Was the CIA behind Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto’s ‘disappearance’?
11 years on from Nakamoto's final email to colleagues, the circumstances of his disappearance continue to confound the public.
Pete Rizzo, Editor at Bitcoin Magazine, made a tenuous link between Bitcoin developer Gavin Andresen’s visit to the CIA in June 2011 and the disappearance of Satoshi Nakamoto.
The tweet included a screenshot of a post from Andresen from what looks like the bitcointalk.org forum. He wrote about accepting an invitation from the intelligence agency to discuss Bitcoin.
Rizzo alleges that Nakamoto “was never seen again” soon after Andresen’s visit.
— RIZZO (@pete_rizzo_) April 27, 2022
Nakamoto’s supposed 1 million BTC holdings would put him/her/them on the Forbes top-20 rich list. But to this day, his wallets remain untouched. Some consider this evidence that Nakamoto had philanthropic intentions to gift Bitcoin to the world as a way to escape banking tyranny.
However, a string of other theories also exists. Including the outlandish claim by Alex Jones that aliens have invented and control Bitcoin.
Nakamoto’s identity and whereabouts count among the greatest mysteries in cryptocurrency. And despite the army of “internet detectives” who have poured through the evidence, the community is no closer to establishing who Nakamoto is.
Andresen wanted to talk Bitcoin to the CIA
The screenshot of Andresen’s post shows he planned to give a presentation about Bitcoin at the CIA headquarters in June (2011). He was invited to speak, so he took this as a sign Bitcoin was “already on their radar.”
The post says the presentation is an ideal opportunity to discuss how Bitcoin could improve the world through “a better currency,” more competition, removing barriers to international payments, and giving people more autonomy in their financial dealings.
Some might say that Andresen was naive to have said:
“I don’t think any of those goals are incompatible with the goals of the government.”
Nonetheless, Andresen did express some apprehension about visiting, saying he’s worried the CIA will influence Bitcoin devs to do something they don’t want to. However, at the same time, he considered it a chance to break down misconceptions about the project.
Do the timelines stack up?
Rizzo’s connection between Andresen’s visit and Nakamoto’s disappearance is speculative at best.
Nakamoto posted on bitcointalk.org to discuss developments and give build updates. His last post on the forum was on December 12, 2010, in which he wrote about updates to counter Denial of Service attacks.
“There’s more work to do on DoS, but I’m doing a quick build of what I have so far in case it’s needed, before venturing into more complex ideas. The build for this is version 0.3.19.”
According to Forbes, Nakamoto emailed his fellow developers on April 26, 2011, to inform them he was moving on to other projects. The email implies Nakamoto left the Bitcoin project months before Andreson’s presentation at the CIA in June 2011.
Considering this, Nakamoto’s last known communications dates do not necessarily support the theory that the CIA may have been involved with Nakamoto’s disappearance.