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!
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