Tech by VICE

Bethesda Softworks Is the Creator of Bitcoin: An Insane Conspiracy Theory

I guess Bitcoin does have a pretty big modding community.

by Clinton Nguyen
Dec 11 2015, 1:00pm

Image: Fallout 4/Bethesda Softworks

Despite two big who-is-Satoshi-Nakamoto stories at Wired and Gizmodo this week, the debate over the identity of the pseudonymous creator of Bitcoin goes on. But what if Bitcoin wasn't made by any one or two people, but a hugely successful game company?

A user on the Bitcointalk forum constructed an elaborate conspiracy theory concluding that Bethesda Softworks, the company behind the Fallout and Elder Scrolls series, was behind the creation of the cryptocurrency that now powers leagues of digital drug pushers and libertarian thought paraders.

It's dumb, of course, but after that fact's established, you have to appreciate how well-thought and committed it seems. I mean, lazy Facebook 9/11 truthers can't even lift a finger on this. Let's put our tin foil hats on for this one and play along.

The poster first observes that Fallout 3 was released three days after Nakamoto published the paper that established how exactly Bitcoin would work.

"Bitcoin was invented by Satoshi Nakamoto, who published the invention on 31 October 2008 in a research paper called 'Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System,'" the theorist writes. "The US launch date of Fallout 3 was 28 October 2008 and the European launch was 30 October 2008. If techies were too busy playing Fallout 3 of course they wouldn't notice the publication of the Bitcoin paper. Sleight of hand?"

Sleight of hand, indeed! But what of its owners? Who are these shadowy figures pulling the cryptographic marionette strings? Is it some dude in Australia? Was it that one guy, Dorian? Or was it… the founder of Bethesda himself?

"Interestingly, Christopher Weaver founded Bethesda in 1986 - and his education reads as this - 'After his baccalaureate degree, Weaver earned dual graduate and post-graduate degrees in Computer Science and Japanese Ethnomusicology from Wesleyan University. After returning from Japan on a student exchange program and Princeton-in-Asia Scholarship, he was elected a University Scholar at Wesleyan and went on to complete an advanced dual degree (CAS) with specialty in Japanese and Physics. He also earned a graduate degree in Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology."

The lines are connecting here. But wait, there's more. Have you ever looked at the full name of the company? It spells out something real interesting if you look just close enough:

"If I am correct we have already established that the B in Bethesda is almost identical to the B in Bitcoin (with a few added lines and) even the B is a different colour to the rest of the 'ethesda' part of the logo. If this is too obvious perhaps it is that way for a reason? By the way all the letters of Satoshi Nakamoto are in the words "Bethesda Softworks A Zenimax Media Company" as does the word 'Bitcoin.'"

My hat's off. There's plenty more in there, including a creative 9/11 theory and a brief diversionary look at a Bible story that has nothing to do with any of this, but why not throw it in anyway?

Most forum users have been playing along as if it were part of a joke, or dismissed it as a bit of a troll, or called out the original poster for just seeing things. Others said to lay off the drugs. Another user has a pretty solid point here: how could Bethesda possibly make a system as operationally sound as Bitcoin when it has a very intimate history with game bugs?

Next up: I Can't Stop Seeing Pyramids in Fallout 4 and It's Really Freaking Me Out

H/T Sam Biddle