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What Happened to Bitcoin’s Satoshi? New Token-Funded Film Aims to Find Out

“I Am Not Satoshi” will be crowdfunded through an Avalanche-based token sale and explore the search and debate over the Bitcoin creator’s identity.

3 min read
Who is Satoshi Nakamoto? Image: Shutterstock

In brief

  • A new film about pseudonymous Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto will be crowdfunded through a token sale.
  • The sale for “I Am Not Satoshi” will take place on the investment platform Republic and accept Avalanche-based tokens.

More than 13 years after Bitcoin debuted, the question still lingers: Who is Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous creator of the first and largest cryptocurrency? Many have tried and failed to definitively find out over the years, but a documentarian plans to explore the phenomenon once more with a new film crowdfunded through Republic with Avalanche-based tokens.

White Paper Films and director Chris Cannucciari today announced that they will raise funds to film “I Am Not Satoshi,” a feature-length documentary that aims to provide a complete look at the search. Cannucciari is the director behind 2016 documentary, “Banking on Bitcoin.”

“I Am Not Satoshi” will highlight the crypto world’s pursuit of Satoshi, who went silent not long after Bitcoin’s launch and has not been heard from in many years. The film will highlight some of the searchers’ theories over the person (or people) behind the pseudonym, but will also explore why some believe that Satoshi should remain unknown.

“The film relies on the words of Bitcoin’s early adopters, journalists, and Satoshi’s mentors to guide us through the mystery,” said Cannucciari, in a release. “Experts and witnesses will help us understand the events leading up to and following Satoshi’s disappearance. Our goal is to tell this story before history becomes a myth.”

In an emailed statement to Decrypt, Cannucciari clarified that the goal of the film is not to "unmask" Satoshi Nakamoto, but rather "create a composite of why Satoshi was created and how he was able to succeed in cryptocurrency where so many others fell short."

The film will be funded through investment platform Republic using the Film Finance Offering (FFO) framework developed by Ava Labs. Backers will be able to purchase Avalanche-based tokens to help bring the film to life, and Ava Labs expects to see a number of other filmmakers use the platform to fund their own future projects.

“I Am Not Satoshi” marks Avalanche’s first steps into the growing Web3 film world, with tokens and NFT collectibles used to help crowdfund development of movies. Avalanche is a network built for decentralized apps, games, and NFTs, and has been billed as one of many potential “Ethereum killers.”

Decentralized Pictures and FF3 are among the platforms that have emerged to tap into Web3 technology to help assist filmmakers. Upcoming documentary “Ethereum: The Infinite Garden” was crowdfunded through a token sale, while a feature-length adaptation of Camila Russo’s book “The Infinite Machine” has been funded through NFT sales.

Editor's note: This story was updated after publication to include additional comments from the film's director, Chris Cannucciari. A previous version of this story also incorrectly identified Republic as an Avalanche-based platform. We regret the error.

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