David is a tech journalist who loves old-school adventure games, techno and the Beastie Boys. He's currently on the finance beat. David is a tech journalist who loves old-school adventure games, techno and the Beastie Boys. He's currently on the finance beat.
A mystery is playing out on the Bitcoin subreddit: the infamous ‘Bitcoin time traveller’ post has been edited, and nobody knows who did it.
In 2013, a Reddit user appeared to present a bleak outlook of the year 2025, where rampant inequality and parabolic Bitcoin value has pushed the world to the brink of collapse.
The post is absolutely ridiculous, but surprisingly, it appears someone has recently doctored it to read as if OP themselves returned to edit the post, despite their account being deleted years ago.
Strangely, it’s now prefaced with: “Well gee, this blew up, Bitcoin should not be treated as an investment, it should be recognized as a speculative negative-sum game.”
The editor then launches into scathing attacks on its mining infrastructure and the software developers that maintain its code.
The origin of the ‘Bitcoin Citadel’ meme
As a self-professed time-traveler, OP claimed that on average, the value of Bitcoin would increase by “about a factor ten” every year: from $0.10 in 2010, to $1 in 2011, to $10 in 2012, and so on.
This trend would eventually lead a single Bitcoin to be worth $1 million by 2021. From then, there will be apparently no good way to express Bitcoin’s value in dollars, as the dollar is no longer used. In this version of the future, “land and cryptocurrency” will be the only relevant assets of value left.
In my world, soon to be your world, most governments no longer exist, as Bitcoin transactions are done anonymously and thus most governments can enforce no taxation on their citizens. Most of the success of Bitcoin is due to the fact that Bitcoin turned out to be an effective method to hide your wealth from the government. Whereas people entering “rogue states” like Luxemberg, Monaco, and Liechtenstein were followed by unmanned drones to ensure that governments know who is hiding wealth, no such option was available to stop people from hiding their money in Bitcoin.
OP’s post is also the origin of “Bitcoin Citidels,” automated future-cities formed by the “Bitcoin rich” to protect themselves (as well as their worth) from “no-coiners.”
Bitcoin Citadels have evolved into a permanent part of the Bitcoin vernacular; a meme to help imagine what life would be like post-hyperbitcoinization.
Many Bitcoin citadels will have a monument to the brave hodlers of last resort who, purposefully or not, made their bitcoins practically unspendable for the economic benefit of the network. Take your families to visit the Tomb of the Unknown Privkeys and pay your respect. https://t.co/A33Rsj8YoU
— Michael Goldstein (@bitstein) October 18, 2019
The moral of the original post was to implore the reader to reconsider their investment, as widespread Bitcoin adoption is to supposedly ruin the world beyond repair.
Sadly, this piece of Bitcoin history now has an ironic problem with legitimacy. If the OP’s account is deleted, how can they return to edit it — something Redditors have been quick to highlight.
Hard Fork has reached out to the subreddit’s moderators to learn more and will update this piece should we receive a reply.
Still, it’s certainly possible to access the original post via archive links, but one must wonder: why the hell is this happening to one of the most popular Bitcoin shitposts of all time, and why now?
Update 07:31 UTC, November 5: A /r/Bitcoin moderator has since contacted Hard Fork to shed some light on the status of OP’s account.
“The post was originally made on August 31st, 2013 and was edited by the original account on October 27th, 2019,” they said.
“It is unclear when or why the original account became inactive. The account was never banned by moderators of the r/Bitcoin subreddit, and such site-wide actions can only be performed by reddit site administrators,” they added.
The moderator then went on to explain that there could be a number of reasons for the current status of OP’s account.
Spam, malware, vote cheating, or ban evasion were listed as possibilities. It could’ve also been flagged as compromised, and the site took action to disable it.
“However, depending on the technique that Reddit admins used to disable the account, the account holder is not prevented from editing previously posted threads and comments,” said the moderator.
“It should be noted that there is no indication whatsoever that any ‘time travel’ is involved, and that the original unedited post was held in high regard solely as an imaginative piece of fan-fiction. It is also unclear whether the original thread was intended to be an ominous warning about Bitcoin as the edit portrays, or if the account holder’s motive and outlook shifted since 2013. It also seems unlikely that one could contact the account holder directly since there is no way to send them a private message,” they noted.
The moderator then concluded by highlighting that there are “more exciting things happening in Bitcoin” than a six-year-old post that had recently been edited.
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