Careful what you wish for…
I moved to the UK in October 2015. We still had business interests there, so I would fly to and from Australia, but my home was already to be in Wimbledon, London.
In 2016, I was dressed in a turtle neck. The PR people had the idea that they would transform me into the vision of a genius that the world wants to see. The idea was a poor copy of Steve Jobs. The flaw here comes from looking backwards. When he started, Jobs was the outsider. He was rejected, and fought to grow what he was building each and every day. The attempted building of an alternative version of what I created goes against all I stand for. Yet, I allowed myself to get into such a position.
I should say, I allowed myself to be dressed as the image that another saw as marketable, and I did not have the courage to stop and say no. Or I did, but at (close to) the worst possible time.
I like to wear suits. I enjoy wearing ties. So is my choice, and with wealth comes the right to decide. In my case, I plan to dress as the nerd in a three-piece suit. I like how I dress, and I am comfortable. I do not make my team wear suits nor dress as I do, I choose it for myself. I am comfortable in a suit.
The end of 2010 and on was hard enough for me. There was a lot occurring in my life that weighed down on my mood. Bitcoin was never designed to help an anonymous money-transfer system, and I was always opposed to those seeking to operate outside the law. I have worked for casinos. The thing people do not understand: There are licensed casinos, and there are illegal ones. I worked for companies such as Centrebet, and even helped launch Lasseter’s Online in the 90s. They were licensed, and acted within the law.
I do not like Wikileaks, and I have never been a fan of Assange’s methods. More importantly, I am strongly opposed to criminal markets and bucket shops. Ross Ulbricht and others like him are criminals. They are not freedom fighters, they are not libertarians. They simply are predators, and they are all that Bitcoin was designed to make far more difficult.
Bitcoin cannot scale as a “home-user” system, and as such is incredibly simply to subvert. I will be releasing such techniques that extend work I completed prior to Bitcoin [1, 2, 3]. Many of the aspects of Bitcoin that were the hardest are not those that people look at and try to understand. Bitcoin was not designed as an anarchist system. It was designed to allow trade and commerce, but in the limits of the law.
Any blockchain is able to be controlled and made to work within the legal frameworks of where it exists. It does not stop government taxing, and it does not bring down banks. It was never designed for such a purpose.
A blockchain is a system that is incredibly private when the people using it remain within the limits of the law. It is conversely incredibly simple to trace when the parties to a transaction have breached the law, and it allows a complete audit trail to exist. The past is something people do not understand, and few have learnt. In the 90s, a far more anonymous electronic cash system was developed, and since then, many others have been created.
DigiCash was founded in 1989. Unlike Bitcoin, DigiCash was based on an anonymous model. The system incorporated the transfer of blinded transactions that used DigiCash as a settlement system. Bitcoin uses an open pseudonymous model that has a distributed and competitive group of miners who fight/compete for the right to validate transactions in exchange for fees.
The central clearing company, DigiCash, was there to detect double spending.
The issue solved by Bitcoin is to have a competitive system to stop double spends.
The issue of a central party stems from the failure of DigiCash and the subsequent liquidation of the company which led to eCash being shut down.
Bitcoin solves the issue as it has no single party which can fail and, with such collapse, take down the entire system. It was never about all users running nodes, and it is certainly not about equality or taking down the establishment. Chaumian eCash can be implemented inside Bitcoin script. I know it well; I have patented it, and will in time realise how it can be achieved. The issue here is that the main issue with eCash was that it used an anonymous currency. Bitcoin does not face such an issue and the regulatory issues that follow.
I have no interest in the use of Bitcoin or any other system in helping criminals nor should anyone. Bitcoin is an immutable ledger. When it comes to criminal activity, Bitcoin is a permanent and an unalterable evidence trail. I was not afraid of Gavin and when he met with the CIA. Bitcoin is an immutable data store, that is something that honest government desires. I was saddened and disillusioned by Silk Road and the dark web. I needed to complete what I called “other things,” and I have done so now.
I needed to fix what I allowed. Bitcoin was designed to allow private electronic cash. It was always something that was not more than Main Street and what is money for the common man. It was not supposed to have been used for Silk Road. That is why I left.
Silk Road failed as a consequence of Bitcoin’s design. No blockchain will ever be crime friendly. Such is the nature of the system. The audit trail allows the authorities to track from one criminal to another. We saw it in action as Silk Road was taken down, then Silk Road 2.0 was taken down, and then the corrupt FBI agent who stole bitcoin was caught and arrested. Bitcoin is sunshine. It is the cure for the festering wound that is corruption, be that from government or from criminal groups.
I was embittered for many years. The design of what has become Bitcoin and Metanet started in 1998 with a project I called Blacknet. It was never Tim May’s version, although he was my inspiration for it. Tim and I were both aligned in being libertarian-Randian, but his concept of it was also one of no government, and he never saw that human nature has elements that would collapse it.
I have worked in digital forensics a long time prior to creating Bitcoin. I only ever worked for the prosecution. Silk Road was poison to me. I saw a decade of work corrupted, twisted, and for a time I despaired. Bitcoin was like a child to me. I saw a child who had lost their way and become the worst thing they could be. One who was into all that was wrong, twisted, and corrupt. I knew it was never the end for Bitcoin and it would result in the death of all I had wanted to create.
There is no anarchist solution in any blockchain. I have ensured it. There is no form of PoW or PoS or any hybrid system that cannot be regulated and monitored, and the most beautiful part of what I am releasing (and have completed) is that the more you try to make something anonymous (rather than pseudonymous), the more it can be controlled. The more you seek to be like Zcash or some other crime coin, the more privacy you give up.
Creation is mostly long hours of boring and repetitive work. It is not about making a fast buck, and it is all that ICOs are not. Bitcoin was created to be a means to allow the world both to commoditise information and to create sound money.
Lightning—all about losing data
The economy is all about information. Bitcoin was a means to take data and add value, it is an informational commodity; that is how it obtains value.
In a perverse twisting of this, Lightning was created.
The only reason for it stems from the collapse of Silk Road 2.0. The creation of off-chain channels that allow information to be deleted is designed for one and only one reason: to avoid law. It is a vain attempt to create Silk Road 3.0.
It is why the Core team have capped Bitcoin at 1.0 MB and refuse to allow it to scale. It is why they added SegWit and other completely ignorant and insecure changes that have been discarded when I spoke to some of the same people a decade ago.
The entire path of subversion that has gripped Bitcoin was a vain attempt to create a system that allows drugs to be sold without records. It is a means to allow bucket shops and the creation of illegal securities.
Sign, and we will believe you…
There is a real problem with such a call from Core for me to sign. There are a number of downsides I will not discuss and a couple I will. You ask to see my keys; well, you are in effect asking to see my bank statement. Doing so is the opposite of what Bitcoin is about. I really do not care if you like that you cannot tell what I have or do not have. It is a form of information asymmetry that I desire to preserve.
The likes of Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg have a large amount of non-liquid wealth. It is known. What they do not disclose is how much wealth they can deploy.
Most critically, why should I. What, may I ask, am I to gain in return? You see, it is a contract negotiation, and you have little or nothing I desire. Sorry, but so is the entirety of the scenario. Informational asymmetry allows me to have some level of consideration that I can exchange. What are you offering for it?
Gavin knows I have the early keys. What does it matter?
If I choose to sign for some and not others, it is my choice. I could, but it would require something I value in return, and it is not money.
If I sign, the next attack is simple: I stole the keys. No matter what I do, there is no path from PoSM (proof of social media) to acceptance for me. Bitcoin is the mirror of what I see, a world of work. We are stewards to wealth. We do not own it, it owns us, and we have to sacrifice daily to make the information flow to retain the right, not the privilege to help maintain the plumbing that is the conduit of life.
More, it does not matter. All that does is what is created.
Will I create more, if I parade as a monkey before the grinder on the stage and dance… No. To be honest, I would lose the time and ability to create. I would be dancing on the string that fame requires. So again, I reject such a path. Building is the only truth path. Creation.
I had a lot of help along the way. Without Hal, the code would have crashed time after time. I am not going to list the people who helped me here, but Bitcoin started because of my ideas. It was my design, and it is my creation.
And, making certain that it cannot be subverted by criminals is and remains my duty.
I was Satoshi.
- Wright C (2008) “Advanced Methods to Remotely Determine Application Versions” NS2008 LV, USA
- Wright C (2008) “Using Neural Networks” Google
- Wright C (2008) “Exploring Data Visualisation” Strategic Data Mining