(Bloomberg) -- Peter Thiel told a crowd of a few hundred people assembled at a Miami conference where he’d look for clues about the real identity of Satoshi Nakamoto, the now almost mythical pseudonymous founder of Bitcoin -- a beach in the Caribbean.
“My sort of theory on Satoshi’s identity was that Satoshi was on that beach in Anguilla,” the technology billionaire and self-described libertarian said Wednesday, recounting an early meeting with the founders of E-Gold Ltd., a now defunct digital currency that was indicted by the U.S. Justice Department in 2007. “I met them on the beach in Anguilla in February of 2000. We were beginning the revolution against the central banks on the beach in Anguilla. We were going to make PayPal interoperable with E-Gold and blow up all the central banks.”
Things didn’t go well, Thiel said, recounting allegations of fraud, liable and a legal settlement with E-Gold. He said he thought that Satoshi may have been one of around 200 people at that initial meeting and probably learned from E-Gold’s failures.
“Bitcoin was the answer to E-Gold, and Satoshi learned that you had to be anonymous and you had to not have a company,” Thiel said. “Even a company, even a corporate form was too governmentally linked.”
The peer-to-peer digital currency was born on Halloween 2008 with the publication of a research paper entitled “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System” by someone or group who went by the name Satoshi Nakamoto. Finding out the true identity of the creator has since become one of the favorite parlor games of the crypto crowd.
Thiel said he hasn’t gone back and tried to figure out exactly who that one person at the beach might of been, and he cautioned against too much speculation, which he said would take the “anti-crypto” side.
Digital wallets credited to Satoshi hold more than 1 million Bitcoins, giving the inactive holding a current market value of about $64 billion.
“If we knew who it was, the government would arrest him,” Thiel warned.
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