Bitcoin Related to Satan? Most Outrageous Crypto Conspiracy Theories
Blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies are one of the most talked about subjects in the fintech industry, but for many they are still enveloped in an air of mystery which has given rise to several conspiracy theories. The fact that one of the central figures around cryptos and the creator of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto, remains anonymous to this day, has strengthened the mythology and the numerous fake stories circulating among online users. Let’s have a look at the most popular conspiracy theories making the rounds now:
1. The Mark of the Devil
People usually demonize what they don’t understand, and Bitcoin, as well as any other cryptocurrency, is shrouded in darkness due to its complex nature. According to the following conspiracy theory, Bitcoin is believed to be the “Mark of the Beast”! This theory finds its origins in the Bible’s New Testament and the Book of Revelations chapter 13 where it is stated that people will be forced to have a mark on their bodies in order to be able to purchase everyday necessities. With people now being able to store their Bitcoin under their skin with subdermal chips, literally being marked by the technology itself, the theory has gained currency especially among religious circles and conservatives. As a Twitter user said earlier this year when news of the device came out: ‘I like Ripple and XRP but I will never get the chip! The mark of the beast! Praise Jesus!’
2. CIA and MI5 created Bitcoin to fund secret missions
The claim is not unfounded as it was made by one of the wealthiest women in Russia and co-founder of Russian cybersecurity firm Kaspersky, Natalya Kaspersky, during her presentation at ITMP University in St Petersburg, Russia. One of her slides read: “Bitcoin is a project of American intelligence agencies, which was designed to provide quick funding for US, British and Canadian intelligence activities in different countries. The technology is ‘privatised,’ just like the Internet, GPS and TOR. In fact, it is dollar 2.0. Its rate is controlled by the owners of exchanges.” She also explained that Satoshi Nakamoto was a codename for a collective of American cryptographers. When influential people like herself make such claims, it’s hard not to see how the news, no matter how fake it might be, will soon be woven into full blown conspiracy theories.
3. Governments buying all the BTC
Various governments are secretly buying up all the BTC in the world. This theory has risen out of the many confiscations of Bitcoin by governments and the millions they have made by selling it. Not only governments, but also investors like Timothy Draper, who bought their BTC at discounted prices from government auctions.
4. Mt Gox crash triggers conspiracy theories
From being the biggest bitcoin exchange in Japan, Mt Gox (the name stood for “Magic: The Gathering Online eXchange”), was by the end of February 2014 bankrupt. 850,000 bitcoins were lost in a hack, with $28 million in cash already missing from the company’s bank account. This was feared to be the end of Bitcoin as its price crashed. While some of it was recovered—200,000 bitcoins were allegedly later discovered by Karpelés in some forgotten wallets—650,000 have never been found. To cut a long story short, Mt Gox continues to be under bankruptcy protection with the case being under investigation. The French developer who purchased the exchange in 2011, Mark Karpelés, was arrested in Japan in August 2015 and charged with fraud and embezzlement for transferring 341 million yen ($3 million) from a Mt. Gox account holding customer funds to another account in his name in 2013. Karpelés was also charged with the allegation of boosting the balance of an account in his name in Mt. Gox’s trading system. He was imprisoned until July 2016, when he was released on bail. The 32-year-old chief executive has pleaded not guilty to the charges relating to the loss of bitcoins from Mt Gox. While the story is intriguing, the loss of such a big number of bitcoins has sparked a series of theories including the suggestion that Mt Gox never had the amount of coins it claimed it did and that Karpelés had manipulated the numbers to show that the exchange held more bitcoin than it really had. Another conspiracy theory alleges that the US government seized Gox’s cold wallet and that Karpelés was ordered not to disclose the truth.
5. One World Currency
This is the belief that in the future the world will share one currency which would be created by the elite. The theory is loosely related to the one about the Mark of the Beast, as the currency will be traceable and everyone in the world will be forced to use it. This fits with blockchain technology being traceable and also BTC being a cyber-currency that can be used globally to create a new world order.
6. Conspiracy theories birthing new ones
From Bitcoin being a creation of the US government, China, or the NSA, to Satoshi Nakamoto being an AI, crazy theories abound. Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies continue to feed the imaginations of crypto enthusiasts and online users, enchanting the online space and creating a sense of community where users can share their beliefs and theories. Originating from events in real life and blown out of proportion, these conspiracy theories have become a kind of blockchain folklore and will undoubtedly continue to give birth to new theories as cryptos become more commonly used in everyday life.