What is the identity of “Team Rocket”, which created the Avalanche protocol?

What is the identity of “Team Rocket”, which created the Avalanche protocol?

The Avalanche protocol family creators’ true identity is, perhaps, cryptocurrency’s most poorly kept secret.

Or is it?

Why would such a great idea’s true creators want to keep their names private?

Which brings us to an earlier question. Why did Satoshi Nakamoto want to keep his own identity private?

Wouldn’t Satoshi be held at the same status as Linus Torvals, Bram Cohen and others who implemented neat software we all use? Wouldn’t the inventors of the Avalanche protocol also be revered by nerds worldwide?

It turns out cryptocurrency is an entirely different beast. There are valid reasons to protect one’s identity in the crypto wild west.

First, because there’s been nothing as revolutionary as Bitcoin and cryptocurrency in recent decades. The inventors of protocols like Avalanche, or legacy Nakamoto consensus, have challenged very powerful people and institutions, across a wide spectrum of niches, from finance to hardware manufacturers.

Maybe they fear some kind of retaliation? Professional conflicts of interest? Patents, NDA’s or some other intellectual property conflict?

Or, perhaps, it’s just part of their routine OPSEC to not expose true identities.

(Keep in mind that Satoshi is a paper billionaire. Should his home address be exposed, for instance, who knows what criminals would do in order to get to his private keys. Maybe the Avalanche creators have based their own security on Satoshi’s successful anonymity?)

Team Rocket

So, are Dr. Emin Gun Sirer and his crew the real Team Rocket?

Maybe.

Probably.

Maybe not.

All we know is whoever developed Avalanche has come up with a truly remarkable new consensus protocol. And they’d rather be called Team Rocket.

Plus, it’s kinda cool for academic paper authors to show up as “Rocket, T” on arXiv.

A Word on Anonymity

The Supreme Court of the US has ruled that anonymity is protected by the US Constitution:

Anonymity is a shield from the tyranny of the majority. . . . It thus exemplifies the purpose behind the Bill of Rights and of the First Amendment in particular: to protect unpopular individuals from retaliation . . . at the hand of an intolerant society.

Anyone who desires to remain anonymous should have the right to do so.

For instance, exposing Dorian Nakamoto, and to continue using his image as Satoshi Nakamoto, is absurd. He should have been granted the right to remain anonymous, especially since he’s publicly denied being the Bitcoin Satoshi.

But it can’t hurt to ask: has anyone seen Emin Gun Sirer and Team Rocket together in the same room?

Featured photo credit: Gage Skidmore

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