The Story: Have government agents infiltrated Bitcoin?
If you created a system that could potentially displace a lot of existing organisations – large, powerful organisations – rendering them obsolete and removing their sources of funding, you could reasonably expect that some people from those groups wouldn’t be too happy about it. They will most likely decide to take action – perhaps even criminal action – in order to protect their interests. That’s why when Bitcoin was created, it made sense that its inventor (or inventors) decided to remain anonymous.
The identity of Satoshi Nakamoto remains unknown, and as far as we know, no longer has anything to do with the project. So they are most likely safe from reprisal. Yet, what about the people who are involved in the project today? If powerful people wanted to slow down or even destroy Bitcoin, how would they do it? The decentralised, anti-fragile nature of the system makes it too strong for an attack using software. But the developers’ identities are public, and the discussion boards are public. Anyone with sufficient resources could begin to corrupt these groups using money, violence, threats of violence, and sowing seeds of confusions in public forums – perhaps even creating entire companies to subtly undermine the integrity of the project.
In this episode, Kurt looks at a couple of historical examples of how “law enforcement” organisations are willing to get their hands dirty for questionable purposes, and speculates how similar strategies could be used to unhinge the Bitcoin community – or other digital currency communities. He discusses how Hoover used the FBI to act out his prejudices against black Americans, how London Metropolitan policemen were involved in sexual relationships as part of their undercover operations, and the types of unusual comments that float around among prominent Bitcoiners, that raise the question of whether Bitcoin has been compromised.
Join me on a journey of infiltration, deception and mystery in the next episode of … The Paradise Paradox!
If you enjoy our posts, please become a patron on Patreon, or have a look at The Paradise Paradox’s page on Steemit where you can join, earn money, and upvote our posts to help support the show! You can also find a lot of additional content which is not posted on this site, with Kurt’s posts on Steemit and Aaron’s posts on Steemit.
We really appreciate all of your contributions! Every cent and satoshi we receive lets us know that we’re doing something worthwhile, that you are entertained by our program, and that you’re starting to question what you know more and more. Please be generous. Donate to The Paradise Paradox. Or buy some stuff on Amazon using this link. Or buy some of our great T-shirts here.
If you enjoyed the episode, don’t keep it a secret! Feel free to share it on Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, Reddit, or your office bathroom wall.