There are the times that you get into the rabbit’s hole and your mind is endlessly traveling inside thoughts. All you need is a question, the right one of course. Today the question is if Satoshi Nakamoto and Cicada 3301 are connected in any way. To that question I have two theories as answers, but before we continue I should first say why I did that question to myself.
First I need to give you some information about Cicada 3301. Cicada 3301 is a nickname given to an organization that on three occasions has posted a set of puzzles to recruit codebreakers from the public. The first internet puzzle started on January 4, 2012 on 4chan and ran for approximately one month. A second round began one year later on January 4, 2013, and then a third round following the confirmation of a fresh clue posted on Twitter on January 4, 2014.
The stated intent was to recruit “intelligent individuals” by presenting a series of puzzles which were to be solved. No new puzzles were published on January 4, 2015. However, a new clue was posted on Twitter on January 5, 2016. In April 2017 a verified PGP-signed message was found: Beware false paths. Always verify PGP signature from 7A35090F. That message explicitly denies the validity of any unsigned puzzle, as recently as April 2017.
The first puzzle, of 2012, is claimed to have been solved by Marcus Wanner. According to Marcus Wanner, those who solved the puzzles were asked questions about their support of information freedom, online privacy and freedom, and rejection of censorship.
Furthermore, those who answered satisfactorily at this stage were invited to a private forum, where they were instructed to devise and complete a project intended to further the ideals of the group. He did not finish his work on a method of general decryption, and the website was removed.
In a few words what we know so far is that Cicada 3301 really likes using cryptography in its puzzles, demonstrates support in information freedom, online privacy and freedom, and rejection of censorship, instructs members to devise and complete projects intended to further the ideals (see above) of the group.
So, how exactly Satoshi fits in all of these? There are two possible theories that I have in mind, and before you start firing internet arrows on me I want to mention again that rabbit hole thoughts of the first paragraph.
In the first theory, Satoshi Nakamoto is the nickname of one of the members of Cicada 3301 before the group starts publicly seeking intellectual individuals on open internet.
On the second theory, Satoshi Nakamoto left Bitcoin development after he felt that most of the critical things were done, and moved onto the creation of Cicada 3301 along with other mind liked individuals who will seek people to join their ranks.
The connection could be made through Bitcoin itself as it seems to reflect Cicada’s 3301 ideals and vice versa. In any case theory number one seems more likely as a theory than theory number two. Bitcoin could be one of those projects Cicada 3301 instructed its members to complete intended to further the ideals of the group. So when Bitcoin has passed the phase of being “killed” the group safely withdrew from the project leaving the network effect do the rest of the job and moved on to other things like Satoshi Nakamoto said on one of his last emails to Mike Hearn before disappearing on 26 April of 2011, “I’ve moved on to other things. It’s in good hands with Gavin and everyone.” Could the other things be the creation of Cicada 3301 puzzle project starting publicly on January 4 2012?
Before I end with this farfetched theory I did one more question to myself, if the connection of Satoshi and Cicada 3301 is for some reason true, what is the role of the unmoved bitcoins Satoshi mined and how they can benefit the ideals of the group in the future? To this question, I don’t have a good answer.
Jumping out of the rabbit’s hole we need to remember one thing, Bitcoin is left for the people to counter the dark side of blockchain which is called state issued digital currency.