The latest round of revelations from former CIA analyst and whistle-blower Edward Snowden appear to confirm what many observers had long suspected.
The creator of Bitcoin, known under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto, was a high-ranking NSA in-house researcher who is thought to have left the intelligence agency sometime in early March 2009, barely a few weeks after the release of Bitcoin itself.
The news emerges as part of Snowden’s latest release of classified US government archives, and part of a series of hitherto-unreleased documents poached by the ex-CIA analyst in 2013, which appear to indicate that almost all of the advanced encryption methods which drive blockchain technology – including elliptic curve cryptography – were the product of painstaking research financed by the NSA under the tutelage of one its lead research scientists, Frenchman Davide Webb.
“Tech behind Bitcoin not originally conceived for cryptocurrency”
It is believed that Webb lead up a group of NSA mathematicians that had been assigned with the task of developing a publicly-hosted network that could offer a set of secure, encrypted communication methods for NSA and CIA agents operating out in the field.
“The real story here is that Bitcoin was not conceived as a cryptocurrency,” states Sam Cheddar, the journalist who first published the new Snowden/Satoshi revelations. “It isn’t understood, however, how or why the technology metamorphized into a cryptocurrency, having started out initially as a secure means of communication over the internet – the original purpose of the technology that underpins Bitcoin.”
It is not clear, however, whether Snowden’s intention is to identify Webb as Satoshi, or the entire group of researchers that Webb led up during his time at the NSA. “Satoshi may just be a group of individuals, as some have already speculated,” adds Cheddar.
Whilst the story appears to lift a veil from at least one aspect of the Bitcoin / Satoshi origins mystery, the latest revelation appears appear to raise more questions than it answers.
Webb himself was thought to have last been sighted at the MIT’s School of Engineering in 2011, attending an open presentation organised by the Argentine-American academic Roberto Ludlum entitled Dia de los inocentes, discussing the theoretical implications of quantum computing on blockchain technology.
Intriguingly, a follow-up investigation by Cheddar tracked down a Davide Webb residing in Monaco, a French national who also carries something of a reputation as a serial seed investor, having invested heavily into both Ethereum and Binance in their pre-ICO stages. Webb’s secretarial team declined to comment when contacted by ICOExaminer.