Edited by Arthur van Pelt
A Faketoshi is an individual who claims to be the inventor of Bitcoin: Satoshi Nakamoto, but fails to prove their identity. Over the past few months, I have researched Craig Wright and various other Faketoshis in an effort to better understand how crypto scams work in general. I wrote an article with my findings.
One Faketoshi in the story began to stand out: Jurgen Debo. He is a Belgian man with an unknown background who uses Twitter to masquerade as the creator of Bitcoin. After conducting more research, I have determined that Debo is likely a scammer who is part of some kind of strange developer collective.
It appears that Mr. Debo was inspired by the most famous Faketoshi, Craig Wright, given his Twitter account was created in 2015, the first year that Wright publicly began his Satoshi media splash. The difference between Jurgen Debo and Craig Wright is that Debo appears to be an actual developer with poor English skills, while Craig Wright can't code, yet has somewhat decent English skills. Also, Debo asserts that BTC is in fact Bitcoin, while Wright says BSV (Bitcoin Satoshi Vision) is.
It's time to explore the way Jurgen Debo intimidates and manipulates people to uncover his group's true Faketoshi game.
An early Bitcoin pioneer debunked Debo
This story really began when an early Bitcoin miner, on Twitter known under the handle BitcoinFX_XBT, discovered that Jurgen used backdated PGP keys as proof that he is Satoshi.
In fact, BitcoinFX communicated with Satoshi himself and was user #30 on the original Bitcoin forum Satoshi created before it was ported to bitcointalk.org in 2011. It's safe to say that he is one of the most credible experts on the subject.
While the supposed Satoshi PGP keys are Debo's main argument, the situation isn't as simple as backdated PGP keys with no relation to Satoshi. As a Faketoshi, Jurgen Debo naturally has a large toolbox to keep the show going, just like Craig Wright.
Debo contradicts the real Satoshi
When any good researcher takes a look at the thousands of public Satoshi Nakamoto forum posts and emails, it quickly becomes apparent that Satoshi was a native English speaker or learned it at a young age in a country like Canada. But, more evidence points to an American like Nick Szabo, since Satoshi's IP address was verifiably traced to California and Szabo lived there (along with Hal Finney). Szabo invented smart contracts and the widely accepted precursor to Bitcoin, known as bit gold.
The creator of Bitcoin had a clear desire to never be discovered, as shown by his choice of using a pseudonym and never moving his 1 million estimated Bitcoin. Debo puts immense amounts of effort into his Faketoshi persona, and by doing so, has exposed his own identity. Satoshi Nakamoto would never dox himself, let alone go on long Twitter rants in broken English.
A Faketoshi bag of tricks
One of Debo's strategies is utilizing alt accounts to spread his message and avoid account bans. After our initial twitter post announcing the Faketoshi article I wrote, Debo issued a series of threats to take down the article. He then went as far to make a new PGP key with the user ID containing the message "CoinControversy are noobs."
This was followed by further attempts to dox myself and our website. Over the course of the dilemma, another Twitter user known under his handle, Arthur_van_Pelt, began to do more research on his activities (more on this later).
After Arthur supported me on Twitter, Debo began spouting the false assertion that our true identity is Arthur van Pelt, and even that we were behind his business Cryptoboost (which is related to Arthur only, not the undersigned). Debo then began to also harass another person: Twitter user BTCKershi, who runs the cswarchive.info website.
While at first glance, Debo appears to be a harmless troll by tweeting humorous things about crypto, his actions show a high level of effort in securing our silence.
After conducting more research, I discovered he uses alt accounts in a complex scheme to further his Faketoshi propaganda. By analyzing the interactions that the main Debo account had, one account stood out in particular. The account has a Linktree in its bio (a website where you can list various links for yourself on one page) with the username Satoshi Nakamoto showing a large amount of tipping links.
This seemed odd, so I decide to dig further. The account shows a deep support for Debo and seems to be the only other Twitter account with thousands of followers to actually support the notion that Debo is Satoshi. This is further shown by tagging one of Debo's sock puppet accounts when referring to another backdated PGP key of Satoshi. And after recent account activity, it was revealed they speak Dutch too, one of the official languages of Belgium, Debo's home country. These factors clearly show they are the same person, or a very closely related person.
The owner of the Debo-related account appears to be the lead developer of an obscure Bitcoin node software called "Pyblock," with many references to Satoshi and cypherpunks. In fact, the owner of the account dubiously claims to be a cypherpunk in the bio (along with the Linktree). We can now also assume, with little doubt, that the listed "[email protected]" email address stands for Satoshi Nakamoto. With this evidence, there is now an established a link between Debo, and a suspected alt account using Satoshi as an identity. It seems CoinGeek BSV "historian" Kurt Wuckert Jr. even understands this too.
In addition, further analysis shows that he uses the @nihsotas account as well. In total, Debo has 4 total accounts directly relating to him: @realsatoshiN, @__B__T__C__, @debojurgen, and @nihsotas. Going back to Debo's original profile, it's clear that Debo is using the @realsatoshiN account as a vehicle to promote different products and support his developer collective's various activities.
Then, they use the @__B__T__C__ account to collect donations (this is just one link of many) from unsuspecting people that likely think they're donating to Satoshi himself.
Arthur van Pelt discovered that Debo also went to the effort of creating an entire website to display his Faketoshi evidence, which includes his many forgeries.
This is the work of someone who desperately wants people to believe he is the creator of Bitcoin; but has never shown any proof; for example, signing a message using the private key of the Genesis block.
A brand of Faketoshi
Craig Wright created his own brand of Faketoshi which includes inebriated rants, numerous forgeries and a long, mind-boggling list of unfulfilled promises.
Naturally, Debo also has his own, but at a much smaller scale, sized to his much smaller audience. He deliberately signs every tweet with "#satoshin" so that whenever someone clicks on that hashtag, only his posts and discussions show up. This is Debo's version of Craig Wright's Slack room. Furthermore, Debo fakes the "funny, light-hearted" Satoshi approach, while threatening his skeptics at the same time.
The real Satoshi Nakamoto is clearly an individual with excellent English skills and no history of shady activity. Based on the above evidence, Jurgen Debo is by all odds a Faketoshi and most likely a scammer; since he spends massive amounts of time keeping the persona alive.
While he is certainly a small fish compared to the likes of Craig Wright, Debo still engages in deceptive, harmful behavior. Jurgen Debo serves as a valuable lesson on the dangers of crypto and intellectual property theft.