It’s no secret that Bitcoin, the world’s first cryptocurrency, was created in 2009 by a person or group of people under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto. What remains a mystery today, however, is the real identity behind the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto.
Indeed, the only information we have on Satoshi is his few posts on the “P2P Foundation” forum – the website on which he published bitcoin on a certain February 11, 2009 at 22:27.
In this series of intriguing and mysterious communications, the anonymous individual reveals that he has been working on an ambitious project since 2005: the creation of an alternative monetary system. The aim of this project is to offer an alternative to traditional banks. At the heart of this system lies blockchain technology, serving as a trusted third party. This innovative technology enables transactions to be validated autonomously, without the need for intervention by an external body.
Satoshi’s timing is remarkably opportune. His first message came just after the subprime crisis of 2008, a time when public confidence in the traditional banking system was deeply shaken. Against this backdrop of financial mistrust, Satoshi Nakamoto emphasized that the creation of his decentralized network offered a concrete and viable alternative to the traditional banking system. The latter, he believes, is largely responsible for the financial crisis. Satoshi’s approach offers a way out, providing a new form of stability and confidence in a monetary world shaken by uncertainty.
Not only the first cryptocurrency to be created, Bitcoin is still, in 2023, the most expensive and, above all, the most traded of all cryptos. In addition to being a digital safe-haven, a kind of virtual gold, it is a means of payment among others on most e-commerce sites, from trading platforms to virtual bookmakers and online casinos such as Cresuscasino.com. Given all this success, it’s hard to imagine that we don’t know anything about Bitcoin’s creator. The question mark over Satoshi’s identity is part of one of the greatest mysteries of the 21st century, in an era where remaining fully anonymous is seen as kind of impossible
This opacity has naturally given rise to many amateur investigations within the community, and various theories have emerged over the years.
One in particular: the NSA, the US National Security Agency, could be the mastermind behind bitcoin. Known for its expertise in cryptography and cybersecurity and often at the heart of conspiracy theories, this time the agency is said to have developed bitcoin and then anonymously deployed it on the net using the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto. Crazy as it may sound, this theory is supported by a number of bitcoin afficionados, with arguments to back it up.
NSA behind Bitcoin: arguments for and against the theory
The main argument put forward by conspiracy theorists is that the hashing algorithm used by Bitcoin to secure its transactions and mining process uses the cryptographic standard known as SHA-256. This coincidence initially fuelled speculation about a potential link between the NSA and the creation of Bitcoin. Skeptics believe that this initial argument concerning SHA-256 is not really valid, as this encryption dating back to the early 2000s was already widespread on the web before Bitcoin was launched. Then another argument came to the fore. Indeed, some of the proponents of this theory dug up a document published by the NSA in 1996. Entitled “How to Make a Mint: The Cryptography of Anonymous Electronic Cash”, the document published by the agency appears to be an essay in which it imagines a system enabling Internet users to make anonymous payments. While at no point is the term bitcoin mentioned, the writings go some way towards describing what, 10 years later, would be the use of cryptocurrencies in general.
Proponents of this theory argue that the NSA, having the necessary means and expertise, could have developed Bitcoin as part of a secret project. They suggest that the aim would have been to create a decentralized digital currency to influence or monitor global financial flows.
Again, this element is not really recognized by the majority of the crypto industry, since other works highlighting the concept of a digital currency had emerged during this period. For example, the “B-money” essay, which lays the foundations of cryptocurrency, was published by cryptographer Wei Dai in 1998. This system, very similar to Bitcoin, was introduced a decade before the latter’s creation.
Moreover, some believe that the very essence of Bitcoin, with its decentralized and transparent nature, runs counter to the NSA’s ideology. And with good reason: initially promoting anonymity and freedom, these principles seem incompatible with the objectives of a government surveillance agency. This theory, although widely circulated on social networks, remains without tangible proof. The mystery surrounding the notorious Satoshi Nakamoto remains unresolved.