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Bitcoin creator ‘Satoshi Nakamoto’ – a pseudonym – could be about to have his identity made public, after a series of odd emails from the address that has been his only point of contact with the world after he ‘went dark’ in 2011, according to a report in Forbes.
Someone claiming to be a hacker has access to “firstname.lastname@example.org”, and has posted a threat to Pastebin, saying that he would “de-anonymize” the mysterious Bitcoin creator for a ransom of 25 Bitcoins.
The threat says, “Releasing the so called “gods” dox if my address hits 25 BTC.And no, this is not a scam.” A series of mysterious emails from the Bitcoin creator’s supposed address, reported by Vice.com, have done little to clear up the mystery.
A test email from We Live Security found that the address is now delivering a “mailbox unavailable” error message.
One colleague received a threat to “hitman” him from the account, which Forbes reports drily as not being in the “usual style” of the cryptocurrency founder.
The identity of ‘Satoshi Nakamoto’ who handed over control of the site to a developer nearly four years ago, has been hot property since Newseek incorrectly identified a man, Dorian Nakamoto, as beeing the mysterious developer of the cryptocurrency.
Forbes reports that the email address has lain dormant since 2011, since ‘Nakamoto’ ceased corresponding with people via the address. The magazine speculates that the GMX.com addresss may have fallen dormant through disuse, and been opened up to another user, as GMX’s terms of service specify that accounts can be “terminated” after that time.
Things got yet more mysterious when two separate people appeared to correspond with Motherboard at Vice from the same address. One sent a screenshot showing an Inbox with 11,000 emails.
The site writes, “Motherboard was able to communicate with two individuals who have access to Nakamoto’s old email address. The first said he was only browsing Nakamoto’s for fun. The second not only claimed to be the real hacker of the account, but also said the first person we spoke with was Nakamoto himself.”
The series of emails, chronicled by Vice, become increasingly cryptic as the supposed hacker denies he is associated with the Pastebin post.
One of the concluding emails thickens the plot still further. Asked if he is sure that the other individual with access is definitely Satoshi, the hacker replies, “Satoshi is smart and will have tried to put the people looking for him on the wrong path. This is why I can’t be sure.”
Author Rob Waugh, We Live Security