Also including blockchain-related projects in the ban, SourceHut’s creator said the technology is associated with fraudulent activities and high-risk investments.

crypto currency concept
Image: lucadp/Adobe Stock

Open-source repository SourceHut is pulling the plug on software projects that tap into cryptocurrency and blockchain. In a post published on Monday, Oct. 31, SourceHut founder and creator Drew DeVault said he would ban projects associated with these technologies, citing their use in “get-rich-quick” schemes and other types of scams.

DeVault explained his decision by asserting that domains used in these types of projects are associated with “fraudulent activities and high-risk investments” that take advantage of people during difficult economic times and an inequality in global wealth.

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Why SourceHut is dropping crypto and blockchain projects

“Few to no legitimate use-cases for this technology have been found; instead it is mostly used for fraudulent ‘get-rich-quick’ schemes and to facilitate criminal activity, such as ransomware, illicit trade and sanctions evasion,” DeVault said. “These projects often encourage large-scale energy waste and electronics waste, which contributes to the declining health of Earth’s environment.

“The presence of these projects on SourceHut exposes new victims to these scams and is harmful to the reputation of SourceHut and its community.”

Since Bitcoin burst onto the scene more than 10 years ago, cryptocurrency has been a hot commodity among many investors and institutions, rewarding those savvy few with healthy profits. However, the virtual currency has earned a black eye among its many critics. Some fault cryptocurrency for its high-risk and speculative nature, questioning its long-term viability. Others point to the ways that cryptocurrency has been exploited in scams and fraud.

Used to purchase Bitcoin, Ethereum and other forms of cryptocurrency, blockchain acts as a shared database to keep track of the various transactions. Though DeVault acknowledged that the basic concept of a blockchain can be useful, he said that projects that market this technology are “subject to the same social ills as cryptocurrency.” As such, blockchain-related projects are being included in the ban.

What can software developers with SourceHut-hosted blockchain and cryptocurrency-related projects do?

DeVault said the ban would be applied with some discretion, which means developers who feel their use of cryptocurrency or blockchain “is not plagued by these social problems” can request permission to host it on SourceHut or appeal its removal by contacting support. Otherwise, they have until Jan. 1, 2023, to migrate a banned project to a different platform.

SourceHut users and developers who’ve kept up with DeVault’s blog posts over the past couple of years shouldn’t be too surprised by the decision. The SourceHut founder has made no secret of his disdain for cryptocurrency, calling it “an abject disaster” and “one of the worst inventions of the 21st century” in a post from April 2021. Citing some of the tactics used by cryptocurrency scammers and fraudsters, DeVault said the integrity and trust of the software industry has declined as a result.

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