Evan Ratliff, the author of The Mastermind, shares his research on Paul Le Roux, who he believes could be the man behind Bitcoin. Ratliff has pieced the evidence together, but admits he is putting a story into a narrative, and admits that Satoshi Nakamoto is likely completely someone else.
The secret of Satoshi Nakamoto is the most persistent question in cryptocurrency. There has always been some dissatisfaction with the official narrative, only compounded by reports that Nakamoto’s alleged 1 million bitcoin stash remains static. But what about Le Roux that arouses suspicion?
Who is Le Roux?
Le Roux is an encryption programmer who turned an online pharmacy business into a global criminal company. He branched out into the drug and arms trade and used the threat of violence and murder to keep his lackeys at bay.
In 2012, Le Roux was lured to Liberia, where an extradition treaty was signed with the US to meet a Colombian cartel leader. The boss was later revealed to be a paid informant for the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).
He was arrested by local police who refused his bribe and turned him over to the DEA.
In exchange for confessing to and guilty of the narcotics conspiracy to import narcotics into the US and the Food, Drug and Cosmetics Act, Le Roux had immunity from all other related crimes, including murder. This step saved him from the death penalty.
Judge Abrams sentenced him to 25 years in prison. He said:
“The scope and severity of Mr. Le Roux’s criminal behavior is nothing short of breathtaking. I have a man in front of me who behaved in harmony with the villain in a James Bond film.”
The case for Le Roux as a Bitcoin founder is weak
Ratliff had conducted hundreds of interviews with staff and other related people, and none of them raised any suspicions that Le Roux was Nakamoto. This led Ratliff to abandon this theory entirely.
In 2018, an unedited footnote in Ira Kleiman’s lawsuit against Craig Wright contained links to a news article and Wikipedia page about Le Roux, forcing Ratliff to reconsider that theory.
Ira is the brother of Dave Kleiman, who mined hundreds of thousands of Bitcoin with Wright. Dave died in 2013 and Ira claims Wright transferred Dave’s stake in the tokens to himself, expropriating Dave’s billion-dollar estate.
Ratliff refers to the know-how of Le Roux in the areas of encryption and networking. While working as a programmer before his criminal endeavors, Le Roux spent years developing encryption software called Encryption for the Masses (E4M).
“In 1999, he announced E4M on a cryptography mailing list, launched a website at e4m.net to release the open source code, and patiently began answering technical questions and accepting suggestions.”
Satoshi Nakamoto followed a similar style when creating Bitcoin. Nakamoto also announced the Bitcoin whitepaper on a cryptography mailing list in October 2008. He then presented the software on bitcoin.org and answered technical questions and accepted suggestions.
Ratliff also goes into more subtle events, such as a Satoshi post that mentions “strong encryption for the masses,” Le Roux’s British Commonwealth association as a South African, and Nakamoto’s use of British spellings such as color versus color. As well as an aversion to government control shared by both.
All of this is awkward, however, which Ratliff admits.
We will probably never know who Satoshi Nakamoto is.
Source: BTCUSD on TradingView.com