The Parallel History of BitCoin.
This is a BitCoin story. It connects dots between people and events in 10 years of BitCoin in order to construct a alternative storyline. But be warned, once you have read this story, it can no longer be unseen. This story brings a lot of pieces of the puzzle together and they fit like a glove.
If you don't believe me or don't get it,
I don't have time to try to convince you, sorry
Why does Wikileaks care about who created BitCoin? (*2) Didn’t they just focus on governments and all? (*3) And why did Roger Ver changed from being a friend of Craig Wright into starting calling him a Liar and a Fraud? (*4)
Why does Rick Falkvinge goes ad homonym on Craig Wright (*5) after doing a whole video about graham's pyramid of disagreement a couple of months earlier. A video in which he even defends Craig Wright. (*6)
To make any sense of it all this we need some more context. So let’s begin.
On January 6, 2011 the MIT police and a United States Secret Service arrested Aaron Swartz. Swartz is publicly known as co-author of the RSS specification at age 14, and as co-founder of reddit. He was a vocal supporter for open source, internet freedom and online (h)activism.
Swartz used MIT's data network to bulk-download a substantial portion of JSTOR's collection of academic journal articles. (*7) The authorities claimed that Swartz did this with the intention of making the papers available on P2P file-sharing sites. It didn’t help him that in his Guerilla Open Access Manifesto published in 2008, he specifically indicates:
We need to download scientific journals and upload them to file sharing networks.(*8)
The set-up hidden in the cabinet for wiring and telephony also did not help in his defense.
The authorities press charges that could result in a possible sentence of 35 years in prison and $1 million in fines. (*9)
As response to the indictment Greg Maxwell uploads the papers obtained from Aaron Swarts as torrent to The Pirate Bay. Maxwell said he originally planned to upload the documents to Wikipedia, but was afraid that this action would incur lawsuits from publishers charging copyright violations or, as with in the case of Swartz, would bring about other sorts of criminal charges. (*10)
Swartz unfortunately committed suicide in January 2013 before the trial ended. After Swartz died he was no longer just the poster boy for internet freedom, he became their martyr. Aaron Swartz is still considered a hero amongst free information advocates. (*11)
Aaron Swartz was part of a broader movement of internet activists. He was the friendly face of this movement. A bright young man with ambition and ideals. The media loved him. On the surface this movement seemed to pursue noble goals such as freedom of speech, freedom of the press and free trade. The resistance to the ever-increasing digital surveillance of governments.
The internet activists have formed all sorts of groups and organizations over the years. Some focusing on free information such as Wikipedia and some on all sorts of Open Source software initiatives. But also more subversive groups such as Wikileaks, The Pirate Bay, Anonymous, Anti-Sec and Silk Road. They might all have different areas of interest but all share a common ideology and stem from the same root. People with a common ideology usually move around in the same social circles. You’ll find all sorts of interesting connections once you look into it.
On the cryptography mailing list you could find people like Julian Assange (Wikileaks). WikiLeaks have disclosed that deceased Internet activist and Reddit co-founder Aaron Swartz may have contributed to the organization and even had been in contact with Julian Assange. (*12) Interesting fact is that it was Aaron Swartz that in 2010 filed a request with the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command of the United States of America in regard to Bradley Manning currently known as Chelsea Manning. (*13) Chelsea had access to classified military databases and leaked classified information to WikiLeaks. Chelsea is still a very vocal admirer of Aaron. (*14) (*15)
On the cryptography mailing list you could also find Greg Maxwell. Maxwell, self-proclaimed supporter for open-source and early contributor to Wikipedia. And as stated earlier was the one uploading the bulk-download from Aaron Swartz to the Pirate Bay. Another interesting name on the Cypherpunk list is Adam Back the CEO of Blockstream. The company in which Greg Maxwell has worked as CTO.
The Pirate Party (Hi Rick) is much like the Sinn Féin of the Pirate Bay, the political branch to the underground army. Although no formal connections, Mikael Viborg, legal advisor to the Pirate Bay also happened to be a board member of the Pirate Party. Maybe not a coincidence both started in Sweden. The founder, Rick Falkvinge (not his real name), is a very passioned anti copyright advocate. Currently he is more known as a fellow Bitcoiner. He is the author of a book called Swarmwise: The Tactical Manual to Changing the World. (*16) I’ll get back later on this.
Of course this list is far from complete. It is merely a quick demonstration that it’s a small world and that like-minded people move around in small social circles. They know each other and most are connected some way or the other.
Are these people hero’s? Once you scratch the surface you’ll find that this movement of internet activists is much more radical. Maybe they started with sincere ideals, but eventually it has radicalized and turned into something grim.
The State will of course try to slow or halt the spread of this technology, citing national security concerns, use of the technology by drug dealers and tax evaders, and fears of societal disintegration. Many of these concerns will be valid; crypto anarchy will allow national secrets to be trade freely and will allow illicit and stolen materials to be traded. An anonymous computerized market will even make possible abhorrent markets for assassinations and extortion. Various criminal and foreign elements will be active users of CryptoNet. But this will not halt the spread of crypto anarchy.
It is about the pursuit of a new world governed by Crypto Anarchy. This is the goal, no matter what the cost. Because this movement reject governments and law in any form. Breaking laws is no longer seen as bad thing. The only crime is government itself. In this worldview crime has become an objective, it’s how to undermine the government. Viva la revolution!
This is hacktivism in its purest form. It is a great equalizer. A homeless person at an internet cafe with the time and knowhow can have geopolitical influence. They can bring entire organizations, even governments, to their knees
A Crypto Anarchist has the mindset of a revolutionary and he uses the same tactics revolutionaries always have used. How do revolutionaries get the people to support the revolution? Winning their hearts and minds. And how do you do that? Short term support is often bought by re-distribution of property. By giving away the spoils of war freely to the people they seek support from. Long term support is obtained with promises of wealth and power after the revolution is won.
A generation has been grown up with the idea that internet is free and that it provides us with good stuff as free information. Copyright and Patents are evil and should be abolished altogether. All information should be free. This literally is the sole objective of the Pirate Party. (*19)
They give you everything for free on websites, platforms and networks such as Napstar, The Pirate Bay and MegaUpload. But the reality is nothing is ever free. It is stolen property redistributed to the People without consent of its creators. It also isn’t without risk (*20) but that’s the pirate life. Many “users” have been arrested and had to pay fines.(*21)
The objective of this movement is Crypto anarchy. The strategy to achieve Crypto anarchy is undermining and removing existing power structures. The grand vision is a world where nobody has any power or control of you anymore.
They claim it is all about freedom, but in the end it is about power. They tell you that everyone who gets in on time will get rich. You too will soon be able to ride a Lamborghini. It is still early, get in. But even in Crypto Utopia money still equals power, and anyone who gets in early will have the most of it. So in the end they control money because they control the code, and code is law. They seek power. It might have all the characteristics of a pyramid scheme, and for some it is, but the true believers don’t want to dump worthless assets to bagholders, they want to dump society and order.
The hunger for anonymity and anonymous money has always been great amongst the members of the Crypto Anarchist movement.
We the Cypherpunks are dedicated to building anonymous systems. We are defending our privacy with cryptography, with anonymous mail forwarding systems, with digital signatures, and with electronic money.
After the initial release of BitCoin people quickly ask how anonymous the system is and whether it can be made more anonymous. (*23)
The possibility to be anonymous or pseudonymous relies on you not revealing any identifying information about yourself in connection with the bitcoin addresses you use. If you post your bitcoin address on the web, then you’re associating that address and any transactions with it with the name you posted under. If you posted under a handle that you haven’t associated with your real identity, then you’re still pseudonymous.(*24)
At first there is much skepticism. As Greg Maxwell said:
When bitcoin first came out, I was on the cryptography mailing list. When it happened, I sort of laughed.” Despite this skepticism Bitcoin is eventually is embraced by the cypherpunk movement.(*25)
Every hero needs a nemesis, but who is the hero and who is the nemesis in this story? What we can say is that the nemesis to the outlaw is law enforcement. And if the tools of this particular outlaw are hacking and cryptography, then law enforcement agencies needs information security experts, digital forensics and data analysts. If it takes a Crook to catch a Crook, you’ll need a Geek to catch a Geek.
Now that we know who you are... I know who I am. I'm not a mistake! It all makes sense. In a comic, you know how you can tell who the arch-villain's going to be? He's the exact opposite of the hero, and most time's they're friends, like you and me.
Craig Wright (*26) (this is the point where people stop reading and get angry) has a long list of credentials and certifications in this field. The list is not only impressive, it’s just unbelievable how much a single person can achieve in a single lifetime. (*27) (*28)
Dave Kleiman (*28) became a law enforcement officer after his service in the US Army. Later he worked in computer forensics expert. (*29) If you look up his credentials and certifications in this field, they are very impressive. The list of accomplishments is long! Dave (*30) could also be found on the Cryptography mailing list, but he clearly had different ideas (*31) than the Cypherpunks as we can see from his public performances. (*32)
If you look into their works you'll see that Craig and Dave definitely didn’t fit in with most of the other people on the cypherpunk list. They were definitely not hackers, they were anti-hackers. Because most will not believe any of it I’ll provide some of their proof-of-work available for all the see.
Craig was appointed a board member of the GICSR (global institute for Cyber Security + Research). (33) GICSR International Executive Director Mr Richard Zaluski said at his appointment:
We are pleased to announce that Craig has joined the GICSR Board of Directors. Craig is one of the world’s most highly qualified digital forensic practitioners and has not only worked to develop many of the techniques in common practice, but is also working to expand the field of knowledge.(*34)
As the world becomes more and more interconnected, the threats to global security are heading into electronic systems with critical infrastructure and international financial systems prime targets,” Dr Wright said. “Only by working jointly can we counter these threats. Setting up a platform to share information is the greatest defense we can offer against cyber-crime and cyber-terror.- Craig Wright - (*35)
So the evidence shows us that Craig and Dave are the kind of people with the knowledge and skills to fight the outlaws and pirates of the internet age, the Crypto Anarchist movement. Professionals that train government employees in cyber defense.
Evidence about which agencies they trained or their involvement in specific cases are likely classified and can probably only be found in archives out of reach for the public. Also out of safety concerns it is better to leave some “Plausible deniability” and leave out some evidence. (*36)
We do have some public evidence available to believe Craig Wright is somehow involved in the arrest of criminal cartel boss Paul Le Roux (also known for contributions to TrueCrypt). Something interesting can be found in the court documents in the Kleiman case to back this claim. (*37)
Some people like to push the idea that Paul Le Roux has been the inventor of Bitcoin. (*38) Since he is anti-government, he is one of us. Le Roux, involved with drugs and all sorts of crime, would have loved stuff like Silk Road, wouldn’t he? But keep in mind, Paul Le Roux is no sweetheart. If you look into his criminal record he is a very dangerous (*39) and done much evil. (*40) It certainly not just victimless crime or harmless drugs. Beware of people who push this narrative as if this is something good. As if it is better to have someone like Le Roux as Satoshi than someone like Craig Wright.
The name Craig Wright makes heads explode within the Bitcoin and Crypto space. Why is this? Is it really about him admitting being Satoshi Nakamoto after being outed by Wired (*41) and Gizmodo? Myself, I don’t really believe this is the case. There must be more.
The big question is why did the hacker that provided the information to Gizmodo and Wired targeted Craig Wright in the first place?
I hacked Satoshi Nakamoto [sic],” the first message read. “These files are all from his business account. The person is Dr Craig Wright.” What followed was a package of email files apparently pulled directly from an Outlook account belonging to Craig Wright, an Australian academic, computer engineering expert, and serial entrepreneur with a litany of degrees and corporations to his name.(*42)
So far we have painted a picture of a movement with radical tendencies and made the conclusion that Craig Wright as well as Dave Kleiman have been working on the side of law enforcement as world class information security experts. Could this be enough to make them a target? Or are there also more personal reasons to attack him?
The Anti Security Movement was a movement opposed to the computer security industry. They started getting media attention after hacking a couple of well-known websites. They hacked ImageShack to post their manifesto. (*43) From the manifesto we can tell their objective was to target the security industry.
The feeling was mutual. Craig Wright was also never a fan of the Anti-Sec movement as we can see in his 2011 blog. He writes:
Many attacks against large corporations by LulzSec and Anonymous have been direct attacks against our critical infrastructure. Where does it end? As LulzSec and Anonymous grow, their goals and ideas grow in scope as well. At the moment they seem to be pursuing what can only be described as a “nebulous” freedom, but as they engage in attacking the ties that bind our societies, is this even what they’re doing? Both groups promote their views through force and coercion yet say they want freedom.(*44)
Craig Wright describes this movement, not just as ordinary cybercrime, but as a serious threat to society.
The problem with defending against hacktivist and cyber terror groups is they do not follow a rational economical model. By contrast, traditional cyber crime – itself a difficult problem with few solutions – is easy to predict. It is built upon a traditional business model – albeit an illegal one – and cyber criminals have a desire to make a profit from their illicit activities. They act rationally, in an economic sense. Cyber crime groups only expend resources to a point that allows them to maintain a suitable level of profitability. Conversely, cyber terror and hacktivism groups, such as Anonymous and LulzSec, do not operate under such constraints. They have members who are willing to risk jail terms, financial loss and other sanctions for purely ideological reasons. These are people who attack sites out of principle, as misguided as those principles might be.(*45)
The Anti-sec movement lost momentum after a series of raids by the FBI in 2012. Many participants to the Anti-Sec operations have been arrested including Hector Xavier Monsegur, aka Sabu, who was said to be the leader of Lulzsec and the instigator of Anti-Sec. (*46)
Given their differences in politics and overall worldview, it is not all that surprising that people like Julian Assange (an Australian computer programmer) and Craig Wright do not get along. As we can see in this ’90 post between Assange and Wright they never been friends. Still to this day they seem to really seem to dislike each other. (*47) (*48)
We can find in the writings of Satoshi, he also wasn’t all that happy about Wikileaks either:
I make this appeal to WikiLeaks not to try to use Bitcoin. Bitcoin is a small beta community in its infancy. You would not stand to get more than pocket change, and the heat you would bring would likely destroy us at this stage.(*49)
They didn't listen. And after the fact Satoshi still wasn’t happy:
It would have been nice to get this attention in any other context. WikiLeaks has kicked the hornet's nest, and the swarm is headed towards us.(*50)
The FBI closes the Silk Road and arrested Ross Ulbricht in 2013 with the help of investigative work of US and International Agencies. The Indictment states that Ross, under the online pseudonym "Dread Pirate Roberts, was the owner of the website and Andrew Michael Jones, Gary Davis and Peter Nash have assisted in the operation of Silk Road.
The United States Attorney Mr. Bharara mentions in The Indictment Of Ross Ulbricht the involvement of the Australian Federal Police. (*51)
So what was the role of the Australian Federal Police? We know that Australian Peter Nash has been extradited to the US, but is released after 18 months because he only played a relatively minor role in Silk Road and time already served in prison was enough for his crimes. He was lucky as the prosecution asked for an extra 10-12 years.
But they might had a bigger role. In 2011, still the early days of Silk Road, Ross Ulbricht moved from Austin, Texas, to live with his sister in Australia. He supposed to have lived in Sydney, Bondi Beach, for six months in a shared house. (*53)
I can’t seem to remember what that other thing is why I would highlight involvement of the Australian Federal Police. Never mind, it's probably not important.
Roger Ver (bitcoin.com and early investor in Bitcoin Startups) has been involved with the defense of Ross Ulbright from the start. (*54) Philosophically like-minded people. He renounced his United States citizenship in 2014 the same year of the Indictment Of Ross Ulbricht. Ver currently still is one of the biggest supporters of #freeross (*55) I’m not saying there is any evidence to link between Ver and Silk Road, I just want to point out Ver has very strong feelings about Ross.
As we can see being involved with the hacktivist movement is not without danger. Aaron Swartz, arrested. Hector Xavier Monsegur (Anti-Sec) arrested, Julian Assange arrested, Ross Ulbricht arrested, Paul Le Roux arrested. Some would say that is the pirate life, others would say that crime doesn’t pay.
Crime fighting or even working with authorities also comes with a price. Looking into the story of Adrian Lamo, the man responsible for turning in Chelsea Manning to the military authorities, it just makes you wonder. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange denounced Lamo as “a very disreputable character”. (*56) Lamo was labeled a "snitch" (*57) and what he has done was considered "treason" to the movement. (*58) For a period of time in March 2011 he was allegedly in hiding claiming that his "life was under threat". He died in 2018 and no definitive cause of death was identified. (*59) When his body was found a sticker was attached to the skin of the left thigh, under the clothes which read: "Adrian Lamo Project Vigilant Assistant Director Threat Analysis/Investigation 70 Bates Street Northwest Washington DC 20001." (*60)
Out of respect I don’t want to go into all details but there is also some mystery around the death of Dave Kleiman. Sadly we can only speculate. Let’s just leave it at that.
If you are an anti-government and pirate hacktivist from the Crypto Anarchy movement, how would you fight your nemesis? The weapons of choice are likely "hacking" and “(social)media”. Very effective weapons if you would like to target and disarm a man.
A big part of the Crypto Anarchy movement has always been changing public perception by using media. This movement knows how to organize in a similar fashion to terrorist groups (swarmwise) and how to use (social)media to mobilize. As demonstrated by Anonymous, they can create a lot of media hype with just a couple of YouTube video’s. Julian Assange also knows very well how to get media attention.
One of the social media battlegrounds was Reddit. Speaking about reddit, wasn’t that the thing Aaron Swartz co-founded. Isn’t this also the favorite online hang-out of Greg Maxwell, the place where he likes to talk to one of his many sock poppets? (*61) (*62) He must have spent the equivalent of a full time job on Reddit considering how much he (or his sock puppets) posted about Craig Wright. Why would anyone care to devote so much of their lives just to destroy another man. A person would only do such a thing if it was personal. If not personal, you would simply ignore and let it go. Not Maxwell, he cares about it, very much. Maybe because he believes Craig has involvement with the arrest of his buddy Aaron Swartz and holds him accountable for his death?
The other tool was “hacking”. Craig claims to be hacked and says the information obtained has been used to dox him as Satoshi by Gizmodo and Wired. Also he claims that some of the documents have been altered to try to frame him. As we currently see in the Kleiman vs. Wright lawsuit not much of the evidence originating from this hack seems to hold up in court. The question is who has been feeding information originating from this hack to Ira Kleiman. Is this the same guy that that leaked to Gizmodo and Wired, the same guy that has done a lot of effort to control the narrative around Craig on Reddit? Maybe not, but small circles remember.
Maybe it is gossip and hearsay but let’s include this little segment below anyway. (*63)
Theymos…. that’s a story on its own, but funny how this anon handle pops up in connection to Le Roux. (*64) Theymos (Michael Marquart) was/is a Bitcointalk administrator and Reddit /r/bitcoin moderator. The connection with Le Roux would make Theymos not just a passioned Bitcoiner who is heavy on the banhammer in the bitcoin subreddit. This would link Theymos to organized crime. Not just any sort of crime, the worst kinds of crimes. No wonder he tries to hide under a pseudonym.
And as we have seen in the manifesto’s people like Craig and Dave have been a target for this movement simply because the are part of the cyber security industry. Julian Assange and Craig wright have pushed each other's buttons since forever. That’s all the motivation he needs.
Now let’s entertain the idea of Craig Wright and/or Dave Kleiman actually having been involved someway in taking down some of the crown jewels of the Crypto Anarchist movement. What if some have learned about their involvement and hold some grudge. Maybe they would even blame them personally for the death of Aaron Swartz. Could this explain the behavior of someone like Greg Maxwell?
We know Paul Le Roux probably isn’t happy about Craig Wright. As you can read in the court documents Craig Wright says he has a well-founded fear for retribution from Le Roux. If Theymos and Le Roux are buddies he surely would be motivated to attack Craig Wright.
And how come Roger Ver suddenly changed from being an ally to making him his enemy? (*65) Could it be that he has learned about Craig Wrights background and speculates on involvement with the Silk Road and the arrest of Ross Ulbricht? Is this why he suddenly calls Craig a liar?
What kind of motive has Ira Kleiman for the lawsuit against Craig Wright? It doesn’t look like the family ties have been al that strong and a lot of money is on the table. (*66)
The BitCoin saga isn’t over yet, much of the history of Bitcoin still needs to be unraveled. Let’s see what kind of evidence comes out of all the CSW lawsuits. All I know for sure is 2020 is going to be very interesting.
And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. (*67) The first block on the bitcoin blockchain was generated on 3 January 2009. The genesis block heralds a new era.
Connecting dots means filling in blank spaces between facts, with a hunch, or what we believe might be true. Subsequently trying to find evidence to support it. I found stacks of evidence to support this story. But that does not necessarily make it true, we simply don’t have all the facts, yet. At best it touches probability. But what a story it is…….
I like big tips and I can not lie!
Tip whatever amount you like, BSV only!
I like big tips and I can not lie!
Tip whatever amount you like, BSV only!