The Legend of Satoshi Nakamoto

What does it matter who is speaking,” someone said, “what matters is who is speaking.”

That’s the entire point. 

In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, a totally new concept was developed where scientific texts were accepted on their own merits and positioned within an anonymous and coherent conceptual system of established truths and methods of verification. Authentication no
longer required reference to the individual who had produced them;
the role of the author disappeared as an index of truthfulness and,
where it remained as an inventor’s name, it was merely to denote a
specific theorem or proposition, a strange effect, a property, a body, a
group of elements, or pathological syndrome.

Michel Foucault, What is an Author? [bold mine]

The Spectre that Satoshi Nakamoto represents — a single human being intransigently choosing the protection of cryptography against a seemingly omnipotent global government machine hell-bent on controlling all wealth, information, and identity no matter what — is a far greater power than any money he created; but is the very legend that he and Bitcoin is. Through creating a character that we only know as this amorphous, pseudonymous, nonphysical ‘person’–the idea that is Satoshi Nakamoto–and his great work that he introduced into the world–Bitcoin–Satoshi was really telling a much greater story about wealth, identity, and power in the arc of human history. When one reads all the details of this hidden story about a man and his passion for a new form of wealth that is beyond any temporal power; we discover the tale of cryptosovereignty and the extraordinary individual power that is cryptography, and Bitcoin in this world.

As time builds between Satoshi’s last appearance in our world and the inoperetivity that is his task of Bitcoin; so too will the legend of who he is, and the ramification of what he has done. And as this legend grows and becomes known by all of humankind, it will transmogrify beyond just a legend and into the fabric of history itself. As the very foundation of fiat money and panoptic surveillance comes to tremble before the name Satoshi Nakamoto, the reality of his task will be too palpable for anyone to deny.

With each ludicrous attempt to identify Satoshi, as we saw with Dorian, or the fraudulent, lying, despicable sack of shit that is CSW, or any of those other fuck-ups who have tried to claim to be him; the legend of Satoshi will only grow stronger. Now only a cryptographic signature from the genesis block will suffice to verify that Satoshi is who he is. Anything short of that will always leave space for it to be questioned, for Satoshi to remain hidden. I believe in all of his brilliance and glory Satoshi threw those private keys into the abyss, sealing his fate as the author of the greatest work of art that has ever been created; while dooming his project to the final, inevitable conclusion that it and the world must come to.

For the deepest truth of what Satoshi had to teach us was ‘what does it matter who is speaking, someone said, what matters is who is speaking.

Through the glory, grace, and dignity of whoever Satoshi Nakamoto may be, the one thing that is for certain is they are of the greatest character and class of any human that there has been. And it is not for the achievement that is Bitcoin, the extraordinary power that is unlocking this new epoch, nor even for the monumental amount of exogenesis wealth it will create; but for his very human choice to walk away.

Through this action alone Satoshi may very well pass himself from being just a legend to something so much more extraordinary and audacious:


Real hope.

For something new. For something different. For something fair.

By refusing to reveal who he is, refusing to expose his wealth, and by making the final decision to remain as only the author of Bitcoin, and nothing more; he has moved himself from the human realm into that of the Elysium itself.

By maintaining his image as a Being that is beyond this place of wrath and tears, past the gridding and guilt that is now our very physical faces and existence, and past the shame and injustice that is the history of all fiat money; Satoshi’s work has opened the narrow path from which we can escape the camps of modren life. Just as in the darkest of nights does the smallest of lights shine the brightest, so too does Bitcoin present itself here on this earth today.

The creation of Bitcoin was a task chosen for only him/them/it alone, and the role was played perfectly to the task. Whoever Satoshi Nakamoto may be, they are clearly the greatest hero of the 21st century, and quite possibility even the great liberator of humanity itself. Only time will tell how great and how vast the legend of Satoshi Nakamoto will grow to be, and how glorious his project of Bitcoin will become; but one thing is for certain and that is this:

Satoshi has given us hope.

By refusing the greatest sum of money that any person has ever created, by keeping his face concealed and beyond the power of any state or person to identify, and by choosing to walk away from one of the most extraordinary project that humanity has ever known; Satoshi has proven his imperium and sovereignty through cryptography. Through his being as an author alone, he has displayed the power that any of us can have access to when we choose to use the power of cryptography to protect ourselves, and the promise that will always entail. Through his task of Bitcoin and the Good News that it is, he has given each one of us the gift for to choose for ourselves what the real meaning of value, wealth, and law is.

In this final action of walking away, and taking his death upon himself, Satoshi closed the Gate of Law as his final move and checkmate to forbid any state from interloping in our land, and allow us an opportunity to abscond back to the country from which we came so we may be free once again.


It is said that after Satoshi stopped working on Bitcoin that he found a job as a scrivener lost somewhere down on Wall Street. Today he still sits there, as Bartleby once did, confounding financiers, economist, lawyers, and all sorts of reasonable men alike with his intransigency, and decision to refuse to go along with anything. It is said that he was a most unreasonable man and his only response to any question was:

I would prefer not to.”

“If Bartleby is a new Messiah, he comes not, like Jesus, to redeem what was, but to save what was not. The Tartarus into which Bartleby, the new savior, descends is the deepest level of the Palace of Destinies, that whose sight Leibniz cannot tolerate, the world in which nothing is compossible with anything else, where “nothing exists rather than something.”

― Giorgio Agamben

Erik is a crypto-anarchist, iconoclast, and thinker that has been working in the bitcoin ecosystem since 2012. His primary concerns are the intersections of political, economic, and social theory as they relate to bitcoin specifically and crypto generally.