A Hawaiian man claiming to be Satoshi Nakamoto has sought to trademark Bitcoin Cash, a development that spurred intrigue amongst the wider Bitcoin community.
On May 18, 2018, Ronald Keala Kua Maria applied to register the phrase “Bitcoin Cash” with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Interestingly, the USPTO filing listed Maria as “AKA Satoshi Nakamoto,” indicating that the Waianae, Hawaii resident has claimed to be the mysterious anonymous figure credited with writing the original Bitcoin whitepaper.
However, rather than confirmation of the inventor of cryptocurrency’s true identity, members of the Bitcoin community suggested this could be linked to a far less savoury character.
Reports from 2001 linked Maria’s mother to a shipping container scam, which is alleged to have run since 1979. Maria has been charged with second-degree theft after his mother, Mabel Elena Maria, tried to sell his home in Hawaii, according to The Honolulu Advertiser. Investigators said Mabel Maria took some $3,400 from an interested buyer even though she wasn’t qualified to buy the house.
With BCH enthusiasts following the trail online, this led to another discover—a website called Satoshinakamoto.ws. The website includes a copyright assertion, purporting to confirm Maria’s identity as that of Satoshi: “I Ronald Keala Kua Maria also known as Satoshi Nakamoto inventor of bitcoin and blockchain technology hereby affirm that all my copyrights including an equity-based electronic reserve currency peer to peer electronic cash system.”
The website also featured a copy of the original Bitcoin white paper but titled “The Coin of All Coins,” as well as Maria’s assertions that he owns “all private keys, the blockchains, altcoins and bitcoins under copyright law.”
“I am the real one and only Satoshi Nakamoto. I own all the private keys, blockchains, altcoins and bitcoins under copyright law,” according to the website. “In the event of my death, incapacitation, coma, kidnapping, detainment and or incarceration all of my copyrighted works and all related works shall no longer be used by anyone anywhere for any reason at any time subject to change without any notice at any time by Ronald Keala Kua Maria only. I hereby serve legal notice to all users of my copyrighted works to cease and desist all use of my copyrighted works breach subject to copyright infringement.”
Maria also claims to own the domains of BCH-related websites, including thesatoshinakamoto.com, bitcoincopyrights.com, bitcoincashcopyright.com, and bchcopyright.com, among others. These websites, however, redirect visitors to Maria’s rkm.world site, which offers “free basic income plan.”
On the Satoshinakamoto.ws site, Maria invited users to contact him for “a free user license and an updated copy” of the legal notice to his copyrighted works, noting that “all users may be required to pay 2% royalties on transactions over $800 USD and or any and all transactions after eight daily transactions to provide $800 a month Basic Income to all users subject to Copyright law and this Basic Income Plan.”
The development is intriguing because of the mysterious elements of the story, and many in the bitcoin community are gripped by the saga. It remains to be seen whether the mysterious Maria will step out from the shadows and whether he can in any way back up his apparently outlandish claims.