News - Satoshi Nakamoto's last words and connection to Wikileaks

By Ted Maas

Satoshi Nakamoto's last words and connection to Wikileaks

Bitcoin (BTC)
Blockchain-Technology

The search for clues in the Bitcoin archives leads to the platform Wikileaks and its founder Julian Assange.

It is December 10, 2010. The first block of the Bitcoin blockchain is almost two years old when Satoshi Nakamoto - the unknown inventor of the cryptocurrency - writes one of his last contributions in the Bitcoin Talk forum.

Attacks on Wikileaks

A few days earlier, on December 6, 2010, the whistleblowing platform Wikileaks had reported in a blog post on "massive attacks". To protect themselves from this, the administrators had asked the community for help:

[...] to prevent Wikileaks from ever disappearing from the Internet altogether, we need your help. If you have a Unix server hosting a Web site on the Internet, you can help.

In response, the platform founded by Julian Assange set up 355 new so-called mirror sites, i.e., websites that copy Wikileaks' content. The idea is that by duplicating or decentralizing the content, it can be better protected from outside attacks.

In retrospect, this turned out to be a good idea. The digital foundation on which the Web site stood had been shaky before. For example, Amazon had allegedly been asked to take Wikileaks offline. As the online magazine PCWorld reported, the U.S. security agency Homeland Security, among others, had requested this. The request was no accident. According to PCWorld, at the time Wikileaks was about to publish sensitive documents and videos about the conflicts in Iran and Afghanistan:

WikiLeaks has come under fire for publishing secret U.S. documents, including videos and documents from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as sensitive connections between the U.S. Embassy and the U.S. State Department. [...]

On Nov. 28 of the same year, attempts were made to cripple the platform by bombarding its servers via distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks.

Bitcoin makes headlines

A few days after the large-scale attack on Wikileaks, the biggest media report on Bitcoin to date took place. The same magazine (PCWorld) published an article titled "Could the Wikileaks Scandal Lead to New Virtual Currency?". (Could the Wikileaks scandal lead to a new virtual currency?).

In it, the magazine described how the events surrounding Wikileaks rocked the Internet. Hackers had already devised peer-to-peer solutions in response to the attacks. The same, the magazine continued, could also be conceivable for a digital currency:

That is what Bitcoin offers; a decentralized virtual currency that is either the best idea since "sliced bread," or the daydream of a random hacker. As long as the Wikileaks debacle continues, it has been mentioned in various places on the Web as a possible answer to PayPal's online payment monopoly. - PCWorld

The last words of Satoshi Nakamoto

The public mention of Bitcoin in the PCWorld article apparently led to server problems on the Bitcointalk forum. The forum went offline for a short time to deal with the rush of visitors. Satoshi Nakamoto then published his second-to-last post in the same thread. He wrote on Dec. 11, 2010:

It would have been nice to get this attention in a different context. WikiLeaks has kicked the hornet's nest and the wasps are coming our way. - Satoshi Nakamoto

The following day, another message would come from the Bitcoin creator. This message would be of a technical nature. After this, Satoshi Nakamoto became quieter on the Bitcointalk forum.Then it would be another four months before Satoshi's very last message appeared in an email.

[I've moved on to other things. It's in good hands with Gavin and Allen now].

- Satoshi Nakamoto

Is Julian Assange the inventor of Bitcoin?

Now the obvious conclusion is to link the inventor of Bitcoin to Wikileaks or Julian Assange, after all, he disappeared around the same time that the increased attacks on the platform occurred. Shortly before that, an international arrest warrant had been issued against Wikileaks founder Julian Assange on suspicion of rape. So Assange was seeking asylum or fleeing authorities at the time Satoshi disappeared. However, this is conjecture at best. There is no solid evidence to support it.

In the end, for Bitcoin itself and the crypto community, it does not matter who the inventor of Bitcoin actually is. After all, one of the cryptocurrency's unique selling points is that it functions without institutions - be it a bank, a state or Satoshi Nakamoto. For more speculation on Satoshi's identity, we've written an article in our Academy.

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