The founder the world’s second-biggest cryptocurrency has claimed US intelligence services may have played a role in the creation of Bitcoin.
Vitalik Buterin, the Russian-born creator of Ethereum, suggested the National Security Agency (NSA) was involved in the development of the virtual currency.
A person or group called Satoshi Nakamoto published a white paper in 2008 which first set out the mechanics of Bitcoin.
But although several people have been identified as the ‘real’ Satoshi, his identity has never been unequivocally proven.
We have discovered a post on the website Bitcoin Talk in 2011 in which Buterin responded to the following comment from a user called Bazil, who wrote: ‘Satoshi never let anyone know who he was.
‘I wouldn’t be surprised if he is actually an American working for the NSA specializing in cryptography. Then he got sick of the government’s monetary policies and decided to create Bitcoin.’
Vitalik Buterin account then replied: ‘Or the NSA itself decided to create Bitcoin.
‘Things as big as megacorps and governments work against themselves all the time, I wouldn’t be too surprised if the NSA has some part in at least supporting it.’
We have contacted Buterin to confirm if he is the owner of the account, but he has not responded.
Earlier this year, it was reported that a boss of the Russian cybersecurity firm Kaspersky made a similar claim.
‘Bitcoin is a project of American intelligence agencies, which was designed to provide quick funding for US, British and Canadian intelligence activities in different countries,’ she said, according to Sputnik News.
‘[The technology] is privatized just like the Internet, GPS and TOR. In fact, it is dollar 2.0. Its rate is controlled by the owners of exchanges.’
This week, the CIA said it could neither confirm nor deny that it held information on the identity of Satoshi.