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The Curious Case of the Bitcoin Time Traveller

by Pantera 10 months ago in bitcoin
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Predictions that are still coming true

Almost 8 years ago on August, 31st, 2013, Bitcoin was gaining popularity due to its digital currency features and enjoying a prolonged bull run. Price was a little above $120 and there was a lot of optimism in the crypto community for another serious bull run.

On that exact date, right before the end of the summer, a Reddit account by the name “ Luka_Magnotta” posted its first article, containing a fictional story, similar to other amazing mysteries published in Reddit.

It started like this:

I am sending this message from the year 2025. Things are looking bleak here, and some of you will carry blood on your hands.

The Source of the Reddit post is found at the bottom of the article.

It was a hoax and a very obvious one. However, the internet tried to find logic behind this message, and until 2019 this post was often discussed on YouTube and was always a popular topic, mostly for the long-term price predictions for Bitcoin it contained.

A Hypothetical "Transition" to Bitcoin (BTC) and its effects in 2025


The Reddit post describes a not-so-distant dystopian future, for the year 2025. It begins with the price of Bitcoin, and of course, this directly sets the stage. Bitcoin for 99% of its community is always just about the price.

On average, every year so far, the value of Bitcoin has increased by about a factor ten… From 0.1 dollar in 2010, to 1 dollar in 2011, to 10 dollar in 2012, to 100 dollar in 2013.

Bitcoin in April 2013 had another one of its famous bull runs that ended at $200, starting from a low of $10 at the beginning of the year. It was 20x up in just 4 months. Then it started dropping and the correction phase lasted until about the time this post was made.

At the time of writing, the price must have been about $120. And the post begins immediately with a very interesting price prediction:

From now on, there's a slight slowdown, as the value increased by a factor ten every two years, to 1,000 dollar in 2015, to 10,000 in 2017, 100,000 in 2019, and 1,000,000 in 2021.

It wasn't very accurate though, except for the part the author predicted correctly $10k BTC for the year 2017.

This ignited a renewed interest in this article in 2017 and many popular crypto YouTubers started investigating and adding the Bitcoin Time-Traveler to their content.

But the article wasn't just about price. It presented a grim future for humankind with cryptocurrency partially responsible for it.

The Bitcoin Citadels

"Earlies" (our term for early adapters), as well as those rich whose wealth survived the "transition" live in isolated gated cities called Citadels.

This was the first mention of a Bitcoin Citadel ever. There have been long discussions since then and citadels have become the dreams of some Bitcoiners. They expect the rise of price for Bitcoin above one million dollars and them to become so important that living anywhere outside of the Citadel would be too dangerous.

The "Bitcoin time-traveler" describes the Bitcoin Citadels as a safe-house for Bitcoinners in the year 2025. (An interesting article debunking the possibility of Bitcoin Citadels can be found in this link).

It gets more interesting though since events this Reddit user predicted are particularly relevant in recent days.

Governments holding BTC

Governments tried to stay relevant in my society by buying Bitcoin, which just made the problem worse, by increasing the value of Bitcoin. Governments did so in secret of course.

We already know about El Salvador, however, this example is the only one we have for a government that tries to adopt BTC as a currency. In fact, most in the crypto community still believe this will be a failure, however, many Bitcoin narratives are built on top of stories like this one.

  • ASICminer - 50,000 Bitcoin
  • The IMF's "currency stabilization fund" - 70,000 Bitcoin
  • Government of Saudi Arabia - 110,000 Bitcoin
  • The North Korean government - 180,000 Bitcoin

This is what is mentioned by the "Bitcoin Time-Traveller" and the reality is not very different. There is no valid information about the North Korean, or Saudi governments but some major economies have decent holdings. However, there have been signs North Korea has been hoarding cryptocurrencies all this time (source).

It is also worth mentioning that China holds about 195,000 BTC seized from the PlusToken Ponzi in 2020 (source). There was no news of these BTC being liquidated or sold by China.

Meanwhile, the US government also holds 80.000 BTC from a seized Silk Road wallet (source) and the government of Bulgaria also seems to own more than 200,000 BTC after the arrest of Bulgarian criminals in 2017 (source).

GDP and inflation/deflation

Economic growth today is about -2% per year. Why is this? If you own more than 0.01 Bitcoin, chances are you don’t do anything with your money. There is no inflation, and thus no incentive to invest your money.

The writer talks about his hypothetical 2025 scenario. This is also a valid argument made but a very simplistic one. Saying there is no inflation, doesn’t mean there is no deflation either. And in this case, there would be very high deflation in the world economy, with prices of goods valued in BTC possibly dropping more than 2% yearly.

Besides GDP there is a more important indicator economists examine. This is the real gross domestic product, or “Real GDP”, or “Constant-Price GDP”, which is GDP inflation-adjusted. For this case where prices of goods would certainly be moving lower, the “Real GDP” will be a deflation-adjusted GDP, thus if deflation is higher than 2% (minus 2% inflation) then the Real GDP will be positive.

Anti-Bitcoin Terrorism & Bitcoin Thefts

Surprisingly this author’s creativity went as far as explaining that many of the Bitcoin millionaires such as the Winklevoss brothers were murdered by terrorists. The anti-Bitcoin terrorist groups are described as having emerged due to the damage made to societies after the transition to a Bitcoin currency system.

Most people who own any significant amount of Bitcoin no longer speak to their families and lost their friends, because they had to change their identities

Many people were taken hostage, and thus, it is suspected that 25% percent of “Bitcoin rich” actually physically tortured someone to get him to spill his password.

In Africa, surveys show that an estimated 70% of people believe that Bitcoin was invented by the devil himself. It’s a very sensitive issue that today is generally referred to as “the tragedy”.

At this point, the imagination of the writer was running wild and expressed that he was also part of a terrorist group trying to avenge the destruction and warn us (the 2013 present) about what is coming.

I am part of an underground network, who seek to launch a coordinated attack against the very infrastructure of the Internet itself. We have at our disposal about 20 nuclear submarines, which we will use to cut all underwater cables between different continents.

It is looking like a typical time-traveler scenario, possibly influenced by the movie 12-Monkeys which also has some similarities with a group of people trying to visit the past and stop the spread of a virus. The virus in this case is replaced by Bitcoin.

Governments pushed Bitcoin adoption!

It gets even more interesting and very relevant to today’s events, in El Salvador.

Governments gave their own citizens cell phones for free, tied to their government ID, and thus government sought to integrate Bitcoin into their economy. All went well, until “the tragedy” that is. A criminal organization, believed to be located in Russia, exploited a hardware fault in the government issued cell phones.

We all understand the issues that can arise with centralized custodial wallets. Not your keys, not your Crypto, always remember that. This imaginary event expressed above, is not far from reality. Even if a government doesn’t adopt any cryptocurrency, the point of ownership is the private keys. This is the concept of financial freedom and governments are still try to understand it in its entirety.


The Time-Traveler Reddit post ends like this:

It doesn’t have to be like this. You do not have to share our fate. I don’t know how, but you must find a way to destroy this godforsaken project in its infancy. I know this is a difficult thing to ask of you. You believed you were helping the world by eliminating the central banking cartel that governs your economies.

However, I have seen where it ends.

A futile attempt since nobody listened. The post ends like this and in fact, it is considered to have been a precursor to the second part of the Bitcoin bull run of 2013. When it was posted Bitcoin started rising again after four months of consolidation. (A BTC price movement that resembles the current one).

By August, 31st, 2013, Bitcoin had regained strength and moving towards the $1,000 mark which it did hit four months later.

Failed prediction — Explanation and criticism of BTC by the author

The article failed when in 2018 the price predictions were not met, and in 2019 the same user edited the post and gave a speech with environmental concerns, which I share, but do not think is the main point Bitcoin (the BTC version) is not going to succeed.

While some facts this person mentioned were true he still missed the point completely and was looking like just another speculator from 2013, a “hodler” that cared more for the short term price gains than the bigger picture.

I would have preferred it if this person understood the fact that Bitcoin failed to scale and became a speculative instrument for whales and a few wealthy individuals, and later on for some institutions that joined the party. However, some are just there for the riches and don’t look into it too much. The “hodlers” sold everything by the end of 2017 and most of them didn’t look back.

I’m not blaming for accusing BTC of having failed, but for some of the reasons this person gave. The real reason Bitcoin (BTC) failed was not the energy consumption and not the Chinese and not the ecological damage. It is the scaling part that damaged Bitcoin. In case BTC followed just a few minor changes to increase block size it would be today massively adopted by 40% of the world’s population.

The username controversy (“Luka_Magnotta”)

Another interesting fact outside the scope of time travel or cryptocurrency is the username the author selected for this Reddit account.

This name is famous, for very wrong reasons. I do not want to go into details about that, I will just say this is the name of a murderer currently serving jail time and possibly never to be released.

Someone selecting to use it as a nickname to any platform is on a very different level or trolling. Maybe this name was selected intenting anyone would immediately understand this article wasn’t going to contain something valid but anyway, it is surprising the least.

Closing Thoughts

Even though the article has been dismissed by its author, who also denounced Bitcoin later, we can’t deny the fact this writer has given some predictions that not only sounded logical but also a few of these are similar to events unfolding today.

Bitcoin has failed to scale on-chain, yet the Bitcoin community has supported the custodial wallet “Strike” in the case of El Salvador. There were almost no remarks and no reaction from any part of the BTC community about that. Moreover, all Bitcoin maximalists supported and promoted the idea of Bitcoin being forced as a currency option for El Salvador.

The Bitcoin Time-Traveller (in the 2019 edit) also discussed about the developers and expressed environmental concerns, which are also something worth considering.

**Originally posted at: Read.Cash

References: I am a time-traveler from the future…

Images :

  • Lead & First Image: Vocal
  • Second Image : Medium
  • Third Image: What If Show
  • Fourth Image: Pearl Post (currently link unavailable)

Writing on these platforms:

ReadCash NoiseCash Medium Hive Steemit VocalMinds

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Writing about Cryptocurrencies



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