Skip to main content

New bitcoin controversy, Part I

Image result for bitcoin

As you probably know, dear reader, the crypto-currency Bitcoin, the first and so far most successful of the world's crypto-currencies, is generally described as the invention of one Satoshi Nakamoto. And that name is generally understood as a pseudonym for a more shadowy person or group. About the actual identity of whom a variety of theories have bloomed.

Why care? Other than the possibility that you love a recent-history puzzle, you might care because whoever that person is, or whoever they are, "Satoshi" holds a heck of a large cache of personal bitcoins. If he sold them in a single blow, he'd render the currency near worthless.

His cache is called the Tulip Trust, and it consists of 1.1 million bitcoins.

A few months ago (December 2015) a couple of magazines simultaneously and independently declared that they knew who Satoshi was/is. Their accounts differed in some details but had a lot of overlap. Wired and Gizmodo both said that bitcoin was the creation of Craig Steven Wright, an entrepreneur living in a suburb of Sydney, Australia. The Gizmodo report also gave a lot of emphasis to the role of Dave Kleiman, an American expert in computer forensics who had died two years before. Gizmodo made Satoshi seem like an amalgam of Wright and Kleiman: WIred made Wright clearly the main figure, although it did mention Kleiman in a supporting capacity.

The latest development? As of May 2, Craig Wright now says, "yes, it was me all along."  Or words to that effect.

Yet as you may notice I have headlined this blogpost not "An old resolved bitcoin controversy." This sounds like a new Bitcoin controversy, because some informed parties don't believe him.

If Wright wanted to falsely claim to be the guy in possession of the Tulip Trust, then this was a clever an elaborate way to do it. First, phony up the documentation and indirectly feed it to two interested publications. Second, play coy about it for four months. Third, then own up to it, offering new and likewise phonied-up documentation. It sounds on its face implausible. Yet so much about the great "who is Sakoshi" riddle has been wildly implausible, including the whole fiasco of Newsweek's "solution"  in 2014, that one is loath to rule out anything.

As for the merits of the anti-Wright argument, I hope to say more here tomorrow.


  1. From my experience the best Bitcoin exchange service is CoinMama.

  2. Earn free bitcoins at Easy Bitcoin Faucet. 11 to 33 satoshis every 10 minutes.

  3. eToro is the ultimate forex trading platform for beginner and professional traders.

  4. Easy multicurrency mining application & 1-click GUI miner.

    Start mining effectively with your computer or smartphone.

    Squeeze the most profit auto-mining coins with the highest returns.

    Download MINERGATE.

  5. eToro is the #1 forex trading platform for new and advanced traders.

  6. Did you ever try to maximize your free bitcoin collections with a BITCOIN FAUCET ROTATOR?


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

England as a Raft?

In a lecture delivered in 1880, William James asked rhetorically, "Would England ... be the drifting raft she is now in European affairs if a Frederic the Great had inherited her throne instead of a Victoria, and if Messrs Bentham, Mill, Cobden, and Bright had all been born in Prussia?"

Beneath that, in a collection of such lectures later published under James' direction, was placed the footnote, "The reader will remember when this was written."

The suggestion of the bit about Bentham, Mill, etc. is that the utilitarians as a school helped render England ineffective as a European power, a drifting raft.

The footnote was added in 1897. So either James is suggesting that the baleful influence of Bentham, Mill etc wore off in the meantime or that he had over-estimated it.

Let's unpack this a bit.  What was happening in the period before 1880 that made England seem a drifting raft in European affairs, to a friendly though foreign observer (to the older brother…

Cancer Breakthrough

Hopeful news in recent days about an old and dear desideratum: a cure for cancer. Or at least for a cancer, and a nasty one at that.

The news comes about because investors in GlaxoSmithKline are greedy for profits, and has already inspired a bit of deregulation to boot. 

The FDA has paved the road for a speedy review of a new BCMA drug for multiple myeloma, essentially cancer of the bone marrow. This means that the US govt has removed some of the hurdles that would otherwise (by decision of the same govt) face a company trying to proceed with these trials expeditiously. 

This has been done because the Phase I clinical trial results have been very promising. The report I've seen indicates that details of these results will be shared with the world on Dec. 11 at the annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology. 

The European Medicines Agency has also given priority treatment to the drug in question. 

GSK's website identifies the drug at issue as "GSK2857916," althou…

Francesco Orsi

I thought briefly that I had found a contemporary philosopher whose views on ethics and meta-ethics checked all four key boxes. An ally all down the line.

The four, as regular readers of this blog may remember, are: cognitivism, intuitionism, consequentialism, pluralism. These represent the views that, respectively: some ethical judgments constitute knowledge; one important source for this knowledge consists of quasi-sensory non-inferential primary recognitions ("intuitions"); the right is logically dependent upon the good; and there exists an irreducible plurality of good.

Francesco Orsi seemed to believe all of these propositions. Here's his website and a link to one relevant paper:

What was better: Orsi is a young man. Born in 1980. A damned child! Has no memories of the age of disco!

So I emailed him asking if I was right that he believed all of those things. His answer: three out of …