I wrote about Paco Ahlgren a while back. I read his book a couple of years ago, and some people were talking about him being Satoshi Nakamoto. It was an interesting theory then, but I didn't pay any attention and nobody else did either.
When Bitcoin started taking off earlier in the eyar and then again in the last month I started thinking about his book again (Discipline). The higher the price went, the more it kept coming back to me. Then the government stepped in and called these hearings and the similarities seemed to be too much.
In the book, Ahlgren writes about a global financial collapse. He talks about Fed intervention, and eventually the breakup of the U.S. and the collapse of the dollar. But here's the catch -- when the dollar fails, a new private currency takes its place. It isn't created by one person, but by a group of people.
The first time I read the Discipline, I was into Bitcoin, but I didn't really believe the world was going to take it seriously, at least not this fast. So the book didn't really stand out. It was interesting, but it was just a book. I read some threads suggesting he was Satoshi, but they died.
I read Discipline again last week, and I've had a hard time sleeping ever since. First of all Ahlgren wrote the book in 2001, and published in 2007 .... two years BEFORE Bitcoin existed.
I still don't think he did it by himself though. I don't think Satoshi Nakamoto is a single person. It seems like it would be impossible for jsut one person to do all of this by himself. It seems more likely that it was a team, and I am not convinced Ahlgren was a part of that team.
The second thing that gets me is that he talks about how the government deals with the currency .... politicians, and all that. It's crazy how similar it is to what's going on right now. (NSA?) He also talks about other private currencies appearing. And he talks about how the government tries to track down the creators of the currency.
One of the things that turned me off about the Discipline currency was that it was centralized. There was a group of "good guys" who controlled it and helped distibute it around the world. They used gold to back the currency. Once I read that, I didn't think there was any way Ahlgren could be Satoshi.
But the reason I picked up the book again was because I started thinking. If Ahlgren was Satoshi (or part of the Satoshi team), would he really want to put the Bitcoin algorithm in print 2 years before it was complete? And if he was planning on maintaining anonymity, he wouldn't want anyone making the connection. That sort of intentional obfuscation seems exactly like something team Satoshi would do.
Also, what if he was hoping his book would sort of get everybody ready for the idea of Bitcoin? Or maybe he was hoping Bitcoin would help sell his book! But either way he wouldn't want to connect himself too closely with Satoshi and Bitcoin. And doesn't that also just sound like something Satoshi would do? And then the whitepaper came out in 2008, less than a year after the publication of the book. Coincidence?
The more I thought about it, the more I had to read the book again. The reason I read it the first time is that the Amazon reviews were fantastic, and I thought what the hell? I don't think its the best book I ever read (although it's pretty damn good). But because of the Bitcoin connection, it took on a whole new meaning for me. Mostly I hoped I was full of s*it, and reading it again would convince me for good that I was just day dreaming.
But that's not what happened at all. The whole book is like a puzzle. It's a loop, and there were so many details I didn't catch the first time. More than anything, I was hit by the fact that Ahlgren predicted so many events long before they happened. His descriptions of unrest and terrorist acts are right in line with what's going on today in the world, and it all ties into the currency and the Fed.
I'm not a conspiracy theorist, but this is weird. Also, his Wikipedia page used to talk about Bitcoin (and how he denies any involvement) but that section was removed. Why would he remove that? Or why would someone else remove it? Oh, and here's a big shocker. He's an Austrian economist, a financial analyst, and a programmer.
The last thing that got me was that Ahlgren came out a couple of years ago and said Bitcoin was doomed to fail in a blog entry. Then he deleted the post from his blog immediately (like the same day). There was a bunch of discussion about it, and he reposted it. But here's the kicker. As far as I can tell, he hasn't written one thing since -- not any articles, no books, nothing. His Facebook pages are pretty much dead.
So why does an author who writes a book with great reviews and good sales suddenly just disappear? Am I the only person who thinks that's weird?
He lives in Austin as far as I can tell, and he has a Linked in page, but that's about all I could find (other than interviews and articles from way back). I even tried emailing him (from his site), but he hasn't responded. His background is both in finance and programming and apparently he's some kind of a "security expert." That at least makes him a candidate.
My curiosity is peaked now. Has anybody else come across any information about Paco Ahlgren, or heard about any possible connections between him and Satoshi Nakamoto? I'm going to post this on a few forums to get as much feedback as I can. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on this. I apologize for the lengthy post, but there's a lot to be said about this...