John McAfee Promises to Expose Satoshi Nakamoto of the Crypto-World

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The eccentric pioneer of the popular antivirus software, John McAfee, is well-known for his encounters with the law.  He claims he has talked to Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of Bitcoin, and is planning to reveal his/her identity.

However, the timing of the whole thing remains to be seen.  John McAfee previously told Bloomberg that he would reveal Nakamoto's identity "within a week" but has since rescinded his plan.  On Tuesday, McAfee said on Twitter that the controversy might harm his efforts in fighting repatriation to the U.S.

Nakamoto, a pseudonym thought to refer to a group of people or perhaps just one individual, has been discussed for years regarding their background.  There are lots of theories (most of which have been discredited) which fuel the suspicion that the Bitcoin pioneer has most likely died. Recently, McAfee said that Nakamoto is a man who lives in the U.S.

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From the Bahamas, in a phone interview, McAfee said, "I've spoken with him, and he is not a happy camper about my attempt to out him."  McAfee's erratic behavior and antics have dominated over his software-pioneering past. It is difficult to know if he has tracked down Nakamoto, which is something that many others have so far failed to do.

In the interview, McAfee said that he had pursued hackers for the whole of his life, which makes him an ideal person to track him down. "People forget that I am a technologist," says McAfee.  "I am one of the best."

McAfee posted a letter from his extradition lawyer, Mario Gray, saying that if he reveals Nakamoto's identity he could become targeted for lawsuits.  This has led to his delay in the revelation, making him guard himself "on many fronts."

“Releasing the identity of Satoshi at this time could influence the trial and risk my extradition,” his tweet says. “I cannot risk that. I’ll wait”.

McAfee founded his company in 1987 and has been a “person of interest" in a well-reported murder case in Belize.  After this, he returned to the U.S. Recently, he has made investments in cryptocurrency and has been promoting them on his own Twitter account (for a fee, of course!).  He is also in the running for the U.S presidency.

If Satoshi Nakamoto is alive, this could cause problems to arise in Bitcoin trading. The Bitcoin creator, most likely along with other cryptocurrency pioneers, is thought to be one of the biggest holders of digital coins.  He might even have almost a million, a significant slice of the pie when you think that the entire supply stands at around 17.6 million. At current prices, his stake is worth about $5.6 bn.

Because the coins have not moved in a decade, the majority of people presumed Nakamoto had died. This was supported by a Florida man's lawsuit claim that he helped to invent Bitcoin.  

Price Pressures

In 2008, Nakamoto wrote a white paper that outlined Bitcoin and worked with a group to develop the cryptocurrency, with it debuting in 2009, according to McAfee.  

If he is not dead, his coins could enter the market, in theory.  Their sale would, therefore, put more pressure on the prices of Bitcoin. This theory follows the fact that when a trustee of the defunct Mt. Gox exchange sold any Bitcoins to pay debts, the price of the currency took a sharp dip.

For years, there have been numerous theories on Nakamoto.   The New Yorker and The New York Times both tried to discover the person (or people) behind the alias. Newsweek identified him as a physicist from California in their 2014 front-page story, but he denied it.  A blog post in 2016 as well as in interviews with different media outlets, Craig Wright, an Australian entrepreneur, said that he is the real Nakamoto.

A libel lawsuit that was recently filed by Wright was what partly prompted McAfee’s threatening outing of Nakamoto.  The lawsuit was against podcasters who questioned the real identity of Nakamoto, stating that it wasn’t Wright. McAfee told Bloomberg that Wright is not the person who he spoke to.

In the interview, he said, "My entire life I've been tracking people who are the best in the world and hiding their identity.  Finding Satoshi was a piece of cake for me."

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