In which Sam Biddle, Andy Cush, Andy Greenberg and Gwern Branwen fail to learn anything from the charred corpse of Leah McGrath Goodman, or how to tell if you’ve actually found Satoshi Nakamoto.


So Wired‘s Andy Greenberg and Gwern Branwen, in concert with Gizmodo‘s Sam Biddle and Andy Cush, are once againi beating that old dead horse of “This previously unknown man with several college degrees in seemingly disparate fields claims to be Satoshi, the creator of Bitcoin, we believe him, here’s his story,” with predictable results. No, they didn’t find Satoshi, yes, they did farm some clicks the old-fashioned way, and no, there’s no future for either organisation, nor for Mr. Craig Stephen Wright.ii

The only, and I do mean the only legitimate confirmation of Satoshi’s identity would be a PGP-signed document and demonstration of ownership of the private keys for the originally mined stash (~1 mn BTC worth).

Even still, it’d be as meaningful a “reveal” as if Obama, after retiring from office, came out and said “Yes, I was actually born in Kenya and I am in fact a practicing Muslim, I always have been and I always will be.” Either way, for better or worse, what’s done it done. The successes and failures of the past may be told differently by different sources, but they cannot be materially changed. Bitcoin cannot be uninvented and Obama cannot be un-Presidented.

This Satoshi “story” as with any other such, isn’t “good journalism,” it’s a ruse (for clicks ! just like Trump !), one of many many many that vary only in degrees, not in substance. The giveaway that this latest round is a sham (if a better crafted one than the last Newsweek-led sham), is the following passage :

The first of those supercomputers he named Sukuriputo Okane—Japanese for “script money.” Another, named Co1n, holds the title of the world’s most powerful privately owned supercomputer. As Wright told the Bitcoin Investor’s conference, he’s applying that second machine towards the mysterious task of “modeling Bitcoin’s scalability,” and meanwhile building an even more powerful supercomputing cluster in Iceland because of its cheap geothermal power.

It’s the “scalability” bit that gives this up, though I admit that this would only be obvious to a handful of people who actually know what the fuck is going on with regards to Bitcoin, not to the rabble on the outside.

For your edification, Bitcoin isn’t going to “scale” to meet the needs and wants of the world – the world is going to adapt to the new reality that Bitcoin exists and will continue to exist for some time to come. Trying to “improve” Bitcoin isn’t materially different from trying to make rainclouds double as satellites. “They’re already up there, imagine how much better telecommunications would be if every raincloud was also a signal relay!” Sounds pretty silly, doesn’t it ? So while, yes, Bitcoin started out as software and, yes, most computer/ph0ne users are accustomed to their software being updated on a regular or “as-needed” basis, often without their intention or permission, it is not the case that Bitcoin works the same way. For all intents and purposes and as far as you’re concerned, Bitcoin is the Sydney Harbour Bridge and expanding it to allow for more traffic just isn’t in the cards. So get used to it.

Now the question as to whether Jesus Christ actually married Mary Magdalene would be a better example of a journalism story on a widely wondered and mysterious question. The Satoshi story ? I don’t see it.

Then again, I’m not the little matchstick girl looking in through the leaded glass window at the family eating roast goose, laughing at father’s stories, and staying warm by the fireplace.

Satoshi Nakamundo___ ___ ___

  1. Remember Newsweek’s Leah McGrath Goodman and her “Dorian Nakamoto is Satoshi Nakamoto” scam-charade 21 short months ago ? No ? For shame. You’re missing out on some lulz.
  2. So before you go donating to Wright’s “defense fund” – which, mark my words, there will be, just like there was for every dumb idiot who thought that USG agents could be trusted, or even, lol, valuable – save your bitpennies today, buy Nevada tomorrow.

7 thoughts on “In which Sam Biddle, Andy Cush, Andy Greenberg and Gwern Branwen fail to learn anything from the charred corpse of Leah McGrath Goodman, or how to tell if you’ve actually found Satoshi Nakamoto.

  1. […] was alleged to correspond to the identity of the historical Satoshi Nakamoto by writers from Wired and Gawker Media. These writers by all appearances followed a collection of evidence most likely fabricated by the […]

  2. mh says:

    When I read the Wired article, the quote you presented here on scalability was precisely the quote I would have chosen to cement the whole charade.

    Too many obvious holes in the whole story – but already trying to position him as an “authority” who “has an opinion about scalability” just stinks. It’s all a bit contrived.

    I wondered yesterday why no one was mentioning that, but … yeah..

  3. […] and status in contrast to so many other invariably indebted journosaurs, particularly of the Jizmodo variety who chirp “OMG A MILLION DOLLARS ISN’T CHUMP […]

  4. […] to the magic of the market, someone else will! So unless mafia dons started writing op-eds for jizzmodo when I wasn’t looking, these guys have as much recourse to enforcement as a squirrel does […]

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