A mystery cube, a secret identity and a puzzle solved after 15 years
But there was another bond between the couple; one that they haven’t discovered for a while. Biddulph knew who Satoshi was. In fact, he had personally designed the Billion to One card. Biddulph says it’s hard to remember exactly when this happened in the conversation, but it was probably around a year after the relationship started. “I think I just mentioned it at random one day,” he says. “And she said to me, ‘Uh, what !?'”
Hall’s reaction was consistent with his long-standing approach to puzzle solving: “I made him promise never, never to say it,” she said. “Because if he had just revealed it, all that work would have been for naught.” Biddulph kept the promise. “I bit my tongue for years,” he says. There was no teasing either. “He knew it was important to me,” Hall says. “I think he liked being mysterious about it as well.”
Despite Biddulph, it was around this time that Hall may have entered into a close one-on-one relationship with Satoshi. She has received a lot of advice through her website over the years. Most of the time, these weren’t very useful, just dead-end leads, spoofed messages, or a photo of a random Asian guy found on Google images. But one trick stood out.
Subject: He’s in Japan
My colleague lived with Satoshi. She even brought an old photo of him to work today. Anyway, she said she didn’t know how to reach him, but that he was definitely in Japan right now, that he was in LA about three months ago.
Hope this helps.
“It was a while so it could have been BS,” Hall said, “but it just felt genuine.” Hall responded but never received a response. Years later, in 2011, the tip was still in her head. She sent another follow-up. This time a response: “I quit work five years ago, so I don’t think I can help you. Good luck.”
Despite her resolve to sort things out on her own, when she received a good tip, Hall mentioned it to Biddulph and scanned it for tell. “Normally he would be completely stuck with no reaction,” she said. “But that was the only time he reacted. It was so subtle, even subconscious. She adds,” It was the biggest confirmation I wanted or could get. To think I was so close… it was as if sand was slipping through my fingers and the track turned cold.
THE HUNT Satoshi was not moving forward. But the technology was. The first cryptocurrency was founded and Googler Satoshi has now achieved results on Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of Bitcoin. Some have argued that the two are related in one way or another (they are not). Smartphones were now in the pockets of millions of people. In 2010, Facebook and YouTube each had around half a billion users. Instagram was launched. A Puzzled City The player, going through Paraboloid13, in fact deciphered the figure on the “Thirteenth Job” card, according to community reports. Social media networks – and the memes that crossed them – fueled political movements from the Arab Spring to the uprisings in Hong Kong. By the end of the decade, Facebook had 2.3 billion users and even TikTok, a relative newcomer, was pushing 1 billion. The “good Internet”, which Hall fondly remembers, gave way to something more confrontational. Social media provided data for business and political interests. Algorithms have shaped culture and society. People were falling into rabbit holes, and this time it wasn’t really a game. Sometimes the Puzzled City community would discuss Satoshi, or Hall’s website would receive a spike in interest through a blog or podcast, but for many years the research was overlooked.
Then, in February 2020, as the coronavirus pandemic spread person-to-person around the world, Inside a Mind, a YouTube channel with over 600,000 subscribers, posted a video about the hunt for Satoshi. “Can You Find This Man” has generated hundreds of thousands of views in a short period of time. The world has entered containment. People had free time. Spurred on by the video, and completely separate from Hall’s research, a Reddit and Discord group have been set up. Suddenly hundreds of people – many of whom had nothing to do with the original Puzzled City game – worked passionately to find Satoshi. Like Albert-László Barabási, professor of network science and author of See also: The New Science of Networking, says: “When a hub is infected, there is a drastic change in the system”.