Mon, Jul 02, 2018 - Page 15 News List

Hints of book from creator of bitcoin

SHORT STORY/TALL TALE?A cryptogram on a Web site offers tantalizing clues about long-sought answers over the true identity of the author of the orginial bitcoin paper


Is the unknown creator of bitcoin writing a book about it?

That could be concluded from a cryptic message posted on Friday at a Web site possibly linked to Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonym used by the person or people who released the original bitcoin white paper in 2008.

The site details the “first excerpt to a literary work consisting of two parts” that promises to be “a short story if you will, with some of the most brought up questions and answers. I wanted the people and the facts to be known.”

In true Nakamoto style, it even includes a cryptogram, which purports to reveal names related to the title of the book.

The answer to the cryptogram appears to be “honne and tatamae,” or “tatemae,” which according to Wikipedia is a Japanese expression that describes “the contrast between a person’s true feelings and desires” and “the behavior and opinions one displays in public.”

Bloomberg News could not independently verify the authenticity of the post or excerpt.

Many journalists have tried and failed to unearth the true identity of Nakamoto, yet it is still a secret within the cryptoworld.

In the excerpt posted on the Web site, the author lists pioneers in early digital asset research such as Adam Back, Wei Dai, David Chaum and Hal Finney.

There are also bits of strangeness in the text, such as the author referring to the “first” genesis block for bitcoin. This was the first block in the bitcoin blockchain released by Nakamoto in early 2009, and yet this new excerpt seems to imply that there are more than one.

The author claims that Nakamoto got involved in the cypherpunk movement that spawned bitcoin as a 14-year-old.

“I’m going to take a moment here to explain something. I know that some of you might be reading this or hearing about it for the first time, might not know, so I should state it publicly, although by now it is assumed, but has never been publicly stated before, so I will make it official,” the author writes.

“Satoshi Nakamoto is not a real name. Specifically, not a legal name. It is primarily the essence of thoughts and reason,” the author says.

In any event, a book by the real Nakamoto would be devoured by bitcoin enthusiasts around the world. Maybe the author gives it away with the first line in the excerpt: “It was inevitable.”

Bitcoin developed after the 2008 global financial crisis traded at as little as US$0.30 at the end of 2010.

The token increased more than 1,400 percent last year as bitcoin exploded onto the mainstream, but the digital asset declined most of this year and crashed through the US$6,000 threshold last week for the first time since February, losing about two-thirds of its value since reaching a record high of nearly US$20,000 in December last year.

Bitcoin rose 8 percent to US$6,338.22 on Saturday as of 5:30pm in New York, according to Bitstamp prices.

While it is difficult to identify specific catalysts for bitcoin’s decline, the bursting of a speculative bubble might be at the heart of the matter amid questions about the virtual currency’s long-term prospects.

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