the payments to someone else’s account other than Roger Ver due to the recent rumors surrounding Ripple and imposed fines. Roger responded to this saying:
“What you are asking me to do in your email is the very definition of money laundering.”
Despite the clear evidence of contract forgery, attempts of money laundering and breach of contracts, OKCoin took the matter to the public offering a US$20,000 reward for disproving Ver’s claims. Unsurprisingly, OKCoin received criticism from the Bitcoin community, especially on bitcoin reddit, where a popular comment read: “This is the meltdown that keeps on giving.”