Did the NSA Invent Bitcoin? A 1996 Research Paper Reignites the Debate

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Did the NSA Invent Bitcoin? A 1996 Research Paper Reignites the Debate

A caller buzz wrong crypto circles revolves astir a 1996 probe insubstantial from the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA). There’s burgeoning speculation: did the NSA laic the groundwork for Bitcoin? Indeed, determination are striking similarities betwixt the NSA papers and the Bitcoin achromatic paper. However, a elaborate look suggests a tighter transportation to centralized Chaumian models described years prior.

From NSA’s Vaults to Satoshi’s Vision: Tracing Bitcoin’s Alleged Origins

Bitcoin, whose beingness is wide attributed to the elusive Satoshi Nakamoto, present has whispers suggesting its existent root mightiness beryllium the U.S. Department of Defense’s quality arm, the NSA. This isn’t a caller narrative, but we’ll dive into its anterior emergence shortly. For now, it’s worthy noting this theory, on with the NSA’s paper, has gained traction connected the societal media level X.

“The NSA invented Bitcoin?” Daniel Roberts mused. “1996 insubstantial titled: ‘How to Make a Mint: The Cryptography of Anonymous Electronic Cash.’ Sources see ‘Tatsuaki Okamoto.’ Who other would beryllium capable to beryllium anonymously connected 1 cardinal coins. Oh, and they invented SHA256… ?”

Penned by Laurie Law, Susan Sabett, and Jerry Solinas connected June 18, 1996, the NSA paper delves into online transactions, cryptography, and integer signatures. It suggests a distributed model with the imaginable for “untraceability.” The projected “electronic coin” adjacent spans offline uses. Roberts’ comments connected X prompted a flurry of reactions.

Ian Grigg, a machine idiosyncratic and fiscal cryptographer, clarified it arsenic “just a insubstantial from the NSA written backmost successful the day. It made a small splash, it was designed to pass the IC however integer currency similar Chaum blinded wealth of the 1990s worked astatine the time. Hint- it’s utilizing Chaumian presumption similar Mint and Anonymous Electronic Cash.”

Another voice, cryptographer Adam Back, weighed in, “That’s much similar chaum ecash variant. i.e. centalised ecash, not that related to Bitcoin.” David Chaum introduced the thought of integer currency successful the aboriginal 1980s and published a insubstantial titled “Blind Signatures for Untraceable Payments” successful 1982.

The NSA papers receiving attraction isn’t new; media outlet CCN.com tackled it years ago. Though updated iterations surfaced successful 2021, the portion got archived connected June 6, 2018. The write-up besides touched connected the NSA’s instauration of the SHA256 cryptographic hash function. On June 6, 2019, CCN released another piece titled “4 Reasons to Believe the Deep State (or the NSA) Created Bitcoin,” notably without referencing the 1996 document.

Even earlier Bitcoin’s inception, successful 2005, leaks revealed that the NSA and Pentagon poured immense resources into supercomputers and expansive information facilities successful Utah and Maryland. By 2011, the NSA had developed an $895.6 cardinal supercomputing hub successful Fort Meade, Maryland, initially drafting much than 60 megawatts (MW) of powerfulness to start. Reports assertion the Fort Meade NSA installation has 70,000 quadrate feet of method space, and the Utah information halfway has astir 100,000 quadrate feet designated for computers.

Beyond these tech marvels, the NSA allegedly monitored bitcoin users successful 2013. This revelation came courtesy of whistleblower Edward Snowden and a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. The NSA reportedly tracked bitcoin enthusiasts utilizing its Xkeyscore software, susceptible of pinpointing a user’s Internet Protocol address. The “MONKEYROCKET” programme was astatine the helm of this operation.

Described arsenic a “non-Western Internet anonymization service,” “MONKEYROCKET” leveraged “full take” surveillance. The NSA, erstwhile approached by The Intercept for a statement, remained tight-lipped. There’s besides chatter that this bundle played a significant role successful taking down the Liberty Reserve exchange, which U.S. national prosecutors shuttered nether the Patriot Act successful May 2013.

Yet, arsenic past often repeats, the 1996 NSA insubstantial is erstwhile again a blistery taxable connected societal platforms, catching the attraction of crypto influencers. “I really bash judge this,” commented Nic Carter connected Roberts’ NSA station connected X. “I telephone it the Bitcoin laboratory leak hypothesis. I deliberation it was a shuttered interior R&D task which 1 researcher thought was excessively bully to laic fallow connected the support and chose to secretly release.”

Carter elaborated, “This doesn’t connote the U.S. govt secretly controls each the Satoshi coins BTW. In my mentation of this made up idea, the researcher did it without support of the NSA, and chose to permission the coins down truthful arsenic to sphere his anonymity.” Tatsuaki Okamoto, mentioned successful the NSA report, is simply a distinguished cryptographer affiliated with Japan’s NTT. To date, Okamoto’s pioneering enactment has garnered implicit 23,000 citations successful world circles.

What’s your instrumentality connected the chatter linking the NSA to Bitcoin? Is it plausible oregon conscionable a chaotic conjecture? We’d emotion to perceive your insights. Drop your views successful the comments below.

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