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Why Anon

author image @dittoproj

When Satoshi Nakamoto released Bitcoin, he chose to keep his identity anonymous. He was careful to cover his tracks, maintaining most of his contact with the public through the bitcointalk.org forums.

Satoshi's anonymity gave people more reason to trust Bitcoin because it could be evaluated purely on its technical and philosophical merits. Another benefit of Satoshi's obscure identity and subsequent disappearance was the lack a distinct leader and therefore a scapegoat. No institution or federal agency could arrest and make an example of Satoshi before a criminal proceeding or court of public opinion. Without a target to drag before the cameras and media as their poster child for "why you should not create open source software that gives financial freedom to the people", the institutions in power had no one to take out their wrath upon.

Satoshi avoided becoming Prometheus, who had stolen fire from the gods and gave it to man. For his good deed Prometheus was punished, chained to a rock and tortured for eternity.

Most recently, the co-founder and developer of Tornado Cash, Roman Storm, has been arrested for creating open source software[1]. It is a chilling precedent, one that Satoshi had the foresight to avoid. Years earlier, the initial conceiver of Mimblewimble (another privacy protocol), Tom Elvis Jedusor, saw this as well and made sure to share the ideas of Mimblewimble pseudonymously[2]. Privacy for digital money in which Roman Storm created is essential, as hostile authorities will gain the power to target and thwart the ones who support their oppositional candidates, parties, and figures.

The beginnings of cryptocurrency began with anonymity and pseudonymity. That culture ushered in by Satoshi must return. Anonymity is essential for preserving censorship resistance. To prevent external actors from applying pressure and compromising the essential principals of the system.

DittoETH is built with the DNA of my beliefs of creating censorship resistant money. And that means anonymity. So how do you generate trust in a system like that?

Trust is important. In the early days of Ebay, before PayPal existed, buyers had to trust sellers would send them their products after a check was mailed to them. It was absurd to believe now that such a concept would ever work, but it did because of the high level of trust people had in each other.

But here are some reasons why DittoETH is trustworthy in spite of my anonymity:

I have spent a long time creating a new system that has not existed on Ethereum yet. My code is completely new, built from the ground up and audited extensively[3]. This is something I truly believe can help improve the problems of money in crypto. I am actively working on DittoETH to make it immutable, requiring minimal governance. Furthermore, DittoETH has some of the most comprehensive gas optimizations that has not been found in other DeFi platforms. I want to give this to the community.

Most importantly, I've been a long time follower of crypto and care outrageously about its success. I am concerned about its trajectory in catering too much to institutional finance, weakening the values of decentralization. Creating yet another anonymous project that rug pulls is most harmful and debilitating to the industry, as it would counterproductively lead to an outcry in the community for more regulation and centralization.

It has been a long time since a single person released a project pseudonymously. And Bitcoin may in fact have been the last time this truly happened. That said, I am following in the footsteps of what Satoshi did himself. He became our secret agent that allowed us to rethink how trust is formed and interactions are made over the internet. If the beginning of cryptocurrency began with anonymity, then the middle and the final destination must also end with anonymity and pseudonymity.

-- Ditto

"If you don't believe me or don't get it, I don't have time to try to convince you, sorry." (Satoshi Nakamoto)


  1. https://www.coindesk.com/policy/2023/09/06/tornado-cash-developer-roman-storm-pleads-not-guilty-to-money-laundering-other-charges/ ↩︎

  2. https://docs.grin.mw/about-grin/story/ ↩︎

  3. https://dittoeth.com/audits ↩︎