Two well-known Bitcoin (BTC) figures have resorted to a painfully public Twitter exchange to settle an argument over a $20,000 unpaid bet.

The heated debate, which is ongoing, revolves around a pledge which investor Ronnie Moas made in 2018. 

Moas redistributes Ross Ulbricht BTC

If Bitcoin was not worth $28,000 by the end of last year, Moas said he would donate the lump sum to, the charity working to free jailed former Silk Road owner, Ross Ulbricht. The bet was made with Vinny Lingham, CEO of blockchain identity startup Civic.

With BTC/USD trailing at $7,200 on Jan. 1, 2020, Lingham asked Moas to confirm he had made the payment as promised. Moas then surprised by saying he would no longer honor his commitment. 

The tone swiftly became unfriendly, with Moas describing Lingham as a “f*cking bastard” and demanding he explain the near-total drop in the price of Civic’s native cryptocurrency, CVC.

“I will keep my word and distribute $20,000 in 2020 to organizations highlighted at my… website,” he replied, explaining he would instead divide up the FreeRoss funds between up to five charities of his choosing. In an ironic twist, Moas advised Lingham:

“Read my last three posts ... and the ones preceding from the last 24 hours you f*cking jackass ... stop making a fool out of yourself in a public forum.”

Moas claimed he had “more than a dozen reasons” not to send money to FreeRoss.

Bitcoiners rally to replace funds

Responses predictably sided with Lingham, as Moas had nonetheless reneged on the original terms of the wager. 

As the argument gained traction, other Bitcoin figures, including What Bitcoin Did podcast host Peter McCormack, began pledging to replace the lost funds out of their own pocket. FreeRoss then thanked McCormack and his fellow participants, who each pledged $1,000, for their donations. 

Further efforts continue to take place on the Bitcointalk forum, where users are selling collectible items.

They include an altered Venezuelan bolivar note, emblazoned with the heading “Banco de Bitcoin” and an image of Charlie Shrem in sunglasses. Shrem, who is now free, was also implicated in the highly controversial takedown of Silk Road by United States authorities.