In this article we will look over the 7 ways how to report a scam exchange.
So you have been scammed by a shady exchange. This is nothing new in the cryptocurrency field, and many of us have been there. Precedents like BiteBTC, Coinsmarkets.com, Bitconnect, Bitpetite and many more have “exit-scammed” and stole their users’ funds. Although previous practice shows that there is not much you can do about this situation, we stress it’s not all that black and white. Here’s what you can do if your exchange of choice exit-scammed, locked you out of your funds, doesn’t let you withdraw your funds, closes their website and etc.
1. Contact your local authorities
The first thing you can do is to contact your local authorities. You go to your local police station and file a complaint about an internet fraud. From that point on, it is up to them if they want to get in touch with their international colleagues and address the situation. It’s almost the same practice what you would do if your bike got stolen or any other everyday theft. Of course, it is up to you if you want to help the investigation by actively getting involved.
2. Let everyone know of your situation publicly
Next, you can do a series of posts, blog posts, twitter threads about your particular case online. Use social media like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Reddit, Bitcointalk or any others. Make sure you tag in the subject which scammed you. Also, tag in your local authorities pages or profiles. Use hashtags like #scam #fraud and similar to raise more awareness of your situation. Also, make sure to attach any visual material you have. Try to find similar cases to yours and engage with other people who are in the same position as you are. Maybe somebody got further in the case than you and knows something you don’t.
3. Contact your bank
If you sent your funds to the exchange with the help of your local bank account, and these funds are 100% legal and you can prove it, you can contact your local bank. Contact them by explaining your situation and providing bank accounts or addresses where the money was sent. You can raise awareness by letting the bank know that this particular bank account defrauded you. This is done so that the bank can identify these bank accounts and probably interfere their future operations. Maybe they’ll even black-list this account.
4. File a complaint at the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission
While the previous three options were related to your local authorities, this is where international authorities come in. CFTC is an international establishment and their mission is to protect users from internet scams. You can report a scam on their website. Their mission reads:
“The mission of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) is to foster open, transparent, competitive, and financially sound markets. By working to avoid systemic risk, the Commission aims to protect market users and their funds, consumers, and the public from fraud, manipulation, and abusive practices related to derivatives and other products that are subject to the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA)”
In this link you can report your scam exchange by describing the situation, telling about the firm/individual you are complaining about, telling about yourself, and the instruments that you used. Also, you can upload additional files which would help the investigation.
5. Federal Bureau of Investigation: Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3)
Another international option is to file your complaint to the FBI special Internet Crime Complaint Center. Their mission is to ensure positiveness and safety environment in online advertising, freeware, mobile apps, and even virtual currency. In the past couple of years, the FBI IC3 Center has received thousands of complaints about more than $15 million stolen in crypto scams combined. You can file your complaint by filling out the complaint form.
Previously their primary focus was on Telephone, online advertising, phishing e-mails, and pop-up messages, but now they have involved cryptocurrency-related scams as well.
6. Better Business Bureau
BBB is a trust marketplace where buyers and sellers trust each other. Although this company is mainly focused on U.S., Canada, and Mexico, it handles international companies and is willing to guide a scam victim through the process of filing a complaint. Also, they have their own database where you can search whether the company have any other complaints.
Just visit theirwebpage and follow the instructions.
7. USA.GOV’s Online Safety
Although you might not be from the United States, you can contact them to find out which exact agency you should contact for your specific case. The page consists of a few links of government authorities which could handle your case. They mention government authorities such as the FBI, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), EConsumer.gov and the Department of Justice (DOJ). In addition, they have put out some pointers on how to protect yourself on the internet.
We contacted many lawyers and people who are connected with law and finance. They all say that you should better forget about your money/investment which you lost because there is literally nothing you can do. The main reason being that these companies have a hidden true beneficiary and they choose specific countries where to register. Mostly those are countries with high risk jurisdictions which aren’t cooperating with international organizations. In addition, it is relatively easy to become a licensed registered agent within these countries. The competition has grown fierce, costs have gone down, and it’s easy to start a reselling business and still offer attractive pricing while raking in a nice margin.
You can check the list of some of these countries here and here.
In this article we kind of proved the opposite. Actually, there is so much you can do. You can report a scam to these authorities. Those are your funds. Nobody likes to lose money. These cryptocurrency scam exchanges always seem legit judging by their UI and special offers they provide. That is a clear consumer deception, and the authorities should properly address these cases. Hey, at least it is better to sit around and do nothing about your money. Even if you will not get your funds back, you will have the feeling that you did everything you could.
In early March, the FBI arrested the leader of OneCoin Konstantin Ignatov. He is the younger brother of Ruja Ignatova who was the previous leader of OneCoin. Konstantin was arrested on March 6, 2019, in Los Angeles. It is one of the most talked-about cryptocurrency pyramid schemes/scams in the world.
They have an acclaimed user base of 3 million people. They have been investigated multiple times, charged by various governments, yet somehow they still remain in business. Another thing is their obsessive followers. They’re almost like a cult and they do not believe anything that disbelievers say. It almost seems like they are training on how to fight criticism about OneCoin. However, their scheme has brought in more than $4 billion from its users worldwide.
Arrested in Los Angeles Airport
Before March 6, Ignatov travelled to the U.S. to conduct business related to One Coin. Specifically, it turns out that Ignatov lied at the U.S border customs about his reason for visiting. He claimed that he’s not here for doing OneCoin related business. Later he met with Mark S. Scott, a former partner of a major US law firm which possibly assisted Ignatova to launder more than $400 million. After the business trip, Konstantin Ignatov was arrested at the Los Angeles International airport for committing wire fraud. This carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
Moreover, the FBI is charging Ruja Ignatova with wire fraud, securities fraud, and other charges. However, she is still at large and wanted in the U.S.
What is One Coin?
According to the company, its main business is selling educational material for trading. Members are able to buy educational packages ranging from 100 euros to 118,000 euros. Each package includes “tokens” which you can assign to “mine” OneCoins. The company claims that they have mining servers at two locations in Bulgaria and one site in Hong Kong. Each level (except six and seven), or package, gives new educational material which presumably OneCoin is plagiarising from several sources.
The company and its recruiters claim that they do not sell cryptocurrency but only educational material. However, in a typical recruiting meeting most of the time recruiters talk about investing in cryptocurrency and they barely mention the educational material.
The next “Bitcoin”
OneCoiners claim that OneCoin will be the next Bitcoin. I’ve heard this multiple times when speaking to a believer. They claim that OneCoin, just like Bitcoin, has miners and has a blockchain. However, the only miners are the company itself.
Furthermore, they claim that the price of their coin is based on market supply and demand. Yet the FBI investigation revealed that the price of OneCoin determines their leaders internally. In early January 2019, the company claimed that the price increased from €0.50 to €29.95 per coin, yet it was not a freely-traded “crypto”currency.
The court documents show that OneCoin generated €3.35 billion in sales revenue and earned €2.23 billion in just two quarters.
There is no blockchain!
The FBI investigation further reveals possibly the most interesting and shocking thing at the same time. It turns out that OneCoin hasn’t had a blockchain at all! They offered no method of tracing transactions to their users.
“Unlike authentic cryptocurrencies, which maintain records of their investors’ transaction history, OneCoin had no real value. It offered investors no method of tracing their money, and it could not be used to purchase anything. In fact, the only ones who stood to benefit from its existence were its founders and co-conspirators.”
William Sweeney Jr.
OneCoin has faced multiple courts and investigations in the past, yet somehow they maintain the trust among their user base. They always call these allegations incorrect and abuse others who base their argument solely on facts calling them trolls.
The legal issues date back to 2015, when Bulgaria’s Financial Supervision Commission (FSC) issued a warning of potential risks in new cryptocurrencies, citing OneCoin as an example. After the warning, OneCoin ceased all activity in Bulgaria and started to use banks in foreign countries to handle wire transfers from participants.
2016 – 2017
In December 2016, The Italian Antitrust Authority described their activities as an “illegal pyramid sales system” and ordered them to cease promoting and selling OneCoin in Italy.
On 23 April 2017, Indian police arrested 18 people in Navi Mumbai for organizing a OneCoin recruitment event. A Further investigation started to reveal the higher levels of the pyramid. In May, the investigation recovered $3.77 million in nine bank accounts. A further $11.52 million was transferred out before authorities were able to seize it. Beginning of May 2017, two more people were arrested. Seizing $3.69 million from their bank accounts.
On June 16, 2017, the CEO of OneCoin Ltd. was claiming that the Vietnamese government is licensing them to have legal rights to become used in Vietnam as a digital currency. Later the Ministry of Planning and Investments (MPI) of Vietnam issued a statement that the document which OneCoin used as proof, was fake.
On January 2018, Bulgarian police raided OneCoin’s office in Sofia, Bulgaria, based at the request of the prosecutor’s office in Bielefeld, Germany. German police and Europol took part in the bust and the investigation. Also, 14 other companies, tied to OneCoin, were investigated and 50 witnesses were questioned. Seizing OneCoin’s servers and other material evidence.
These are only a few law issues OneCoin has had in their past.
OneCoin started out as an intentional scam
The FBI investigation reveals that from the beginning OneCoin founders Ruja and Konstantin Ignatov’s were planning to make this a scam project. Their primary intent was to defraud investors, according to the court documents. The FBI dug up old e-mail conversations between Ignatova and her business partner. They exchange opinions about how to run the company and how to do a proper “exit scam”. In one of the e-mails, Ignatova describes her ideal exit strategy: “Take the money and run and blame someone else for this…” Also, they are somewhat of laughing about their investors, calling them idiots and calling their platform a scam.
One religion – One Coin
Of course, OneCoiners believe that all the authorities are lying and not telling the truth. On the other hand, they believe what the owners are telling them. They even question proven facts, and call it trolling:
A user with a nickname “SwissAndrew” on OneCoin’s Debate blog posted:
“There is no way in hell that the established banking elite, especially the Wall St. bankster crowd, would ever allow such an independent system to be established. Imagine a trading eco-system not needing to use banking services! OC/DS (OneCoin/DealShaker) is on the verge of becoming a reality – unique in the world That is why they are moving heaven and earth to destroy it before it can get started This hit has been in planning for a long time, that much is obvious.”
A few days ago, they came out with a press-release, explaining the situation. Ironically enough, they called transparency one of the core values of OneCoin. It’s funny because their business seems like completely the opposite. The blockchain doesn’t store transactions. The price is pumped internally. Almost all of their leaders at some point have been facing the law and they call themselves transparent.
“Old-school pyramid scheme on a new-school platform”
The dark side
On one side, there is no question about the intentions of OneCoin owners. For multiple years they have been telling their investors that the price of their coin will increase and that soon OneCoin will hit the exchanges. It is clear that they haven’t moved pretty far from these plans. Hence the value of their coin is still determined internally and their coin hasn’t yet been added to an actual exchange.
“These defendants executed an old-school pyramid scheme on a new-school platform… defrauding investors out of billions. Our Office urges all crypto investors to scrutinize investment opportunities, recognize the prevalence of fraud in this underregulated space, and proceed with caution.”
Cyrus R. Vance Jr
The bright side
On the other side, somehow OneCoin has been able to maintain their business for all these years despite all the law issues they have been facing. They actually have a very large user base all across the globe. Some call it a cult, and it almost looks like one, because their supporters are somewhat blinded by the promises of the owners. They all can argue very well against almost anyone who poses disbelief.
One thing is clear – we would not recommend investing in OneCoin just because of the fact that they have had so many legal issues. Of course, after all these years they might actually build a blockchain and get into an exchange or have an actual use case. But when comparing to Bitcoin and other investment opportunities, OneCoin doesn’t stand a chance.
Always do your own research and follow your gut. Do not regret anything. Even the smartest and most cautious people sometimes make mistakes.
Read our top article on how two friends were getting in crypto. We put there some pointers on how to get ready for investing and trading with cryptocurrencies.
The FBI is asking investors to assist in the investigation of the financial pyramid BitConnect. It was one of the most talked about investment schemes of the recent Bull-market of 2017. Eventually, it led investors to lose billions when the company exit-scammed in January 2018.
The financial pyramid that collapsed
According to the FBI, BitConnect Coin launched in 2016. One year after the ICO was in progress, the cryptocurrency value was over $2.5 billion. Also, the law enforcers report that BitConnect guaranteed investors up to 10% return of their investments, on a month-to-month basis.
In January 2018, the BitConnect Coin market collapsed. Regulators sent letters to investors warning of participation in the project, stating that it was a financial pyramid. Soon the company stopped operating, and investors remained in the hands of a “virtually useless” cryptocurrency.
One of the BitConnect promoters is already behind bars
By previous reports, one of the main BitConnect promoters – Divyesh Darji, is already behind bars in the city Gujarat. As he was returning from Dubai, the Gujarat Criminal Investigation Department arrested him.
“Darji was living in Dubai. He was under a look-out circular. The Immigration Department alerted us when he was on the way from Dubai to Ahmedabad, after which he was arrested today evening. The company came into existence in 2016, and in 2017, it launched the BitConnect coin. It remained active till January this year […] The accused held seminars, events in India and other countries promising high interest — daily interest rate of 1 percent — on investment in BitConnect coins. The cost of one BitConnect coin on January 16, 2018, when the company shut down, was $362”, said the inspector P G Narwade of Criminal Investigation Department (CID-Crime) of Gujarat police.
Fill out a brief questionnaire if you suffered from BCC
However, the law enforcers did not simply establish contacts with investors who became victims of the scheme. According to FBI estimates, investors lost a total of between $2.5 and $3.5 billion. The Specialist Service appealed to citizens with a request for assistance in investigations:
“If you invested in BitConnect, please complete this brief questionnaire. Your responses are voluntary but would be useful in the federal assessment of this matter and to identify you as a BCC investor and/or potential victim. Based on the responses provided, you may be contacted by the FBI and asked to provide additional information.”.
This article is updated on February 18th, 2019, regards the latest news on Craig Steven Wright
Ten years ago the Bitcoin white-paper, also called as “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System” was first published. It was posted by an anonymous pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto on October 31st, 2008. To this day people are still exchanging opinions on what, who or they are. Some speculate that he could be Japanese because of the Japanese-like pseudonym. Some say that he might be British because of his perfect English writing style in his posts. Also, people believe that it might be a group of people rather than just one. Nevertheless, there have been multiple people claiming that they are the real Satoshi Nakamoto, but could never back the claim. Also, many journalists have tried to find out who the mysterious creator of Bitcoin is, but all evidence is circumstantial.
There are multiple rumors who he, they or it might be, but people have speculated and investigated a lot over the mysterious Bitcoin creator. However, there are a few stories which stand out.
Who is Satoshi Nakamoto?
Craig Steven Wright
He is an Australian computer scientist and entrepreneur. In 2015 Wright publicly announced that he is the real Satoshi Nakamoto. That raised a lot of attention and subsequently his house got raided by the Australian Federal Police. After the raid, they stated that the “matter is unrelated to recent media reporting regarding the digital currency Bitcoin.”
Next, he eventually deleted his internet personality. About a year later, on May 2016, he announced on Twitter that he is indeed the real Satoshi Nakamoto and he has proof to back his allegation. The crypto crowd was so skeptical about such a statement that Wright eventually stepped back and said that he “didn’t have the courage” to reveal his identity.
An oath to testify that he created Bitcoin
Now, after some time, he is willing to testify under oath, again saying that he is the real Satoshi Nakamoto. In the statement below, he says that: “The amount of misunderstanding and fallacious information that has been propagated concerning bitcoin and any derivative system based on a blockchain (such as and including Ethereum) has resulted in my choice to start to become more public. The system I created was designed in part to end fraud as best as that can be done with any technology.”
This comes after a medium post by himself, where he explains the history behind the idea of Bitcoin. He dismisses Wikileaks and Ross Ulbricht, saying that they are criminals and, most importantly, he says that Bitcoin was never intended to be an anonymous money-transfer system. “Bitcoin was not designed as an anarchist system. It was designed to allow trade and commerce, but in the limits of the law,” he claims in his blog post.
Wikileaks fights back
Wikileaks later fired shots back at Craig S. Wright in Twitter providing a snapshot of proof that Craig Wright had altered his old 2008 blog post “to make it seem like he was working on cryptocurrency in 2008”:
On the other hand, Gavin Andresen, a chief scientist at the Bitcoin Foundation, says that Craig Wright provided cryptographic proof to only him on a brand new laptop. He demonstrated, with a private key, how he can access the very first bitcoin block. “I think that he is Satoshi,” he says in an interview back in 2016.
Proof or not?
On one side, yes ,of course, he provided proof, and it would be foolish to provide the actual key to the wider public, because of security measures. But on the other side, that’s only Gavin. That’s only one person. For as far as anybody knows, they could be in an agreement. But again – why? During the Consensus 2016 conference, Gavin Andresen was a part of panel discussion along with Vitalik Buterin. Gavin again said what he had said before, that Craig provided cryptographic proof on a laptop, that he can access the very first Bitcoin block and so on. At this point, just because he repeats it so many times, it almost seems like a made up sentence.
But then Vitalik stepped in to quickly address his thoughts on the subject:
Twitter on fire
However, the disbelief among crypto-enthusiasts again hits high, as many tweeters share their take on this.
They even share ridiculous conspiracy theories:
To tell the truth, there is so much controversy on this subject and so many sides to take. It is fair that people are confused, and don’t know who to believe. But the fact that Craig S. Wright has claimed this multiple times, can be seen in different perspectives. Bitcoin now is fully a decentralized medium and now it does not matter who created it, or for what purpose was it created. It is building it’s own future now, and the fact that Craig is or is not Satoshi, won’t change anything. But the last sentences in his blog post, most certainly does not seem like something that Satoshi would ever say: “Bitcoin started because of my ideas. It was my design, and it is my creation.
And, making certain that it cannot be subverted by criminals is and remains my duty. I was Satoshi.”
Dorian Prentice Satoshi Nakamoto
This man is a Japanese American living in California. Dorian is a physicist who, basically all his life, worked on classified projects for the U.S. Military and various significant companies. On his free time, he likes to collect train models from Britain and program. In a news article from 2014, by Newsweek, a reporter tracked down Dorian S. Nakamoto and engaged in a thrilling story which sounds staggering.
“The day I arrived at his modest, single-family home in southern California… at one point he did peer out, cracking open the door screen and making eye contact briefly. Then he shut it. That was the only time I saw him without police officers in attendance,” writes Leah McGrath Goodman in her intriguing article. His brother describes him as a very smart, intelligent, but “very focused and eclectic in his way of thinking.” His family says that for most of his life, he was preoccupied with money and secrecy – the two things Bitcoin is known for.
In his life, there are a few moments where you can draw parallels with the information known about Satoshi Nakamoto. For example, during 2011, Satoshi Nakamoto disappeared, after his partner Gaven Andersen told him that he had accepted an invitation to speak with the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency). That coincides with health issues suffered by Dorian S. Nakamoto. He was dealing with prostate cancer, and at that time he had had a stroke, explains his wife.
“He’ll deny everything”
Possibly the most exciting and intriguing quote from the article is when Leah contacted Dorians’ younger brother Arthur Nakamoto. During a phone conversation, he said: “He’s a brilliant man. I’m just a humble engineer. He’s very focused and eclectic in his way of thinking. Smart, intelligent, mathematics, engineering, computers. You name it, he can do it.” And this is where it gets suspiciously alarming. He continues in a rather advisory tone: “My brother is an asshole. What you don’t know about him is that he’s worked on classified stuff. His life was a complete blank for a while You’re not going to be able to get to him. He’ll deny everything. He’ll never admit to starting Bitcoin.” Although, many people have reviewed the writing style of the Bitcoin White-paper by Satoshi Nakamoto and denied the resemblance to Dorian.
This is yet another potential candidate who might be Satoshi Nakamoto. He has worked in a cypher-punk movement and as well as a cryptography writer. Andy Greenberg in his article, which was posted a few days after the Newsweek’s Leah McGrath Goodman article on Dorian S. Nakamoto, has done in-depth research on Hal. He found out that Hal Finney lived nearly a few blocks away from Dorian S. Nakamoto in Temple City, LA. Also, he is the second person who had used Bitcoin back in 2009.
Hal Finney was part of the first Bitcoin transaction
In the very first Bitcoin transaction, on January 11th, 2009, Satoshi Nakamoto sent 10 Bitcoins exclusively to Hal Finney. Although the fact is that Dorian S. Nakamoto has no resemblance to the Bitcoin White-paper, Andy Greenberg collected around 20,000 character samples from Hal Finneys blog posts and mailing lists and sent it for writing an analysis. The results were shocking – it turned out that the writing in “Bitcoin: A peer to peer Electronic Cash System” was surprisingly similar to Hal Finneys writing style. The researchers said that this had been the closest candidate they have analyzed over the years. In this quote in the e-mail which the chief scientist John Noecker wrote to Andy Greenberg, he says: “So, it seems to me that you may have found the real Satoshi Nakamoto.”
However, this does not prove that Hal could be the inventor of Bitcoin. First and foremost, Hal denied his engagement in the making of Bitcoin. In an e-mail he wrote to Andy, he says: “I’m flattered, but I deny categorically these allegations.”
In his article, Andy speculates on a few things. First, he thinks that judging by the fact that Hal Finney lived almost next to Dorian, he could’ve borrowed the name of Dorian – Satoshi Nakamoto, and used it as a pseudonym for his actions.
On the other hand, he thinks that Hal could’ve been a ghost-writer for Satoshi, hence the similarities between Hal’s writing and the Bitcoin white-paper. Finney also developed a proof-of-work system in the late 90’ties that closely resembles the one which is in Bitcoin. Hal Finney died on August 28, 2014, suffering from ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis).
Nick is a decentralized currency enthusiast, who had worked on a similar project to Bitcoin – “Bit Gold”. By far, many people refer to him as the real Satoshi Nakamoto, as there are a lot of clues which justifies that. For example, Skye Grey, an internet researcher, found many writing style similarities between Nick Szabo’s posts and the Bitcoin White-paper. By running a reverse textual analysis, she found dozens of unique phrases. In her article, she writes: “I must stress this: an open, unbiased search of texts similar in writing to the Bitcoin white-paper over the entire Internet, identifies Nick’s bit gold articles as the best candidates.” Bitcoin itself is built on top of Bit Gold ideas, which makes this even more suspicious.
Nick edits his articles after Bitcoin launch
Another somewhat speculative evidence is that when Bitcoin came out, Nick Szabo kept quiet about it in his public comments. For someone who is deeply involved in the ideas of a decentralized currency, this seems rather odd that Nick hadn’t mentioned Bitcoin months after it came out.
After Bitcoin experienced its launch, Nick edited his previous Bit Gold articles, precisely one month after the Bitcoin white-paper got published. Again, this is just a speculation, but you cannot deny the obvious similarities. Of course, Nick has reportedly renounced his connection with Bitcoin.
Many have researched the mysterious pseudonym who created Bitcoin, and such things as the NSA (National Security Agency), the Illuminati, and even A.I. (Artificial Intelligence) revolved around consideration. Many things lead up to as why the NSA could’ve created Bitcoin. For example, the most persuasive argument is that the NSA developed the Bitcoin hashing algorithm – SHA256. Mohit Kumar, in his article for Hacker News, says: “The NSA apparently possesses groundbreaking capabilities against encrypted voice and text communication and has invested billions of dollars since 2000 to make nearly everyone’s secrets available for government consumption by cracking every encryption. But we don’t know precisely how much, maybe including Bitcoin too?” Also, they did a paper in 1997 called “How to make a mint: The cryptography of anonymous electronic cash.” This presented their ideas into making a viable cryptocurrency.
Mike Adams in his article “Evidence points to Bitcoin being an NSA-engineered psyop to roll out one-world digital currency” has even made a 10-step possible plan on how the NSA and Globalists might use Bitcoin to subordinate the society in the future.
Satoshi Nakamoto’s net worth
This is yet another mystery hidden in the “files of Bitcoin”. There are many accusations on how much Bitcoin Satoshi holds. One thing is for sure – he still hasn’t touched them. Will he ever? That is the question.
People have been researching through the first addresses in the Bitcoin network, to find a pattern and possibly link the dots to a positive outcome. The numbers vary from 1,000,000 BTC, 980,000 BTC or even as low as 66,9 BTC in the original first address in genesis block 0.
People speculate that Satoshi might have mined one million coins in the very beginning of Bitcoin. Many are arguing that the founder was the first miner, and thanks to that, he got hold of the million coins. However, others say that this is not true, as, at the time when Bitcoin first saw its daylight, there was more than one miner. Also, they justify this with the theory that “If you were Satoshi, would you start mining the instant you announced bitcoin? That would be an unfair head start, right?”
1 million Bitcoins
The one million bitcoin story has emerged from the idea that claims that every unspent coin mined in the first year of Bitcoin is Satoshis. That could not be entirely true, because the transaction history clearly shows that there were multiple miners at that time. Could they all be Satoshi? It’s not clear.
However, Sergio Demian Lerner did research on the Satoshi mining patterns in 2013. Judging by his estimates, Satoshi mined about 980k Bitcoins in the period from the genesis block to April 20, 2013. He created a graph of all the blocks from 0 to 50000, which shows that a single computer solved most of the blocks. Within these blocks, he masked all the blocks that were not in the Satoshi pattern and came up with 19600 blocks which would lead to 980k BTC. Judging by current exchange rates, that would be around $3,671,481,800. However, Sergio says that this data has a 0,1% error in value since he did the masking by hand.
More importantly, this rules out all the Hard Forks that Bitcoin has had. Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin SV, Bitcoin Gold, Bitcoin Diamond, Super Bitcoin, Bitcoin Platinum, etc. If you take it as a fact, that Satoshi is still alive and can redeem his coins, then the approximate number is just mind-blowingly out of this space. But those are just numbers in the air.
Regardless of how many Bitcoins Satoshi owns, he has never yet touched them. People believe that he might be dead and that his treasury of Bitcoins could only be cracked some day. Will we come to that day? Also, currently the biggest Bitcoin holder is the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation), which seized more than 174k Bitcoins during the Silk road incident. After which Ross Ulbricht, the founder, was sentenced to jail, and the #FreeRoss movement arose. The FBI linked all these Bitcoins to Ross.
But this doesn’t clear the question on who was Satoshi Nakamoto. There are multiple figures who’s biographies could be linked to the mysterious personality, but all of them have a few “plot-holes”.
My conspiracy theory guess would be that Satoshi Nakamoto indeed was a group of multiple people working on Bitcoin. For example, the NSA developed the SHA256 algorithm, Dorian was a classified programmer, Nick was writing the White-paper, Hal shared his PoW idea, and was there to help Dorian to test and find bugs in the Bitcoin code. The NSA helped with financing and other practical things this group needed. All these figures, if connected, came up with a sophisticated plan on how to hide their work on the issue, created stories and alibis. So that the researchers, even if wanted, couldn’t find the exact truth.
They could have anticipated the massive popularity that Bitcoin could reach, and already before the time came up with multiple articles and made the core of the Bitcoin so crooked and complicated that no one could dig deep enough to find out the truth. The pseudonym itself – Satoshi Nakamoto, implies on the creator being a single person. Meaning, the researchers would search only for one person. Reading about this subject made me think that this sounds very much like a well-planned mission.
Back to Earth
Conversely, to what I stated above, two things make me stop and think about this on a deeper, more humane level.
First, why did Dorians’ brother say that? Why would he warn Leah? If Dorian S. Nakamoto has officially stated, with the help of his attorney, that he is not the creator of Bitcoin, then why does his brother say such things as “he will never admit starting Bitcoin” and hangs up the phone? That sure sounds very suspicious.
And second, why did Nick Szabo get off the grid when Bitcoin launched. He disappeared for a couple of months and did not share his thoughts on the revolution-like subject. When, in fact, he has dedicated a fair part of his life researching and developing similar ideas, hence Bit-Gold.
Despite what the theories are, the mysterious Bitcoin creator still stays anonymous. We could see more in-depth research in the future, but that all is to come.