Pay the Devil in Bitcoin: The Creation of a Cryptocurrency

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 16, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Even in hell, bitcoin talks. (地獄の沙汰もビットコイン次第)

This modern take on an old Japanese saying still holds hold true. The cryptocurrency was supposed to do for money what the internet did for information, but it didn't work out that way. Pay the Devil in Bitcoin, based on two years of research and reporting for The Daily Beast, is a primer on this new form of virtual money and the real-world chaos it unleashed, particularly in the ancestral homeland of its mysterious creator, Satoshi Nakamoto.

Japan was at one time the center of the bitcoin universe — home of Mt. Gox, the world's largest bitcoin exchange, credited both with fostering the rapid rise of the currency, and, later, with bringing its value crashing down. In 2014, Mt. Gox collapsed with nearly half a billion dollars' worth of bitcoin gone missing — perhaps the greatest bitcoin heist in history. If it was a heist…

Here is the true story of the humble-to-hot commodity, from the former geek website that launched the boom, inside a brave new world populated by absent-minded CEOs, hackers, cybercrooks, drug dealers, corrupt federal agents, evangelical libertarians, bitcoin true-believers, and tech wizards.

What really happened to the missing 650,000 bitcoins (now worth billions of dollars)? Who stole them? Was it Satoshi Nakamoto? Angry cyber criminals from the Dark Web who wanted revenge? Were the coins ever really missing? Why was the Mt. Gox CEO, Mark Karpelès, arrested, and was it a setup? How is Bitcoin connected to the infamous Silk Road? Do the Japanese police know the answers? Are they even interested in discovering the truth? For the first time, journalists Jake Adelstein and Nathalie Stucky present the answers to these burning questions.

Get the lowdown on the high cost of betting on bitcoin, in heaven, hell, earth, and Japan.

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About the Authors

Jake Adelstein has been an investigative journalist in Japan since 1993. Considered one of the foremost experts on organized crime in that country, he works as a writer and consultant in Japan and the United States, writing for the Daily Beast, the Japanese economic monthly ZAITEN, and other publications. He has served as a special correspondent for the Los Angeles Times and is the author of Tokyo Vice: An American Reporter on the Police Beat in Japan (Vintage), which has been translated into 12 languages, and the Kindle Single Operation Tropical Storm.

Nathalie Stucky is a freelance journalist in Tokyo and Europe. She was an assistant correspondent for the Japanese news agency Jiji Press in Geneva and contributed to the book Reconstructing 3/11. She has written for the Daily Beast, the Los Angeles Times, and several French publications.

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