I know, it seems crazy, and it was pure fluke that enabled me to connect the dots on this.
Back in December, 2010 Wikileaks was under a payment blockade, wherein US political figures acted extra-judiciously against the whistleblower site by convincing Paypal and VISA, etc to stop processing donations for them. It was at that time two things happened:
- Wikileaks started accepting a new digital currency called “bitcoin”, which at that time was barely worth a few cents per unit, and
- easyDNS became embroiled in this entire mess when mainstream media outlets like the New York Times, The Guardian, the Financial Times, and too many more to mention, mistakenly reported that we had unplugged Wikileaks’ DNS, zapping them off the internet.
As many of you know, we ended up becoming the DNS provider for their backup website wikileaks.ch and a few other mirrors. It was at that time I got a lot of email about the subject, including one which was GPG encrypted and signed, it read:
Kudos to your firm for being on the right side of this debacle. I have been an easyDNS customer for years and knew you would do the right thing when push came to shove.
I had never heard of Satoshi Nakamoto, or for that matter, Bitcoin. I put the email into a folder I kept for all the Wikileaks email I was receiving (including the hate mail, and there was lots of that) and forgot about it.
Every once in awhile I go through that folder, usually to check if the people who compared me to Osama Bin Laden and swore they were moving their domains away ever did (oddly, hardly any actually did and many are still with us today), and I can’t believe I never noticed this until now, I found the one from purported “Satoshi Nakamoto” in it.
I figured “that was pretty early in the game to be spoofing emails as Satoshi” and I took a closer look at it. The email was from
DE4E FCA3 E1AB 9E41 CE96 CECB 18C0 9E86 5EC9 48A1
You check the keyservers or search online and sure enough, this was Satoshi’s key:
$ gpg --keyserver pgp.mit.edu --recv-keys 5ec948a1
gpg: requesting key 5EC948A1 from hkp server pgp.mit.edu
gpg: key 5EC948A1: "Satoshi Nakamoto <firstname.lastname@example.org>" not changed
gpg: Total number processed: 1
gpg: new signatures: 36
At this point I’m thinking “Holy F***!” And then I run that email address across the easyDNS database, and it gives me some domains which have long expired but there was one which was a still a live domain, still up and running, with no Whois privacy mask on, shown below: