U.S. policymakers should not attempt to deter Bitcoin’s tech
U.S. congressman McHenry, who represents North Carolina’s 10th District, urged that American authorities should not stifle the new technology in a tweet on Oct. 31.
According to the official, policymakers should facilitate the development of new technologies. McHenry reiterated his previous bullish sentiments about Bitcoin, stating:
“The world that Satoshi Nakamoto envisioned, and others are building, is an unstoppable force. As policymakers, we should not attempt to deter this technology, but instead ask ourselves: what are we doing to meet the challenges & opportunities of this new world of innovation?”
Bitcoin has big potential in protecting privacy
Rep. Davidson outlined Bitcoin’s potential to protect online privacy, retweeting Cointelegraph’s article on Bitcoin’s whitepaper turning 11 years old. The congressman stated:
“Eleven years ago, this anonymous white paper opened up infinite possibilities for technological innovation and #privacy protections. It’s time the US harnesses this potential and establishes a framework for American #blockchain innovators.”
Earlier in October, Davidson suggested that Facebook adding Bitcoin to its native crypto wallet Calibra would be a “way better idea” than launching their own cryptocurrency Libra.
In a blog post on Oct. 31, major U.S. crypto exchange and wallet service Coinbasepointed out that Bitcoin’s adoption has been developing much faster than other transformative technologies such as email and television. The exchange wrote:
“The television set was invented in 1927 but by the end of the 1940s only 2% of American families owned one. Bitcoin, on the other hand, went from an idea in 2008, and a first transaction in 2009, to over 27 million users in the US alone in 2019, or 9% of Americans.”
According to a survey last spring, as much as 11% of the American population owned Bitcoin as of April 2019.
On October 31, 2008, on the eve of Halloween, Satoshi Nakamoto published the Bitcoin whitepaper. Since then the revolutionary design of the network has changed the lives of many and has transformed how we look at money today.
11 years ago today, at 2:10 p.m. Eastern Standard, Satoshi Nakamoto published the Bitcoin whitepaper to the Cryptography Mailing List. The service used was a pipermail message service hosted on metzdowd.com run by a group of cypherpunks. The mailing list message title was called “Bitcoin P2P e-cash paper” and Nakamoto explained that he had been “working on a new electronic cash system that’s fully peer-to-peer, with no trusted third party.” The anonymous creator also revealed that the paper was hosted on the website bitcoin.org.
Nakamoto emphasized in his email that the main property of the protocol was that “double-spending is prevented with a peer-to-peer network.” He highlighted that there was no mint or trusted third parties and “participants can be anonymous” if they choose to be. The first email detailed that “new coins are made from Hashcash style proof-of-work and the proof-of-work for new coin generation also powers the network to prevent double-spending.”
The Bitcoin whitepaper announcement wasn’t a huge deal at the time and really only a small number of people witnessed the message and replied. So three days later on November 3, 2008, he decided to write the mailing list again pitching the newly published paper. The Bitcoin inventor mentioned some of the same things that were said in the previous message published on Halloween. A few people had replied to Satoshi at the time and one individual seemed to like the idea, but he didn’t think Bitcoin could scale. Nakamoto dismissed the scaling issue casually and said: “Long before the network gets anywhere near as large as that, it would be safe for users to use Simplified Payment Verification (section 8) to check for double spending, which only requires having the chain of block headers, or about 12KB per day. Only people trying to create new coins would need to run network nodes.” Nakamoto continued:
At first, most users would run network nodes, but as the network grows beyond a certain point, it would be left more and more to specialists with server farms of specialized hardware. A server farm would only need to have one node on the network and the rest of the LAN connects with that one node.
‘P2P Networks Seem to Be Holding Their Own’
Nakamoto also mentioned concepts like Moore’s Law and told the person that it would take several years for the network to grow extremely massive and “by then, sending 2 HD movies over the internet would probably not seem like a big deal.” The same day, Nakamoto replied again in regard to a few attack theories that could be associated with dishonest nodes. Again being the master of his craft, Nakamoto quickly replied and explained that if a “bad guy does overpower the network” the miner would have to outpace the system and it would be much like “bouncing a check.” “To exploit it, he would have to buy something from a merchant, wait till it ships, then overpower the network and try to take his money back. I don’t think he could make as much money trying to pull a carding scheme like that as he could by generating bitcoins,” Nakamoto stressed.
More than a decade later, the Bitcoin network and the cryptocurrency ecosystem have grown massive. There are more than 3,000 digital currencies listed on market capitalization websites and there’s roughly a quarter of a trillion dollars in digital currency value being held by people worldwide. Satoshi Nakamoto’s paper and the network that went online the following January created a system of wealth that transcends borders, governments, and corporate control. Nakamoto highlighted two days after his third email that Bitcoin was merely an efficient tool and it wasn’t the cure-all against the monopolistic system of force that still exists in society today.
“You will not find a solution to political problems in cryptography,” Nakamoto remarked on November 6. “But we can win a major battle in the arms race and gain a new territory of freedom for several years. Governments are good at cutting off the heads of centrally controlled networks like Napster, but pure P2P networks like Gnutella and Tor seem to be holding their own.”
So far his forecast has been true and Bitcoin has ushered in a new form of money and a taste of true laissez-faire. People have been able to use bitcoin and many other cryptocurrencies to bypass state laws, sanctions, capital controls, and help people who need funds without restrictions. Since the birth of cryptographic currency, many other ideas have stemmed from the technological innovation and people are focused on building platforms like decentralized exchanges and concepts that utilize zero-knowledge proofs. The 11th anniversary of the Bitcoin whitepaper reminds people how powerful Nakamoto’s invention still is to this day and how it continues to transform the world of finance as we know it.
What do you think about Satoshi Nakamoto publishing the Bitcoin white paper 11 years ago today? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.
Image credits: Shutterstock, the Bitcoin white paper, the Cryptography Mailing List, and Pixabay.
You can now purchase Bitcoin without visiting a cryptocurrency exchange. Buy BTC and BCH directly from our trusted seller and, if you need a Bitcoin wallet to securely store it, you can download one from us here.
Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System — published on Oct. 31, 2008 — outlined a tamper-proof, decentralized peer-to-peer protocol that could track and verify digital transactions, prevent double-spending and generate a transparent record for anyone to inspect in nearly real-time.
The protocol represented a cryptographically-secured system — based on a Proof-of-Work algorithm — in which Bitcoins (BTC) are “mined” for a reward by individual nodes and then verified by other nodes in a decentralized network.
This system contained the possibility of overcoming the need for intermediaries such as banks and financial institutions to facilitate and audit transactions — a major disruption to a siloed, monopolized field of centralized financial power.
304033233% all-time-price appreciation
Eleven years on, Bitcoin is consistently setting new records for its network hash rate — a measure of the overall computing power involved in validating transactions on the blockchain at any given time.
More power and participation establishes greater network security and attests to widespread recognition of the profitability potential of Bitcoin mining.
As of the middle of this month, network data revealed that since the creation of the very first block on the Bitcoin blockchain on Jan 3, 2009 — known in more technical language as its “genesis block” — miners have received combined revenue of just under $15 billion.
The figure includes both block rewards — “new” bitcoins paid to miners for validating a block of transactions — as well as transaction fees, which broke the $1 billion mark this week.
Bitcoin’s first-ever recorded trading price was noted on Mar. 17, 2010 — on the now-defunct trading platform bitcoinmarket.com, at a value of $0.003.
The cryptocurrency’s appreciation thus stands at a staggering 304033233% as of press time, with Bitcoin currently trading at $9,120.
As of this August, 85% of Bitcoin’s supply in circulation had been mined — leaving just 3.15 million new coins for the future.
Eleven years on, the mystery enshrouding the white paper’s author remains as impenetrable as ever. Those both within and without the crypto community began attempting to determine Nakamoto’s identity as early as October 2011, just a few months after the mysterious figure first went silent.
Australian computer scientist and tech entrepreneur Craig Wright has continued with his claims that he is the inventor of Bitcoin.
Australian computer scientist and tech entrepreneur Craig Wright has asserted that Satoshi Nakamoto, the author of the Bitcoin (BTC) white paper, plagiarized him.
Speaking at the CC London Investment in Blockchain and AI Forum 2019, which took place from Oct. 14 to Oct. 16, Wright claimed that he was about to reveal the ultimate proof of his authorship of the original Bitcoin code. This will come out, according to Wright, in the form of a thesis he wrote back in 2008.
Wright said that Nakamoto lifted entire sections of the thesis into the Bitcoin white paper. After realizing that he referred to Satoshi in the third-person, Wright said:
“Either I am Satoshi or Satoshi plagiarized me. You can make the choice, I don’t really care because he actually took whole paragraphs from my LOM. So it’s either me or… I don’t really care if you like it.”
Worth noting, Wright has continuously claimed that Satoshi Nakamoto is the alias for the partnership between him and his late business partner Dave Kleiman, the entity entirely responsible for inventing Bitcoin. After Kleiman’s death, Wright began arguing that he is actually Satoshi Nakamoto.
Wright’s academic background
As previously reported, Wright has become one of the most controversial figures in the crypto community, primarily due to his self-proclamation that he is Bitcoin’s original creator. Wright has filed 114 blockchain patents since 2017 and listed two PhDs on his LinkedIn page, including one from Charles Sturt University.
Eventually, Forbes contacted the university and found out that it had not granted Wright any PhDs, although it gave him three master’s degrees in networking and systems administration, management (IT), and information systems security. Wright was, however, awarded with a doctorate degree by Charles Sturt University later in 2017.
Wright and the case of 1 million BTC
Since early 2018, Wright has been a defendant in a lawsuit filed on behalf of the estate of Kleiman, alleging that following Kleiman’s death in 2013, Wright unlawfully appropriated more than a million BTC that the business partners had mined jointly in the early years of the cryptocurrency, as well as some related intellectual property.
In late August, Judge Bruce Reinhart rejected Wright’s testimony, stating that he had perjured himself by providing the court with falsified documents and recommended that he hand over 50% of the over 1 million BTC Kleiman mined with Wright, as well as intellectual property rights associated with Bitcoin’s software.
Oxford University Press published its recent quarterly report which revealed the term ‘satoshi’ was added to the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) database. The word represents the “smallest monetary unit in the Bitcoin digital payment system,” according to the definition.
Satoshi, the Smallest Unit in Bitcoin, Added to the Oxford Dictionary
Digital currencies continue to gain mainstream acceptance and the ecosystem’s associated words and terminology have been incorporated into our everyday lives. Oxford University Press recently published its October 2019 update which added a string of new words to the OED database. Words like “Chillax,” “Whatevs,” “Manhattanhenge,” and “Ambarvalia” made it into the OED’s library of terms. Cryptocurrency supporters have noticed the word “satoshi” has been added to the Oxford dictionary as well. The OED database defines the term satoshi as: “The smallest monetary unit in the Bitcoin digital payment system, equal to one hundred millionth of a bitcoin.”
Bitcoin’s divisibility was decided by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008 and each bitcoin is equal to 100 million satoshis. Then in 2010, an individual called Ribuck proposed that one-hundredth of a bitcoin should be called a satoshi in honor of its creator, but a few months later he changed this proposal to the one hundred millionth unit. Since then, the word has caught on with the community and people use the word often and pluralized while also shortening it to sat or sats.
For years, digital currency enthusiasts have tried to attach a symbol to the unit ‘satoshi’ but no design has become widely adopted yet. Although a few people in the crypto community have used an S-like symbol to represent the smallest unit. The OED database also uses an example sentence with the word Satoshi which reads:
There are talks on colored coins, which is nothing but an implementation of Ripple on top of Bitcoin, using satoshis.
Named After the Pseudonymous Developer of Bitcoin
Oxford’s recent addition follows a number of other terms used within the cryptoconomy like “Miner,” “Bitcoin,” “Blockchain,” and “Cryptocurrency.” The word Bitcoin was added to the OED in 2014 and it defines the term as: “A type of digital currency in which a record of transactions is maintained and new units of currency are generated by the computational solution of mathematical problems, and which operates independently of a central bank.” Investopedia called Bitcoin the “2017 Term of the Year” and the word was also the second most Googled word that year. The word ‘satoshi’ does trend very well on Google at specific times, but only when it applies to the Bitcoin inventor’s monicker, not the smallest unit of currency.
The OED announcement takes note of the sat’s origins, writing that the smallest monetary unit “is named after Satoshi Nakamoto, the—probably pseudonymous—developer(s) of Bitcoin.”
What do you think about the Oxford dictionary adding the word satoshi? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.
Image credits: Shutterstock, Oxford, OED, Bitcoin Wiki, Wiki Commons, Fair Use, and Pixabay.
You can now purchase Bitcoin without visiting a cryptocurrency exchange. Buy BTC and BCH directly from our trusted seller and, if you need a Bitcoin wallet to securely store it, you can download one from us here.
On Friday, a variety of paid press releases were published stemming from a company called Satoshi Nakamoto Renaissance Holdings, a firm that claims a big “reveal” is coming on Sunday, August 18. According to the announcement, Satoshi Nakamoto will divulge his “real-life identity” alongside his “country of origin, education, professional background, and why he has yet to move any of his 980,000 bitcoins.” Many cryptocurrency supporters believe the press release is nothing more than a market ploy similar to the Gotsatoshi.com ruse ‘unveiled’ last May.
Another So-Called Satoshi Plans to Reveal His Identity
There have been so many self-styled Satoshi Nakamotos over the years it’s starting to get hard to keep track of them all. Now this weekend on Sunday, August 18, another person who claims to be Bitcoin’s inventor is supposedly doing a “reveal” to show the world he’s Satoshi. The press release published by a PR agency called Ivy McLemore & Associates never mentions who the mysterious man is, but claims that the person will be disclosing his true “real-life identity.” “After a decade of anonymity, Satoshi Nakamoto will break his silence in Part I of his ‘My Reveal,’” the media release explains. The statement to the press stemming from the company Satoshi Nakamoto Renaissance Holdings can be found on various paid press service websites.
“Indicative of the compelling evidence he presents in each part of the series, Nakamoto will illustrate the role that cyphers and encryption related to his devotion to Chaldean numerology played in many decisions in his creation of Bitcoin,” the announcement claims. Moreover, the so-called Satoshi revealer aims to publicize why he registered the website Bitcoin.org 11 years ago. The statement adds:
Nakamoto also will disclose why he chose the date August 18 not only to register Bitcoin.org in 2008 but also to release Part I of “My Reveal” this coming Sunday on the 11th anniversary of his registration of Bitcoin.org through Anonymousspeech.com.
Here We Go Again — There’s No ‘Blank Slate’ When It Comes to All the Satoshi Marketing Ploys
The company behind the reveal says that the revelations will allegedly culminate Tuesday with part II and III being published on the two websites mentioned in the media statement. The public will be introduced to the “Tabula Rasa, his clean-slate vision for Bitcoin’s transformational rebirth, and the declaration of his identity.” The Tabula Rasa is a theory defined by John Locke that suggests humans are born with a “blank slate” and everything is learned through one’s sensory experiences. What this theory means for the Bitcoin network is anyone’s guess, and it’s likely written in a cryptic way to keep a person curious about the so-called reveal on Sunday. The reveal day follows a similar announcement made last May when the creators of the website Gotsatoshi.com revealed themselves, and it turned out to be a cryptocurrency news feed app for mobile phones. Despite the last Satoshi reveal marketing ploy, the cryptocurrency community has been discussing the matter. “Cryptographically signed message or piss off,” exclaimed the Casa CTO Jameson Lopp.
Since the whole Craig Wright fiasco and the multitude of other self-proclaimed Satoshi’s, people seem to be getting tired of deception and sensational tactics. “Even if somebody did sign/verify the genesis block it doesn’t mean they are Satoshi,” the Twitter handle Bitconsultants responded to Lopp’s tweet. “It just means they have the keys. At this point, it’s next to impossible to prove who Satoshi is/was,” the account further remarked. Digital currency enthusiasts have also been responding to the announcement tweet stemming from Ivy McLemore. “Just get him to move a coin from the genesis block, then people will be bothered,” one person wrote to the PR agency. Another individual tweeted:
This would literally be the single stupidest move he/she/they could make and it would be known to be — 100% bullshit.
And the Satoshi LARP Award Goes to…
The story highlights the fact that there are a great number of people in search of the mysterious Nakamoto, but now marketers and businesses are using this desire to their advantage. It also shows the ridiculous number of Satoshi suspects and those who have claimed to be the currency’s creator. There’s the Hawaiian domain owner, Bitcoin Origins writer Scronty, the writer called “Duality,” the Bulgarian Debo Jurgen Etienne Guido, and of course the Australian who has claimed to be Satoshi for years. There are also Nakamoto suspects who are not alive or are in jail like the criminal mastermind Paul Le Roux, the forensics investigator David Kleiman, and the renowned cryptographer Hal Finney. There have been so many claimants over the years that it’s not even unbelievable anymore that people are willing to come forward and say they created Bitcoin. If anything the crypto community might want to host a live-action role-playing (LARP) award ceremony for all the nuts who say they are Satoshi.
These Satoshi revealers have put far more energy into the Nakamoto LARP in contrast to the simplicity of merely verifying an old message or private keys. Instead, we have people creating domains using Satoshi’s name for marketing purposes, people writing memoirs, and Bitcoin inventors with their own PR teams. A great example of these ludicrous theatrical performances was back in May 2016 when Quartz columnist Joon Ian Wong reported that Craig Wright allegedly used the rockstar David Bowie’s PR agency, Outside Organisation, to help with the big reveal that week. Outside Organisation was so good that they were able to get the public’s eyes fixated on Bowie, David Beckham, the Spice Girls, and allegedly the self-proclaimed Satoshi. Wong’s Quartz article details that during the Wright reveal ceremonies reporters from three different publications were “selected” for “proof sessions.” In addition to David Bowie’s PR firm, the selected journalists from the Economist, GQ, and the BBC publications were forced to sign non-disclosure agreements (NDA) in order to participate in the reveal, Wong detailed.
The Satoshi Nakamoto Renaissance Holdings PR attempt is not much different than the slew of wannabes and attention seekers in the past. Part I of his “My Reveal” on Sunday, August 18, at 4 p.m. EDT will be shown on the company website, Satoshinhr.com. Its likely people will tune in to hear what the person has to say for a brief period of time, but its more probable that the reveal will be nothing more than a tacky marketing attempt in order to highlight something else. An illustration of the announcement’s marketing nonsense can be read under the Satoshi Nakamoto Renaissance (SNR) Holdings business description, which states the company is a provider of “blockchain technologies to help transform people’s lives.” In reality, the only thing this announcement will likely provide is another attempt at Satoshi performance art — And a poor one, too.
What do you think about the so-called Satoshi reveal scheduled for Sunday? Do you think it’s just another marketing ruse? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.
Image credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, Satoshinhr.com, and Twitter.
There’s much talk about multi-billionaire innovator Elon Musk’s newly announced support for Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang. Yang, known as the Bitcoin-friendly choice for 2020, has a reputation for innovation with his unique stance on Universal Basic Income, emphatic blockchain talking points, and acceptance of crypto donations. But it remains to be seen if the leader of the “Yang Gang” will be a proponent of Bitcoin in the fullest sense of the word, or which of his fellow candidates might do it better.
Interestingly, Yang is not the only candidate that is at least a little interested in crypto. Fellow Democratic candidate Eric Swalwell’s campaign (Swalwell has since bowed out of the race) announced in May that it would accept donations in BTC, BCH, BSV, ETH, XLM, and stablecoin WSD. The first ever presidential candidate to accept Bitcoin donations was Rand Paul, back in 2015. Yang’s opponent for the Democratic nomination, Tulsi Gabbard, also appears to be invested, quite literally, listed on an official Financial Disclosure Report as having purchased Ethereum and Litecoin in 2017.
Yang’s Position on Bitcoin
With Elon Musk’s recent tweet of support for the Yang gang and his Universal Basic Income (UBI) proposal, and many news outlets reporting that Musk is now supporting a pro-Bitcoin candidate, it makes sense to check out what he actually says. Yang states in a January interview with the Being Libertarian podcast:
I think there should be a national cryptocurrency. You could even put this social credit stuff on the blockchain.
The social credit system he references would potentially supplement the UBI proposal, which is to be funded by a new Value Added Tax (VAT). When pressed in the interview about the VAT raising prices, Yang maintained that prices are staying the same for most things – it’s services like healthcare where the real pinch is felt, according to the candidate. This is interesting considering the general trend of currency devaluation worldwide.
As for regulation, Yang’s current campaign policy statement maintains that “A national framework for regulating these [crypto] assets has failed to emerge, with several federal agencies claiming conflicting jurisdictions. At the same time, states have come up with a patchwork of varying regulations that make it difficult for the US cryptocurrency markets to compete with those in other jurisdictions, especially China and Europe.”
I’m a fan of the underlying technology around blockchain. It has a wealth of potential. I do think the entire cryptocurrency phenomenon has gone a bit ahead of itself … Blockchain has immense potential …It could help provide the foundation for the digital social currency that I’m very much for.
That Blockchain Buzzword
Some of Yang’s positions on crypto seem favorable to regulated development in the industry. For example, Yang wants to define “what a token is, and when it is a security,” in the interest of clearing up regulatory confusion. He aims to “Clarify the tax implications of owning, selling, and trading digital assets.” For those lost in a fog of threatening IRS letters with no clear guidelines yet issued, this would likely be a welcome change.
Ignoring outright crypto antagonists like Donald Trump for the moment, though, the thing that seems to give Yang his Bitcoin-friendly image is simply that he is talking about it at all. Most are silent, save the likes of self-funded maverick anti-politician John McAfee, running as a Libertarian, and a few select others.
Sadly, for the die-hard Satoshi Nakamotos of the world, merely echoing buzzwords like “blockchain” doesn’t mean a whole lot. Even former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke does that, as well as the president of Bitcoin-restrictive China, Xi Jinping. Many sing the praises of blockchain without digging into the real utility of crypto. And this utility is for the smallest minority there is: the individual. As Satoshi himself wrote in the Bitcoin whitepaper: “A purely peer-to-peer version of electronic cash would allow online payments to be sent directly from one party to another without going through a financial institution.” No regulation there, save math.
Musk and Other Candidates’ Statements
With Yang’s positions fairly well enumerated, it stands to look at other candidates, and also Yang supporter Elon Musk (who tends to wax humorous and tongue-in-cheek when discussing crypto). Their stance on the topic might shed additional light on the Yang Gang’s bid to do something novel in 2020. Below are some short quotes and summarized positions.
Elon Musk: “I literally own zero cryptocurrency, apart from .25 BTC that a friend sent me many years ago” (February 2018). “Dogecoin might be my fav cryptocurrency” (April 2019).
Donald Trump (R): “I am not a fan of Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrencies, which are not money, and whose value is highly volatile and based on thin air…” (July 2019).
John Delaney (D): “Chair Giancarlo’s speech at the DC Blockchain Summit sponsored by the Chamber of Digital Commerce highlights the need for tech-forward regulatory solutions. We want savvy leaders guiding the country on blockchain” (March 2019).
Tulsi Gabbard (D): (Potentially still holding crypto, but otherwise silent).
John McAfee (L): “We are creating a permissionless society” (September 2018). “Bitcoin is at the mid 10’s and people worry. LMFAO!! Why do you pay attention to weekly fluctuations? Look at the past few months FFS! It’s rising drastically. I’m still positive about my $1 mil BTC price by the end of 2020. Alt coins like MTC and Apollo will rise ten times more” (July 2019).
The above list – as paltry as it may seem – constitutes most of what is being openly spoken about crypto by current candidates. Save for McAfee, it’s mostly talk about blockchain, the “underlying technology” of cryptocurrencies, and the need for centralized regulations. While many news outlets are hyping Musk support for the pro-Bitcoin candidate, a more apt moniker may be the “pro-blockchain” candidate, whatever that may mean.
What are your thoughts about Andrew Yang’s position on Bitcoin? Let us know in the comments section below.
The ongoing Kleiman v. Wright case saw expert testimony on Monday from the plaintiff’s cryptography specialist, alongside the defendant Craig Wright’s witness, Nchain CTO Steve Shadders. The court participants discussed parsing through 27,000 bitcoin addresses as well the Kleimans’ forensic expert finding discrepancies within specific documents and contracts between the two business partners. Moreover, it seems the Kleimans’ legal counsel has been pursuing a subpoena in order to compel the former managing director of the New Liberty Dollar, Joseph Vaughn Perling, to appear in court.
Two Expert Witnesses Testify in the Billion-Dollar Bitcoin Lawsuit
Kleiman v. Wright, the high profile court case in West Palm Beach, Florida has had a day filled with expert witness testimony from both sides of the case. Wright is being sued by the estate representing the now deceased David Kleiman. According to the lawsuit, the plaintiffs believe self-proclaimed Bitcoin inventor Craig Wright manipulated David’s bitcoin assets and intellectual property inheritance. “As of the date of filing, the value of these assets far exceed $5,118,266,427.50 USD (before punitive or treble damages),” the opening statements of the lawsuit reads. During the hearing on August 5, Dr. Matthew Edman, a cryptography expert, and the Kleiman estate’s witness, told the court that there were various discrepancies within the court documents he reviewed. Wright’s attorney Amanda McGovern from the legal firm Rivero Mestre cross-examined Edman. The forensics expert said he examined the metadata tied to an alleged deed of trust, and emails between Kleiman and Wright.
When McGovern asked the expert if anyone could manipulate the metadata, Edman conceded and told the court that it was possible. “Anybody could have manipulated the metadata, but again there are a number of indicators in the metadata that are consistent with the defendant.” Edman further opined that to him it was improbable that it could have been just anyone and noted that timestamps matched Wright’s home of residence in Australia. The plaintiff’s expert witness couldn’t explain to McGovern why someone would manipulate the metadata. Just like his prior testimony, Edman continued to assert throughout his statements that there was circumstantial evidence the changes derived from the defendant.
Earlier in the morning, after the case started at 9:30 a.m. EST, Steve Shadders, the chief technology officer of Nchain, gave his testimony to the court. He’s been responsible for parsing through a list of early BTC addresses and claimed the list could be between 16,000-27,000 addresses. According to Shadders, Wright’s knowledge of the technology makes him certain he is the inventor of Bitcoin. “If he could, he would,” Shadders told the court when he was asked why Wright couldn’t come up with the list of public addresses. The Nchain CTO also told the plaintiffs that his research was “dependent” on Wright and the self-styled Satoshi’s word and data. The entire day was dedicated to the examination and cross-examinations of both Edman and Shadders. The two disputing parties will reconvene on August 26 and Kleiman and Wright’s attorneys will provide more arguments. At that time, Judge Reinhart could determine if Wright will be sanctioned in contempt of court for not producing the addresses.
A Subpoena Has Been Sent to Early Bitcoin Evangelist Joseph Vaughn Perling
The lawsuit has gone on for months now and it doesn’t seem as though the case is ending anytime soon. On July 24, the plaintiffs were granted a motion for issuance of rogatory subpoenas to foreign third parties located in the United Kingdom. Furthermore, Joseph Vaughn Perling, the former New Liberty Dollar managing director and Bitcoin evangelist, has been subpoenaed to appear in the Klieman v. Wright case. Perling, otherwise known in crypto circles as JVP, has an interesting history with the Wright phenomena. JVP is well known for his background issuing the New Liberty Dollar silver pieces which were .999 fine silver private issued medallions. Additionally, JVP was a well known member of the Bitcoin community and contributed to many cryptocurrency discussions on Twitter and forums. The subpoena for JVP was first issued on June 5, 2019, and there have been multiple motions made up until July 29.
JVP was also well known for playing a mysterious part in Craig Wright’s Satoshi story. Back in May 2016 when Bitcoin developer Gavin Andresen and Jon Matonis were allegedly shown so-called ‘proof of Satoshi,’ Perling also joined in the discussion. That year JVP did an interview with Bitcoin Magazine’s Aaron van Wirdum and told him a lot of interesting things in regards to the ostensible Tulip Trust. During the beginning of the interview, JVP gave the reporter a message meant for Wright and told the journalist he could publish it. The messag, from one of the so-called trustees of the Tulip Trust, said it was “rumored that Craig Wright will need to access the Tulip Trading Trust assets.” The message seems to stem from a group and asserts that third parties or intermediaries cannot make a direct request with the trustees and all trust requests must be done their way. Another interesting thing to note about the message is that it says that “any coin movement affecting the trust asset without prior authorization will be considered a trust violation.”
It’s important to note that JVP’s intention within the interview was to get that specific message across. Throughout the rest of the discussion, JVP’s responses to questions were extremely cryptic and possibly meaningless. The Bitcoin Magazine article highlights that JVP made appearances in the Bitcoin Core Slack channel and told people Satoshi would be revealed that year. Additionally, the interview notes that the purported message from the trustee could not be verified by “any other sources to confirm the information provided by Vaughn Perling.” Moreover, during that same week, the Bitcoin influencer known as Bitcoin Belle (Michele Seven) shared a picture of JVP and another person who appears to be Uyen Nguyen. Belle was entangled in the drama and introduced Craig Wright to the community at a conference in Las Vegas with other guests like Nick Szabo. Not too long after the incidents during the first week of May, both Bitcoin Belle and Uyen Nguyen disappeared from the public spotlight.
The Mysteries Behind Uyen Nguyen, Bitcoin Belle and JVP’s Roles in This Saga
Nguyen allegedly operated Wright’s “Tulip Boy” Twitter account that week and explained that she was a young Vietnamese female operating under secrecy for years. On May 5, the Tulip Boy Twitter handle that belonged to Craig Wright said that Nguyen was 24 years old and started the project when she was 18. After a slew of cryptic tweets from the Tulip Boy account which has since been deleted, Uyen Nguyen was never heard from publicly again. There are alleged photographs of Nguyen with JVP and evidence online that shows Nguyen being involved with the so-called ‘Satoshi proof’ orchestration. She is also named as a beneficiary in documented evidence, as her signature is seen on many agreements between Kleiman and Wright’s business operations within many court documents. However, almost every trace of Nguyen’s online existence has been wiped from the internet including GIAC certifications, a Google+ bio, Linkedin profile, a Facebook account, and her membership with the Lifeboat Foundation.
Bitcoin Belle also left the crypto community shortly after the Wright fiasco but has made a few public appearances since. She recently published a fictional book called “CCme” which will be part of a series called “Cryptonautica.” Belle recently spoke about her book with a writer named @Orphanblocks and revealed some details concerning the Craig Wright drama. She met Wright in 2015 and introduced him to a number of cryptocurrency influencers. That year in October, Belle invited Wright to be part of a panel discussion about bitcoin at a conference in Las Vegas. The panel included Ed Moy, Trace Mayer, Nick Szabo, and the New Liberty Dollar’s Joseph Vaughn Perling. In regard to the crypto community, JVP has dipped out of the public eye too and he hasn’t actively tweeted since 2017. JVP has been part of the Bitcoin ecosystem since his first appearance in October 2009 and he also wrote a ‘Satoshi sighting story’ three years ago and claimed the person mentioned in the story was Craig Wright.
It’s uncertain at the moment whether JVP will be forced to act on the Kleiman v. Wright lawsuit in Florida and how his story will play a part in this tale. Last March, it was revealed that early Bitcoin developer Jeff Garzik was subpoenaed to testify in the Florida Bitcoin suit as well. The subpoena asks for any specific communications between Garzik and Wright and whether he had any direct communications with David Kleiman. If the suit continues to drone on past the August 26 hearing, a wide range of well known crypto luminaries like JVP, cryptographer Ian Grigg, writer Andrew O’Hagan, and people such as the mysterious Uyen Nguyen may be compelled to testify in the case.
What do you think about the recent testimonies from expert witnesses on August 5? What do you think about Joseph Vaughn Perling (JVP) being served with a subpoena for this billion-dollar lawsuit in Florida? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.
Image credits: Shutterstock, Wiki Commons, Pixabay, Twitter, and Archive.org.
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Paul Le Roux is a criminal kingpin turned criminal informant whose misdeeds have filled a book. The author of that tome is investigative journalist Evan Ratliff, whose rip-roaring tale has recently received a postscript: Le Roux may also be Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto. This week on the Humans of Bitcoin podcast, Ratliff expounded on that theory, asserting that his biographical subject is the most credible Satoshi yet.
Paul Le Roux was a master of digital disguise, deploying a string of pseudonyms and enforcing email encryption upon his employees, many of whom didn’t even know his real identity. But was one of the hats Le Roux wore marked ‘Satoshi’? It’s a question that journalist Evan Ratliff has pondered on and off since 2016 when he commenced work on Le Roux biography “The Mastermind.” Ratliff had pause to return to this question this year after publications including news.Bitcoin.com detailed the many similarities between Le Roux and Satoshi.
On the surface, Le Roux was a computer geek who coded his own disk encryption software and led a reclusive life. Behind the scenes, however, he was running an illegal pharma empire, trafficking drugs, guns and gold, arming a Somalian military compound and overseeing the murder of several associates. The thread connecting these seeming contradictions was a mistrust of government and dislike of banks, on account of their propensity to seize and freeze suspicious funds. But does this thread connect Le Roux to Nakamoto? According to the man who knows more about the former than perhaps anyone, it’s a strong possibility.
“Of all the [Satoshi] candidates that are out there I think he’s the best one,” said Ratliff on the Humans of Bitcoin podcast released on July 23. He conceded, however, that “the universe of possible candidates is dozens, maybe hundreds” and that there was “no smoking gun.” When host Matt Aaron put it to Ratliff that the author would wager on Le Roux over other putative Satoshis, he concurred, “Yes, I would bet on Le Roux.”
Could This Real Life Bond Villain Be Bitcoin’s Builder?
“Le Roux built software very similar to Bitcoin,” observed Evan Ratliff, as he began to riff on the commonalities shared by the enigmatic duo. He then spoke of the code review he had Core developer Gregory Maxwell perform of the Bitcoin source code and Le Roux’s E4M encryption software. The results were inconclusive, but didn’t exclude the possibility that the two codebases, composed a decade apart, were the work of the same individual. “I think in terms of how the software’s released, there are a lot of parallels,” said Ratliff, noting how Satoshi’s initial email to Adam Back reads remarkably similar to those Le Roux sent to sources he intended to cite in the E4M documentation. Ratliff continued:
Le Roux, motivationally, lines up extremely well. He’s anti-government, obviously … he had complaints about banks going back to before he was involved in crime.
Because Le Roux worked on software for major Dutch and Australian banks, “he had an intimate knowledge of the banking system”. In addition, “there’s a lot of little writing things you can match up that kinda fit [but] there’s some that don’t,” said Ratliff. In his Wired article on the matter, published on July 16, Ratliff confesses to having “obsessively catalogued” Le Roux’s early life, concluding in his subsequent biography, “I wasted countless hours trying to determine if there was any connection” between Le Roux and Satoshi. “As far as I could tell, there wasn’t.”
In 2019, in light of new evidence ostensibly connecting the two, sparked by an unredacted footnote in a document from the Kleiman v. Wright lawsuit, Ratliff returned to his trove of documents on Le Roux, discovering “surprising correlations I’d missed or discounted the first time.” After a month down the Satoshi rabbit hole, he wrote:
I was able to convince a colleague with deep cryptocurrency knowledge, someone who’d followed every twist and turn of the Satoshi saga, that Le Roux was the odds-on solution to the mystery of who created bitcoin.
It was a search which, like so many that have gone before it, was to unearth tantalizing clues to a connection, but nothing concrete. Next month, assuming his hearing isn’t further delayed, Le Roux will be sentenced for his many crimes, with his status as a cooperative informant likely to spare him a life sentence. This means that the man who once plotted a coup in the Seychelles and trafficked methamphetamine from North Korea will walk free one day, whereupon his first task will be to recover what remains of the several hundred million dollars’ worth of assets he is believed to have owned prior to his DEA arrest in 2012. If self-confessed betting man Evan Ratliff is right, those riches might also include a stash of bitcoin worth a cool $10 billion.
What are your thoughts on Le Roux being Satoshi? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock.
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A Belgian man has submitted a letter to the judge in the Kleiman v Wright case claiming he is Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto.
A new person has stepped forward and claimed to be Satoshi Nakomoto, the pseudonymous creator of Bitcoin (BTC). Debo Jurgen Etienne Guido made his claim in a letter filed with a federal courthouse in Florida on July 22.
Guido addressed his letter to Judge Bruce Reinhart — the judge overseeing the ongoing Kleiman v. Wright case. Guido wrote:
“I hereby testify, by written letter — I am the genuine and only originator/creator of the genesis block of the Bitcoin blockchain. I used the handle Satoshi Nakamoto and mail Satoshin@GMX.com to write and publish the whitepaper bitcoin.”
The case began back in February 2018 when the estate of the late David Kleiman sued Australian computer scientist and self-proclaimed Satoshi Craig Wright for stealing hundreds of thousands of BTC. Kleiman’s estate brought the case before the United States District Court of the Southern District of Florida, suing Wright for $5 billion.
In a recent development this month, Wright filed court documents in a purported effort to show that he held a trust deed with the estate. Stephen Palley, a lawyer who is apparently known for discussing cryptocurrency cases, argued that these documents were faked in virtue of the document’s metadata. Palley argued that the purported original document uses a Microsoft font that was only copyrighted in 2015, while the document is purportedly from 2012.
Additionally, Craig Wright admitted in June that he could not comply with a court order to list his early BTC addresses. According to Wright, he cannot easily retrieve the data because he shared a critical component for accessing the funds and wallets with Kleiman prior to his death.
According to an alleged screenshot posted by Guido, Kleiman’s lawyer apparently reached out via Twitter and requested a mutual signing of the BTC genesis block. Guido did not agree to do so in his response, instead saying that he would have to move to a “safe place” and said he should ask Wright to try to sign instead.
As previously reported by Cointelegraph, popular sci-fi author Neal Stephenson recently denied that he is Satoshi. An article by The Reason had apparently suggested that Stephenson could be Satoshi, based on the interests and knowledge evidenced in his books, which include works like Snow Crash and Cryptonomicon.