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Bitcoin and conspiracy theories: from the mystery of Satoshi Nakamoto to the creation of a “legitimate” cryptocurrency

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Conspiracy theories accompany humanity throughout its history, affecting the most diverse areas of society. One of the most beloved themes of conspiracy therapists of various kinds is the activity of secret state organizations and the most affluent people of the world united in a secret world government whose goal is to establish complete control over humanity and subjugate not only the main financial flows, but also the very behavior of people.

Having recently celebrated its 10th anniversary, Bitcoin has become another fertile ground upon which more than one conspiracy theory has grown. And since cryptocurrency is primarily viewed as a new form of money – integral and one of the most important components of people's lives, the idea of ​​its possible connection with state structures throughout all these years is periodically removed from dusty cabinets and put up for public discussion.

This question will be touched on further, but it should probably start with the fact that the main conspiracy science revolves around the very figure of Satoshi Nakamoto – the mysterious creator of Bitcoin. There is no shortage of versions of who he really is, but there is still no answer that everyone would agree with.

The last noteworthy attempt to shed light on this issue were the requests to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), which were sent by Motherboard journalist Daniel Oberhauz. Based on the regulations of the USA Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), he requested information on all internal agency letters containing information about Satoshi Nakamoto. And if the FBI, as is known, has not yet responded to the request, the CIA has given its answer:

“Your request has been denied. The Office can neither confirm nor deny the existence of the requested documents, ”said the agency’s response.

As Oberhaus noted at the time, he was prompted by the information that appeared in 2017 that specialists from the US National Security Agency (NSA) using PRISM, MUSCULAR and Stylometry systems of interception and stylimetry managed to identify Satoshi Nakamoto. According to him, once the NSA knows something, there is a possibility that other “three-letter agencies” may also have information about the creator of Bitcoin.

At the same time , the blog of entrepreneur Alexander Muse, who spoke about the alleged de-anonymization of Satoshi, contains a rather curious paragraph about the reasons why the NSA took up the study of this topic:

“My source told me that the Obama administration was concerned that Satoshi could be a Russian or Chinese agent, and that in the future Bitcoin could be used as a weapon against us. Therefore, the administration wanted to find out who it was in order to understand its motives. As far as I know, Satoshi did not violate any laws. I don’t know if the NSA was able to establish that he is an agent of Russians or Chinese, or maybe just a Japanese cryptohaker. ”

NSA specialists allegedly managed to de-anonymize the creator of Bitcoin

It should be noted that among the various conspiracy theories about Bitcoin there is also a version of what the NSA is behind the creation of the SHA-256 algorithm. This algorithm, as it is known, underlies the Proof-of-Work algorithm, on the basis of which the Bitcoin network operates. This version appeared in 2013 after details of the NSA's surveillance of mobile activity on the Internet with the help of the built-in backdoor became public knowledge – its supporters believe that the agency could leave the same backdoor in SHA-256.

This theory, however, does not look so plausible if we take into account the fact that SHA-256 is an open algorithm, on which the best cryptographers have been working for 15 years without revealing its weak points. On the website of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), SHA-256 is still listed as a secure protocol.

Chinese influence

More interesting is the mention by Alexander Mius of the concern of the Obama administration about the possible involvement in the creation of Bitcoin in other countries, in particular China. The theory that the authorities of the Celestial Empire can control Bitcoin has existed for quite a long time, and its supporters cite such arguments as, for example, a significant concentration of the network hashrate in the hands of Chinese mining pools. There are also frequent allegations that Cihan Wu and the leading global manufacturer of mining equipment Bitmain, headed by him, are directly connected with the authorities of the country.

At the same time, in 2017, the government introduced tough restrictive measures against cryptoindustry – starting with a direct ban on ICO , it then closed all local Bitcoin exchanges. This created a situation in which residents of the country lost easy access to cryptoactive assets, and the state, having declared its interest in blockchain technology and its intention to create a state digital currency, in fact, continued to be active in this industry. It cannot be ruled out that China is really trying to assess the full potential of Bitcoin and its underlying technology, but the contradictory actions of state structures leave the question: what really dictated the actions of the government of the country?

Bilderberg club

According to another conspiracy theory, the Bilderberg club , the US Federal Reserve System (FED), and the Mastercard payment system are in collusion to seize complete control over Bitcoin. They are doing this, it is claimed, through controlled companies, and the main argument is that the Bilderberg group allegedly invested $ 55 million in Blockstream through AXA Strategic Ventures. The fact is that AXA Strategic Ventures is a division of the French insurance giant AXA Group, whose former CEO Henri de Castries has been the chairman of the Bilderberg Club since 2012.

As is known, many Blockstream employees are participating in the development of a Bitcoin code base. Investment in the company could thus give the Bilderberg club the opportunity to establish significant control over Bitcoin and mercantilize the original vision of Bitcoin as a decentralized currency.

Despite the fact that such statements did not find any actual confirmation, they lead to other reflections and no less fascinating theories, again connected with "the powerful of the world."

Jekyll Island 2.0

The version that governments around the world are secretly trying to buy back as many bitcoins as possible, also exists for quite a long time and is probably the simplest assumption that could be made.

We propose to consider another fresh theory of conspiracy, for a complete understanding of which it is necessary to refer to the August note in The Daily Caller . Its author, Fox News presenter Tucker Carlson, in particular, argues that several representatives of the US Congress are working on legislation designed to protect certain digital currencies from government interference.

The plan is to actually squeeze Bitcoin out of circulation, replacing it with some kind of new cryptocurrency, which would not only have the same rights as the dollar, but would also function in full compliance with the laws against money laundering.

The analysis of who can be behind this initiative, conducted in his article on HackerMoon, a famous Bitcoin enthusiast, Beautyon. In particular, he recalls the history of the creation of the Fed – a private bank entrusted with the task of issuing and managing cash in the United States. Its launch in 1913 was preceded by several years of secret negotiations between American moneybags, including on the island of Jekyll, off the east coast of the United States.

And it would be a big mistake and naive to think that in our time of open technologies and the speed of information dissemination secret meetings of the powerful are no longer possible, the author writes. According to his owls, the plan for replacing Bitcoin with a new cryptocurrency being developed within the walls of Congress could well be called “Jekyll Island 2.0”.

“Because of the confidentiality and complexity of the issue, three departments that are studying it have asked not to disclose their names,” the article said in The Daily Caller.

That is, government departments that operate on taxpayer money, hold secret meetings behind closed doors, actually trying to violate the First Amendment to the US Constitution. It is the First Amendment , which points to Beautyon, and is a law that already protects Bitcoin, because it is a text, and the text is a statement or action protected by the law on freedom of speech. Thus, bitcoin does not need any additional measures of protection.

If all this information is true, then the actions of the politicians involved are nothing more than a clear attempt to circumvent the Constitution and make Bitcoin useless. The problem, however, is that if the stated goal of the initiative is to make such a new cryptocurrency unusable for criminal purposes, then it is not only unrealistic, but is completely illiterate from a computer point of view.

“These people should be honest. Drug trafficking and other unpleasant things are not the problem that they want to solve. The real problem is the existence of Bitcoin, which is recognized as a real threat to fiat currencies, ” writes Beautyon.

This, he recalls, was very clearly stated by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which in one of its reports spoke of the need to resolve the issue of Bitcoin with “other measures”.

Turning directly to conspiracy, the described initiative suggests that in order to create a “legitimate” cryptocurrency, or JekyllCoin, as the author calls it, the US government will need to apply to the services of certain developers. They will face a huge task in creating a network that can beat Bitcoin in its parameters. This task will be not only laborious, but also extremely expensive, and therefore the best solution would be to replace today's main client Bitcoin Core with its own client, after which it would be impossible to make changes to the source code.

The most obvious candidate for this role, Beautyon calls BTC1 – fork Bitcoin Core, on the basis of which, as part of the so-called "New York Agreement", a solution was presented on scaling the network called SegWit2x .

Why choose BTC1? Firstly, this client had wide support of business representatives in its time, and secondly, it was not connected with China, which is also important in this matter. It is enough to remember who is behind this client. First of all, this is Jeff Garzik – a former developer of Bitcoin Core, and now the head of his own company for the blockchain analytics, and his business partner Gavin Andresen. Also, it will not be a big surprise if the name of Mike Herne reappears, in his time with the scandal of Bitcoin leaving the ecosystem.

In December 2017, the CEO of blockchain-company Bloq Inc. and one of the main supporters of the failed hard forks SegWit2x Jeff Garzik announced the launch of a new project UnitedBitcoin

In addition, you should not forget Barry Silbert and his Digital Currency Group – this is another very influential force behind BTC1 that can bring millions of new users with it.

At first, the Beautyon thread spins up, this new old client will be almost indistinguishable from the existing Bitcoin. Congress will proclaim it “official” Bitcoin, the price of the coin will soar to the skies, banks will offer clients official cryptocurrency accounts, the industry will flourish. That most long-awaited "legitimization" in its purest form.

There is one "but." All this will be one big "zamanuha", which can be compared with the unfair practice of luring customers to the store – initially advertising one product at a low price, they are offered other, more expensive products, explaining that this is the absence or poor quality of the first one.

Some time later, a deadly poison would be injected into a Bitcoin-issued customer in the form of increasing emissions from the current 21 million coins, creating black address lists, a comprehensive KYC / AML procedure, reversibility of transactions and everything else that people like Mike Hern and half-mad economist Paul Krugman as well as Federal Reserve bankers will find it necessary.

This could also include an increase in the size of the block on which SegWit2x supporters insisted, followed by the impossibility of launching full nodes by private users and, as a result, providing access to the financial system only to carefully selected individuals.

JekyllCoin will be the death of Bitcoin, and the use of cryptocurrency in the form in which we know it now will probably become illegal. The creation of any altcoins will also be illegal. The game is over.

The author, although he admits that he may be mistaken in his assumptions and that all the listed people are not related to the alleged initiative of the US Congress. Nevertheless, this does not change the fact that if such an initiative really exists, it is directed solely against the very existence of Bitcoin.

The good news is that such an attempt is almost doomed to failure. A free and technically more advanced bitcoin will inevitably prevail, as the market will always give preference to a better product. Moreover, even if such a JekyllCoin is created, its user base will be limited to the territory of the United States, since no other country, neither China, nor Russia, nor Japan or Nigeria, will accept it. For them, Bitcoin is the only chance to get rid of the hegemony of the dollar, especially since any businessman who had the pleasure of running into the US banking system knows what is at stake. In the end, the appearance of JekyllCoin will have the opposite effect and will only underline the superiority of Bitcoin.

Concluding the topic of conspiracy, we can assume that new theories will continue to multiply, giving ground for new discussions. Often they turn out to be useless and sucked from the finger, but, as the German cryptocurrency enthusiast Leo Weeze recently wrote, Bitcoin itself is one huge conspiracy theory designed to teach us economics, finance, politics and computer technology.

Andrew Asmakov

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