The Mystery of Bitcoin

The Mystery of Bitcoin

The Mystery of Bitcoin


First place: $2,500

Second place: $1,000

Third place: $500

Dates to know

January 20: Submissions open

February 16, 11:59 PM EST: Submissions close

February 19: Winners announced

About this Challenge

There have been countless theories over the years about the true origins of Bitcoin, but ultimately, it remains one of the great modern mysteries. How is it possible that such a massive, global innovation, one that’s absolutely flipped the idea of currency as we know it upside down, has managed to stay a complete unknown? Now that Bitcoin’s worth has exploded to an all time high, it’s more interesting than ever to speculate on its history and inventor, which as of now feels more like an early-2010s era hacker movie than real-world events that have changed the way we look at money forever.

So, we want you to do just that. Whether you wish to create a short piece of historical fiction about the cryptocurrency’s beginnings and the true identity of the mysterious inventor, or lay out your strongest arguments to support a personal theory about the who, the how, and the why, join the challenge by creating an origin story that tackles the mystery of Bitcoin’s beginnings.


To help you get a head start, here’s a bit of what we do know so far, from Wikipedia:

Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency invented in 2008 by an unknown person or group of people using the name Satoshi Nakamoto. Nakamoto's identity remains unknown.

Blockchain analysts estimate that Nakamoto had mined about one million bitcoins before disappearing in 2010.

So, an “unknown person or persons” invented and released Bitcoin under an alias, personally mined the modern day equivalent of around $36 billion USD, and then disappeared without a trace for the last eleven years. What do you think really happened here? The truth is always stranger than fiction.


For your story to be eligible, it must be between 600 and 5,000 words and adhere to our Community Guidelines. Stories published on Vocal and entered into the contest up until February 16, 2021, at 11:59 PM EST will be entered for consideration. Official Rules for the Challenge can be found here.

To be eligible to win the grand prize, second place, or third place prizes, you must be over the age of 13 and residing in a country where Stripe is available at the time of entry. A complete list of countries where Stripe is available can be found here—winners will need to have a Stripe account created and connected in order to receive the prizes. For this reason, entrants located outside of any of these countries will not be eligible to win.


How to enter

  1. Create your story on Vocal.
  2. When submitting your story for review, select Submit to a challenge and select The Mystery of Bitcoin.
  3. When your story has been approved, it will appear under Submissions on this page.

Submit an existing story:

If you have an existing story you would like to enter to this contest you can do so here:

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