An Old Theory Revived
Bitcoin advocate Nic Carter has once again expressed his belief that the United States National Security Agency (NSA) played a role in the creation of Bitcoin (BTC). The theory was recently revived by Iris Energy co-founder Daniel Roberts, who shared screenshots of a 1996 paper with a strong resemblance to Bitcoin's system.
A 1996 Paper Linked to NSA
The paper, titled "How to make a mint: The cryptography of anonymous electronic cash," is one of the earliest discussions of a Bitcoin-like system. It suggests using public-key cryptography to enable anonymous payments without revealing users' identities. Interestingly, the footer notes indicate that the paper was prepared by NSA employees, including cryptography expert Tatsuaki Okamoto.
Carter's Support for the Theory
Nic Carter, a partner at Castle Island Ventures, has been a proponent of the theory for several years. He refers to it as the "Bitcoin lab leak hypothesis," suggesting that Bitcoin was originally a closed internal research and development project by the NSA that was later released by a researcher without permission.
Carter clarifies that he does not believe the U.S. government secretly controls all the Satoshi coins, an additional theory often associated with the Bitcoin/NSA conspiracy. Instead, he proposes that the researcher who released Bitcoin chose to leave the coins behind in order to maintain their anonymity. He claims there is a significant amount of circumstantial evidence to support this theory.
Similarities in Names
Some users have pointed out the resemblance between the name Tatsuaki Okamoto and Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous creator of Bitcoin. However, Carter suggests that this is not a crucial part of the theory.
Cross-Fertilization of Crypto Nerds
Matthew Pines, director of Intelligence at cybersecurity firm Krebs Stamos, believes that it was likely a "cross-fertilization of NSA crypto nerds and cipher punk nerds" that led to the creation of Bitcoin. He speculates that Satoshi and their intellectual collaborators may have had close associations with the NSA.
Previous Theories and Uncertain Future
Raoul Pal, former Goldman Sachs executive, has also shared his theory that the US and UK governments, namely the NSA and GCHQ, were involved in inventing Bitcoin. However, former NSA cryptanalyst Jeff Man argues that while it is possible the NSA created Bitcoin for intelligence purposes, it is highly unlikely. Ultimately, the real story behind Bitcoin's creation may never be fully revealed.