Satoshi Nakamoto: Chicago rapper Kanye West, also known as Yeh, was seen this week channeling his crypto swag with a Satoshi Nakamoto cap. The fashion statement was made in an apparent joke to JPMorgan Chase, who asked the billionaire to find a new bank. This could be the latest indicator of how much bitcoin has disrupted the generally conservative financial world.
West has recently reveled in “disappearing fashion.” He’s pulling up his face with a full-length mask at public events and defying the rules of fashion that lie outside the radar of the accepted world.
It’s not hard to imagine Satoshi Nakamoto, the anonymous founder of Bitcoin (BTC), as a kindred spirit to the West. Not least because both have targeted institutional finance with arguments for inclusion.
Satoshi and Bitcoin: From radical utopian money to the biggest online currency
With 300 million users, roughly 4% of the world’s population, there is no doubt that bitcoin has grown over the past 13 years. From the radical utopian idea of money, which many called a crazy dream in January 2009, to one of the largest web transaction platforms in the world.
The achievement of bitcoin is enough to make the mind behind the cryptocurrency the rock star of global finance. But he chose to remain anonymous under the alias Satoshi Nakamoto. Bitcoin has spawned a crypto industry whose capitalization now stands at $913 billion, down from $3 trillion last November.
So far, Nakamoto’s true identity has been kept secret. Some claim it was a team, while others argue that it was a man who preferred not to be known. It is certain that some individuals have tried to capitalize on the glory of the work of the enigmatic bitcoin founder.
Perhaps the most prominent is Craig Wright. The Australian computer scientist has sometimes claimed that he is the founder of bitcoin since 2016. Wright has not backed up his claims, making derogatory statements each time he faces investigation.
Recently, he told a Norwegian court that he had stumbled upon a hard drive containing key slices that proved he had indeed mined bitcoin before. Wright’s claims explain how bitcoin has been compromised over the years.
key selling point
One of the major selling points for the digital currency from the days of its launch was how secure it was compared to holding fiat currencies. However, security breaches have affected cryptocurrencies recently.
Although bitcoin has never been made vulnerable to attacks, the cryptocurrency has suffered at the hands of hackers. In 2022 alone, the crypto industry lost $2.32 billion from malware and cyber attacks, according to blockchain security firm PeckShield.
It’s almost the size of Zimbabwe’s annual national budget, lost to hackers. This goes against the reflections shared by Nakamoto in the seminal bitcoin whitepaper in 2008.
“A certain percentage of fraud is accepted as inevitable,” Nakamoto said. “These costs and payment uncertainties can be avoided in person by using physical currency, but no mechanism exists to make payments over a communication channel without a trusted party.”
Continuing, Nakamoto wrote:
“There is a need for an electronic payment system based on cryptographic proof, rather than trust, that allows any two interested parties to transact directly with each other without the need for a trusted third party. Transactions that need to be reversed. are computationally impractical, will protect sellers from fraud, and regular escrow mechanisms can be easily implemented to protect buyers.”
Sadly, that hasn’t happened, as those relying on cryptocurrency, especially emerging platforms like Wormhole Bridge, have bled through the hack.
Satoshi: Has he lost control of his vision?
The Hollywood Left Cult classic, Fight Club, ends with the narrator (Edward Norton), hand-in-hand with his girlfriend, as the credit card company buildings burn down. He has given a memorandum to his anarchist followers to rid the world of the current financial world so that the world can start again.
However, as long as this command is performed, the anonymous narrator is no longer in control of the situation. His disruptively gritty personality Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt) is in charge. He drums up such confidence in his followers that they go to such an extent that the narrator had not imagined before.
Like Edward Norton, the founder of bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto, is not only behind a pseudonym, but he has an anarchist vision for credit card companies, banks, and all global finance. Has he lost control of his vision from the location of the anonymous detachment?
Recently, there has been a departure from the principle of decentralization and privacy in crypto. In April, Ethereum-based crypto mixer Tornado Cash announced that it had started blocking addresses approved by the US Office of Foreign Assets Control.
The announcement indicated the direction the crypto industry was taking with regards to regulation. For governments, crypto is becoming too chaotic to ignore and mainstream to ignore.
Across the world, government agencies are targeting crypto investors with not only taxes but mandatory registration and full disclosure rules.
State regulation increasingly appears to be what the crypto community must pay to assimilate into the mainstream economy. This raises questions about the direction of the industry, in particular, whether decentralization as a tool to resist censorship is a myth.
US President Joe Biden recently issued an executive order justifying his government’s encroachment into sovereign finance in the interest of “national security.”
“We must reduce the illicit finance and national security risks posed by the misuse of digital assets,” Biden said. “Digital assets can pose significant illicit financial risks, including money laundering, cybercrime and ransomware… the financing of terrorism.”
Individuals seeking to operate in an island system away from central bank and state oversight are facing new top-down demands for industry. These include winding up of firms and freezing of accounts.
Some of the regions that have weaponized the law books to govern aspects of the use of digital assets include China, India, Malaysia, Australia, Japan, the European Union and the US.
Much of the infiltration from governments goes against Nakamoto’s vision. He added that there should not be third party players such as banks and authorities involved in bitcoin and, by extension, other crypto assets.
For example, the US government is throwing its weight around cryptocurrency as part of the impetus for sanctions-busting operations by its enemies, North Korea, Venezuela, Belarus and others.
A 2019 UN report estimated that North Korea made $2 billion from such operations, which included stealing cryptocurrency, random attacks, and other shady practices.
An asset seizure application by the US in 2020 described a $250 million crypto theft by the Lazarus Group, North Korea’s major sanctions-busters. The US Justice Department reportedly sought to freeze 280 wallet addresses used by hackers to launder stolen funds.
The department “approves the FBI’s increasing sophistication in detecting and seizing virtual currency that criminals previously thought impossible.” It stressed that the anonymity of the Internet is no longer a cover for cybercrime.
search for satoshi
It appears that the world created by Satoshi is becoming more and more attracted to having a glorified fiat currency, which operates on the web. It is breaking away from its founding ethos that prioritizes decentralization and privacy.
But where is Nakamoto to make his point on these issues? is he alive? Is she on the beach in Maldives? Or is he in a basement in Florida or sunbathing in Cape Town? Now that bitcoin has become a global success, doesn’t he want to take advantage of the glory?
If Bitcoin’s founder, Satoshi Nakamoto, decides to come home, will the cryptoverse be able to look to his institutional dichotomy and geopolitical gamble to identify him?
Perhaps Satoshi knows that the work of the bitcoin community is already cut out for him. His democratic model for him rather than his own celebrity appeal may be what bitcoin needs to return to its traditional values.
Fort Holding Bitcoin Maximalists
In the absence of Nakamoto, there is another group of bitcoiners holding the fort. He calls himself a “Bitcoin maximalist”. According to the online dictionary Investopedia, fanatics believe that BTC is the only crypto asset that will be needed in the future.
He believes that all other digital currencies are inferior to bitcoin and that they are far from the ideals envisioned by Nakamoto. But bitcoin has faced problems dealing with the increase in transaction volume, leading to the emergency of other blockchains that may do so.
Many extremists are adamant in defending bitcoin’s founding ethos. He has also faced criticism for supporting a strategy that has failed to grow bitcoin into a productive asset like Ethereum.
“The maximalist narrative has lost touch with reality,” said Muneeb Ali, founder of Bitcoin open-source smart contract platform Stax. tweeted last. “Bitcoin maximalism assumes a zero-sum world. However, we are in an expanding crypto economy.”
Will the real Satoshi Nakamoto please stand up?
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