Before I start, I want to make it clear that I think Satoshi is a legend, and I’m in no position to be giving him advice. He is obviously entitled to spend (or not spend) his hard earned Bitcoins as he sees fit, plus his vast fortune is more than fitting payment for bringing this revolutionary technology to the world.

OK, so with that out the way, I want to propose a fun way that Satoshi Nakamoto, the mysterious inventor of Bitcoin could make further monumental changes in the world, and basically incentivize hundreds of millions of people to start using Bitcoin immediately.


Have you ever read the 2011 cyberpunk, virtual reality romp that is Ready Player One? The basic premise is that the creator of the most widely used piece of VR technology dies, and since he has no friends or family to leave his vast fortune to, he creates an elaborate, multi-stage competition open to everyone around the globe. The winner would receive all his money, along with keys to the largest company in the world. This obviously creates hysteria all over the planet, with the attention of hundreds of millions turning to the challenge of beating it.

Now back in the real world, if we couple the intelligence and fortune of Satoshi with the breakthroughs in technology with bitcoin, its blockchain, multi-sig transactions and complex smart contracts, then we have the conditions where something like a Global Bitcoin Competition could actually happen.


No-one knows exactly how much Satoshi is worth, but some have estimated he holds anywhere between hundreds of thousands to a million Bitcoins, meaning if the exchange price per bitcoin climbs to the heights many predict, then he could become the richest person in the world. The only problem for Satoshi is that spending this money may risk revealing his identity.  Many believe this is why Satoshi has never touched the coins he originally mined in the early days of the network.

Creating an incredibly difficult, multi-stage competition with giant prizes could be a way to get more out of the dormant BTC.

Can you imagine the  reaction if there was a competition where anyone could enter, with a guaranteed prize of hundreds of millions of dollars, which potentially appreciates to billions over time if no-one has solved it?

It would literally melt the Internet. Everyone would be talking about it. Millions of new communities would form around the globe with the sole purpose of finding answers, and consequently, perhaps billions of people would find out about Bitcoin. In their quest for the fortune, they’d learn about key concepts such as blockchains, multi-sig transactions and smart contracts, and that can only be good for Bitcoin.


So how could it work? The main thrust is that the whole thing would be stored in the Bitcoin blockchain itself. This means everything that’s needed to complete the competition would be in the blockchain already. No third parties need to be involved at all.

Cryptic clues could unlock further hints, and over time the entrants could piece together messages, which include addresses, partial private keys, transaction details or other important information.

The key to getting people to use Bitcoin is to stipulate it somehow in the cryptic clues. Perhaps a small transaction is needed to prove you have entered, even if it is as low as 0.00000001 bitcoin, aka 1 Satoshi. This may stimulate use of the currency like we’ve never seen before.

Just like Bitcoin itself, this would be open to the entire world. You would not need to ask permission from anyone to enter, as long as you had access to the internet and the bitcoin network. Imagine people from the US, to India, to Nigeria, to Brazil and everywhere in between, working on trying to figure out the biggest competition in history. Even if there were specific anti-Bitcoin laws in a particular country, you can bet this wouldn’t deter people from trying to win.


If Satoshi understood one thing very well, it was the alignment of incentives. If you want mass adoption of something, you can’t rely on just the goodness in peoples hearts to run a system. To really make it scale, there has to be some kind of self interest involved, and this idea could be applied to a Global Bitcoin Competition.

In Ready Player One, James Halliday, the architect of the books competition, themes all the elaborate riddles, puzzles and games around the most cherished memories from his youth. This means all those who want a chance to win, have to read up on every single scrap of 1980s trivia out there.

Similarly, this is where Satoshi could expose the entire world to important ideas, basically incentivizing everyone to learn things they otherwise wouldn’t have taken the time to understand. The competition could involve multiple themes, from political and economic theory, philosophy, to understanding things like encryption, decentralized systems, information security,  and open source software. Basically anything that Satoshi deems important enough to know about.

A delayed time-lock could be added  to allow beginners to get involved, and having a wide range of topics and stages could help ensure it isn’t only for the technically proficient.


So there you have it. A fun idea to think about. If something like this actually happened, I think it could change the world overnight.

The prospect of winning a world changing amount of money would make everyone drop what they’re doing and pay attention, and once they realize it’s actually real, there would be an absolute deluge of new Bitcoiners.


Music (with permission):
Stendeck - Learning How To Walk Through Walls