Yerevan (CoinChapter.com) — American journalist and author of “The Mastermind” Evan Ratliff stated in a recent interview that the person he believes to be the creator of Bitcoin blockchain is the notorious international criminal Paul Le Roux. He is also the person who sold missile navigation software to the Iranian military.
The real identity behind the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto, the known creator of Bitcoin, stands unrevealed. In his 2019 book, Ratliff conducts a detailed investigation, linking Le Roux to evidence suggesting he might be Nakamoto. In an interview with the D-Core channel, the author states that even though he doesn’t have conclusive proof, he has enough indirect evidence to suggest the former programmer as a prime candidate to being Satoshi.
The US law rewarded Le Roux with a sentence of 25 years in prison back in June 2020. According to a 2014 court document, the prosecution charged the alleged Bitcoin creator with exporting “goods, technology, and services” to the Iranian government. He executed the deals between 2009 and 2012.
Ratliff states that he cooperated with the court and confirmed the export took place. According to the author, Le Roux sold missile guidance technology to the Iranian government rather than missiles. Iran could then use the technology for ballistic missiles as well as nuclear weapons.
Bitcoin and Illicit Activity
Bitcoin is a decentralized cryptocurrency that is not controlled by one organization or entity. The blockchain, which serves as a foundation for the token, strictly documents all transactions. The absence of governmental control can attract illicit activity. In August 2020, the New York Times reported that ISIS and other groups openly solicited virtual currency donations.
“The United States government said on Thursday that it seized about $2 million in Bitcoin and other types of cryptocurrency from accounts that had sent or received funds in alleged financing schemes for three foreign terrorist organizations: Al Qaeda, ISIS, and Hamas’s paramilitary arm, the Al Qassam Brigades,”said Charlie Savage, a contributor to the New York Times
Back in 2018, CNBC reported on Bitcoin fueling America’s opioid crisis. The court found a Bitcoin millionaire guilty of trafficking illegal substance fentanyl and administering transactions in cryptocurrency.
It is problematic to estimate the amount of cryptocurrency involved in illegal activity. However, in the “Review of financial studies” released by the Oxford University Press in 2019, researchers claim:
“We estimate that around $76 billion of illegal activity per year involve bitcoin (46% of bitcoin transactions), which is close to the scale of the U.S. and European markets for illegal drugs”.
As the cryptocurrency market expands and becomes more mainstream, its relation to criminal activity seems to decline.
“Cryptocurrency-related crime fell last year to a small fraction of overall trading volume,”CNBC contributor Kate Rooney stated in her January 2021 article.
Meanwhile, Mr. Ratliff stated in the interview that the link between Bitcoin and the criminal world will not promote the token but will hardly destroy its reputation beyond repair. As cryptocurrency becomes more mainstream, more investments pour in from institutions and commercial companies. He added that if evidence emerges to confirm his theory on Le Roux, Bitcoin price will not crash.
Nonetheless, the cryptocurrency would risk declines, the journalist added.