It is true, the National Security Agency created part of the code for Bitcoin.
When you first hear that, it is pretty jarring. It seems like a smoking gun! Case closed, conspiracy theory proven.
But the NSA creates a lot of cryptography code. Some of it works and is widely adopted.
The piece of the Bitcoin code created by the NSA is a hash function called SHA-256. SHA stands for Secure Hashing Algorithm. The hash is the expected outcome. An algorithm can be executed on a piece of data, and the output of that algorithm should match the hash. But you can’t figure out what the data was with just the hash. It only works in one direction. And there are enough different combinations that it is virtually impossible for any two pieces of data to create the same hash.
SHA-256 is not unique to Bitcoin and the NSA. It is used widely, including in SSL certificates to encrypt small data files. Even if someone changes one piece of the file, the hash also changes, and the receiving computer will recognize this by comparing the expected hash with the received hash. This prevents data from being intercepted and changed without detection before reaching its final destination.
That is also the premise behind how SHA-256 is used to create new blocks which represent a newly mined Bitcoin. If anyone tries to falsify any preceding block, the chain of blocks–or blockchain–is disrupted, and the hash will not match.
Yes, the NSA created a piece of the Bitcoin code. No, that is not as actually as sketchy as it might seem.
People are concerned that they installed a “backdoor” in the SHA-256 code to hack and manipulate Bitcoin. But the code is open source. It seems unlikely that of all the experienced people and organizations poring over the code, no one would have noticed a vulnerability.
The Bitcoin One World Currency Conspiracy Theory
The Natural News version of the theory goes something like this.
The government invents Bitcoin to get people excited about digital currency. Then they create their own, or partner with a mainstream bank to create digital cash.
Next, they initiate a global scale false flag attack, like a fake alien invasion, an electromagnetic pulse from North Korea, or a terrorist attack on the power grid. This chaos tanks the economy and the financial system. They blame Bitcoin for funding the terrorists (or aliens?) and outlaw it.
Then the government “saves the day” with their own cryptocurrency, and allows everyone to trade in their fiat dollars for the digital token. The government’s digital token tracks every financial transaction you make. They outlaw Bitcoin, gold, silver, and cash in the name of security so that terrorism cannot be funded.
Then some Biblical prophesies get brought in, and the government requires their crypto transactions be authenticated with RFID chips: the mark of the beast! So no one can transact in the economy without a tracking chip.
The government has complete control over the population. They can roll out automatic taxation, negative interest rates, and any other kind of control they want.
The creator of Natural News, “The Health Ranger” Mike Adams, concludes: “How do you feel about Bitcoin now?”
Well damn Mike, that sounds pretty scary! You know, I check my closets and under my bed after watching horror flicks too. That doesn’t mean being scared has actually increased the risk of a spooky story coming true.
Natural News has some good content. I like what Mike Adams does in general. But he has a clear bias against Bitcoin and basically flings crap against a wall until something sticks.
Take Bitcoin out of that conspiracy theory, and nothing changes. Bitcoin is not at all an integral part of that scenario. Insert cash where it says Bitcoin. And insert digital-cash in place of government-sponsored cryptocurrency. Government creating Bitcoin is an unnecessary extra step.
It’s not that I think the government wouldn’t try (or want to try) that scenario. But I do have serious doubts about their competence to carry it out.
Mike has also criticized Bitcoin speculators for thinking the government is going to allow them to hold onto their gains. So I guess people are supposed to abandon technological progress if the government is likely to outlaw it down the road. Might as well abandon gold and silver while we are at it since those will also be outlawed in his scenario.
In fact with this doomsday attitude that resistance is futile, why bother owning guns, collecting rainwater, or doing anything else to prepare for disaster? Does Mike really think the government is going to let him keep his ammo and solar panels?
He also criticizes Bitcoin enthusiasts for participating in a bubble, Ponzi scheme, or tulip-mania. That’s possible, but then why would these people have to fear the government outlawing something that is going to destroy itself anyway?
Mike has intelligent well thought out insights on many subjects. Bitcoin is not one of them.
So Did the NSA Create Bitcoin?
The NSA wrote a paper in 1996 that some say lays the groundwork for Bitcoin.
This is another fact that sounds pretty damning. But again, this is one of the functions of the NSA. They explore cryptography and its applications. There are certainly similar elements between the NSA outline and Bitcoin. But the paper is still relatively broad.
And the paper was never kept secret, it was published. The real Satoshi Nakamoto could have read it and got some ideas. He, or whatever organization the name represents, would have done their research to review published material on the subject of cryptocurrencies.
It’s really no more nefarious than seeing elements of British Common Law in the American Bill of Rights. That doesn’t mean the British infiltrated the new American Congress.
Some claim that Satoshi Nakamoto can be translated to “Central Intelligence.” And we all know that much like serial killers, the government loves to leave little breadcrumbs hinting at their evil plans.
But translating Japanese is not that simple. As this Steemit article points out, the translation is just as likely to mean, “A clever chronicling of history as a book that is in the process of happening and throughout (all nodes).”
But even if the NSA or CIA created Bitcoin, so what? The US government created the internet, and then the market ran with it and created the most individually empowering platform that ever existed. We shouldn’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.
Bitcoin isn’t the only cryptocurrency out there. Even if the NSA or CIA did create Bitcoin, they inadvertently spurred a competition for the best cryptocurrency. If they created it to fund their own terrorist organizations, that means it is a useful financial tool.
Now I understand if you want to stay away from anything associated with these nafarious organizations. I am no cryptography expert. I cannot say for sure how likely it is that the government has a backdoor or vulnerability built into Bitcoin to steal or manipulate the cryptocurrency.
From my own research, that seems relatively unlikely. But if you disagree, simply divest in Bitcoin, and diversify into other cryptocurrencies untainted by the U.S. government.
That’s the great part about a market for currencies. There are other choices. Unlike the U.S. dollar, you are not forced to use Bitcoin.
A Note on the Conspiracy Loop
Conspiracy theories lend themselves to a never-ending feedback loop.
Sure, it could all be true. But it could just as easily be reverse psychology.
Perhaps Bitcoin is such a promising tool to free people from central banking, that they are desperate to discredit it. What better way than to convince people it was created by the NSA or CIA?
The government’s best tool is convincing everyone they are omnipresent. Seeing agents in everything paralyzes people with inaction. Better to accept the fact that the government has infiltrated certain aspects of society. Armed with that knowledge, you can live your life without self-imposed exile.
Don’t base your decision on an unproven conspiracy theory.
If you do, it is a flip of the coin. Maybe avoiding Bitcoin saves you some money and disappointment when the NSA exploits it. Maybe you miss out on a promising technology devoid of NSA influence.
You really can’t make a definite determination about Bitcoin based on the information available. Therefore the best course of action is to do what you were going to do anyway.
For me, that means holding some Bitcoin. If I lose it all, oh well, c’est la vie! If it goes to the moon, great, I will take some off the table. If it eventually becomes a stable and widely accepted currency, yay, that’s what I wanted all along.
And if our shadowy globalist elite bankster deep state overlords plunge us into a 10,000-year war with Satan himself leading the dark armies, then what the hell was I going to do about it anyway?