“Bitcoin leak from laboratory.” The community is once again discussing the role of the NSA

March in numbers: influx of liquidity into DeFi and recovery of Bitcoin amid the banking crisis
March in numbers: influx of liquidity into DeFi and recovery of Bitcoin amid the banking crisis

A long-standing theory about the involvement of the US National Security Agency (NSA) in the development of the first cryptocurrency has been revived in the community. On September 15, Iris Energy co-founder Daniel Roberts posted a screenshot of a 1996 agency paper titled “How to Create a Mint: The Cryptography of Anonymous Electronic Money.”

The document is one of the first known discussions of a digital currency system, which suggests using a public key encryption method to anonymize transfers.

The notes on the report state that the research paper was “prepared by NSA personnel.” Among the sources was cryptography expert Tatsuaki Okamoto, who co-authored the Okamoto-Uchiyama public key system in 1998.

In the article, the researchers listed four main components of the network:

  • confidentiality;
  • user identification with protection from personalization;
  • transaction integrity;
  • irreversibility.

All of these points are implemented in one way or another in the Bitcoin protocol. In addition, authors often use terms like “coins” and “tokens.”

The document also references David Chaum, who is known in the crypto community as an early proponent of anonymous digital transactions. He developed the concept of untraceable electronic payments back in 1982, long before the full-scale spread of the Internet.

Coin Metrics co-founder Nick Carter confirmed his commitment to this theory.

“I really believe it. I call this the Bitcoin Lab Leak Hypothesis. “It was probably a closed internal science project that one researcher thought was too good to shelve and decided to secretly release it,” he wrote.

According to Carter, this state of affairs does not mean that the US government secretly controls Bitcoin. Most likely, the anonymous programmer released the blockchain without the permission of the NSA, the expert added.

Carter has been pursuing this theory for several years. In 2020, he voiced his “lab leak” thesis, suggesting that the NSA may have been developing the first cryptocurrency as a “financial bioweapon.”

In 2021, the head of Coin Metrics called the alleged Bitcoin leak “the only decent thing the NSA has done.”

The head of the security company Krebs Stamos, Matthew Pines, also believes that the developers of digital gold had close ties with the National Security Service, but did not receive direct orders to launch.

“Perhaps this is cross-fertilization between NSA crypto nerds and cypherpunks,” Pines wrote.

Former Goldman Sachs executive and macro investor Raoul Pal shared his own theory in an interview with Impact Theory that the NSA and the UK Government Communications Center worked together to create Bitcoin.

In August, Cointelegraph spoke with ex-National Security Agency employee Jeff Man. He suggested the department’s “possible” involvement in the first cryptocurrency as a “means of collecting information about its enemies.”

However, Man concluded that even if this theory is true, we will still never know the true history of the world’s most popular digital asset.

Let us recall that in March 2018, Edward Snowden announced “close monitoring of Bitcoin users” by the NSA.

Later, the co-founder of bitcoin.org and bitcointalk.org under the pseudonym Cobra noted that he did not trust American research into the first cryptocurrency, since the US government had already infiltrated the project.

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