When finding people is public service

TOPSHOT – Flames rise as a wildfire burns in the town of Rafina, near Athens, on July 23, 2018. (Photo by ANGELOS TZORTZINIS / AFP) (Photo credit should read ANGELOS TZORTZINIS/AFP/Getty Images)

The recent Greek wildfires led to many terrible tragedies, none worse than that experience by the Philippopoulou family. The parents left their twin daughters with their grandparents and went away for a couple of days break only to have the willies sweep through the village near Mati in Eastern Attica. For Yiannis Philippopoulou, the knowledge that his daughters and parents had almost certainly perished was challenged when CCTV footage of a boat carrying people from a nearby beach appeared to show two little girls, hand in hand, who could have been his daughters Sophia and Vassiliki. The family hired a private detective who was able to discover that in fact the twins had died in the arms of their grandparents and the little girls seen on the boat where the children of another family. While this is distressing for every body concerned, the work of the private detective saved the family from false hope and has allowed them to grieve with dignity.

Bitcoin detectives on the case

Satoshi Nakamoto, the name used by bitcoin’s founder, is a mystery. Bitcoin itself has gone from being a wild success to having around $400 billion has been wiped off its value along with other major cryptocurrencies since the beginning of 2018. The pseudonym appears to be Japanese but Satoshi Nakamoto’s own writing appears to be fluently English and his software was never registered in Japan. Now a number of bitcoin supporters have launched a fundraising campaign to find the originator particularly to find out why bitcoin went wrong, and whether the collapse of the crypto-currency market was a planned global fraud. Private detectives from Japan, Russia, the UK and the USA are planned to be involved in the search for Satoshi who is believed to have enough bitcoin in his wallet to make him the 52 richest man in the world.

So it’s a big question – two questions really. Who is Satoshi Nakamoto (lots of people have claimed to be him, just as many have denied they are!) and what has he done with the vast virtual fortune that he possesses? It’s enough virtual currency to destabilise the entire crypto currency economy and many people believe Satoshi intended exactly that all along. Several governments are interested in finding Satoshi too, including the Australian government which is watching with interest a private case of fraud and forgery being brought against one claimant.