Hunting for Satoshi Nakamoto (and Donation Transparency!)


Illustration by José Ángel García Ares (Photo Credit: The Bitcoin Comic)

This weekend, laBITconf is coming – and with it, the end of the Bitcoin Comic Multisig Project Auction.

The whitepaper may be a great entry point to Bitcoin for a highly engaged technical audience, but it is only in telling stories that we are able to engage more widely, and it is Satoshi himself who has left us the best story of all.

– Alex Preukschat

Bitcoin: The Hunt for Satoshi Nakamoto went into mass production after a successful crowdfunding effort in 2014. The book is written by Josep Busquet & Alex Preukschat and illustrated by José Ángel García Ares. With a fast-paced and action-filled plot, the comic follows the pursuit of the true identity of the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto.

A special copy of the comic book has been signed by over 90 cryptocurrency pioneers around the world. This unique version is being auctioned on Twitter; anyone can place a bid using the hashtag #Bid4BitcoinComic. All of the proceeds from the auction will be going to BitGive’s Donation Transparency Project.

With just a few days left in the auction, the current bid is 3 BTC. The auction will close this weekend at laBITconf in Mexico City.

I chatted with Preukschat, Connie Gallippi (BitGive), and Rodolfo Andragnes (Bitcoin Argentina & laBITConf) to learn more about the comic and the auction!


Photo Credit: The Bitcoin Comic

Emily Braun: I’ve spoken to a few people who believe that artistic methods are extremely effective for promoting Bitcoin, and I also read that people who don’t know much (or anything) about Bitcoin are picking up your book. What benefits do you see in promoting Bitcoin through the arts?

Alex Preukschat: Art is, from my point of view, the expression of the underlying needs and emotions of things driving our society; it helps to structure a dialogue around the issues changing our lives. In this sense, the Bitcoin graphic novel can convey the meaning of Bitcoin for the world in an emotional & direct way – and in a quicker & more efficient way than other media for some people.

Braun: Why do you care about spreading the message of Bitcoin?

Preukschat: I think that society needs to discover new ways to manage itself, in order to overcome some serious challenges that have been building up since the end of World War II. Our growth model is outdated, and we need to find new ways to live together on this planet & create systems that are more fulfilling for more people.

Braun: Why should the average person be interested in gaining a better understanding of money? How can your graphic novel assist with this?

Preukschat: Money is the basic incentive system for this world. Not understanding how this tool that we all use on a daily basis works and is being managed means that you do not know what you have in your pocket. I think Bitcoin is a great way to see a different approach about how money could be managed, and the Bitcoin Comic can be an introduction to this fascinating subject.

Braun: What are the main things that someone should understand about the way Bitcoin works?

Preukschat: The key thing to understand is how Bitcoin is decentralized, but that takes a serious amount of time to understand well enough. We hope that our Bitcoin Comic can transmit the core ideas in 60 minutes by reaching people emotionally & explaining Bitcoin in a graphical way.

Braun: Can you tell me anything more about your plans to create a game based off of the comics?

Preukschat: In the future, I am hoping to do a mobile game with the objective to transmit the same ideas as in our Bitcoin Comic, in order to further educate the world about the value & meaning of money.

Braun: What aspect of Bitcoin is most relevant to your interest in it?

Preukschat: For me, the most important thing about Bitcoin is the possibility to operate without needing third parties to move & register value around the world in a decentralized way.

Braun: What’s the biggest current financial issue that Bitcoin could fix?

Preukschat: I don’t know yet, but there are some interesting use cases in the remittance space.

Braun: I read in another interview that you think the future of blockchain tech looks bright. Are there any current applications of blockchain technology that you’re excited about?

Preukschat: I especially like OpenBazaar, One Name, sidechains, 21, and some ideas in the remittance space. For the time being, these are promising, but we still have not found the first legal Bitcoin killer app, from my point of view.

Braun: It’s very exciting that the auction is supporting BitGive. For someone who isn’t familiar with BitGive, why should they check it out?

Preukschat: BitGive is, as far as I know, one of the most well known charities in the Bitcoin space. It was Rodolfo’s idea to share the proceeds with BitGive.

Rodolfo Andragnes: I’ll let Connie answer, but let me say this at least – the project where the funds go will be used for making all donations more transparent.

Connie Gallippi: BitGive is the first government-recognized Bitcoin nonprofit and flagship philanthropic organization for the industry. The vision of the organization is to benefit charitable causes worldwide, providing a platform for the Bitcoin community to give back with an organized and professional representation.

We recently announced our Bitcoin Charity 2.0 Initiative, which includes a variety of projects aimed at leveraging Bitcoin & blockchain technology to benefit charitable organizations worldwide. Our inaugural project is the Donation Transparency Platform, which will build a platform for NGOs to offer transparency & accountability, allowing donors to see funds flow from start to finish. The Bitcoin Comic Book Multisig Project auction proceeds will go to this project.

Braun: How were you able to get so many key players in the Bitcoin world involved in your project?

Preukschat: This has been possible because of the amazing work of Juan Llanos, who has been travelling around the world, going to Bitcoin conferences and collecting signatures from Bitcoin pioneers.

Braun: Why did you decide to conduct the auction through Twitter?

Andragnes: Using Twitter was a concept raised at last year’s conference. It’s a way to engage people even from a distance, letting them participate in bidding for this unique piece too! It’s also a way for social sharing the program in a “natural” way. It helps us promote the hashtag [#Bid4BitcoinComic] during the laBITconf conference.

The auction will be closed at the conference, allowing anyone to bid higher – motivated by the auctioneer but always using Twitter to make the bid!

– Emily Braun

To place a bid for the auction, tweet your bid using #Bid4BitcoinComic!

To purchase a copy Bitcoin: The Hunt for Satoshi Nakamoto, click here!

To watch a short video about the comic book, click here!

To watch a short video about BitGive & The Water Project, click here!

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