Nakamoto SAtoshi

I just noted what you get if you take the three letters spelled in capital above.

Of course that may be just a slightly weird coincidence worth noting only for its entertainment value.

On the other hand, it may be an explanation why nobody is able to find SAtoshi.

I noticed this while reading a recent report by the RAND National Defense Research Institute, titled “National Security Implications of Virtual Currencies“.

That report discusses the potential of terrorist organizations to develop and deploy new virtual currencies.

I think that approach is not very useful. Why would any terrorist organization try to develop and deploy a new virtual currency instead of using one of the already existing ones?

Discussing the national security implications of virtual currencies from the perspective of the American military needs to address two topics.

One: How useful is Bitcoin for American security interests?

There are a couple of potential answers.

Having Bitcoin available gives the CIA a method of paying agents that is difficult to track.

Having Bitcoin available gives lobbyists connected to the military a method of paying politicians that is difficult to track. See more about how that might work out in a fictional setting here.

Having Bitcoin available gives the government a method of running dark funds the use of which is difficult to track.

Two: How useful is Bitcoin to terrorists? And how useful compared to existing alternatives like cash?

Once these two questions are answered you can proceed to compare if the gains for the terrorists or the gains for the American government are larger.

In other words, it isn’t enough that there are disturbing rumors that the terrorists use e-mail to argue against e-mail from a national security point of view. You need to show that the availability of e-mail helps the terrorists more than their opponents.

In that balance, the existence of Bitcoin may give the government an added edge that is impossible in a world without virtual currencies.

As the report explains, there are different levels of capability for people interested in attacking virtual currencies. Nation States (especially the United States of America) are in the top group of “Tier 6” capability.

They can install special hardware on your computer. They may have an agent install special software while you are not looking.

Under these conditions, it may be very difficult to actually use Bitcoin anonymously if you are a terrorist organization.

But you may think that you are anonymous.

In other words, the existence of Bitcoin may give the opponents of terrorist organizations the capability of watching their money flows while the terrorists think they are anonymous.

That may be valuable enough to have the Nakamoto SAtoshi create Bitcoin in the first place.

If so, they probably won’t be interested in disrupting it.

 

 

Published by kflenz

Professor at Aoyama Gakuin University, Tokyo. Author of Lenz Blog (since 2003, lenzblog.com).

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