This is a serialized novel.
28th December, 2017
Ever seen what happens when you throw grains of rice among some ants? The ants scatter wide and far, out of fear. But after a while, realizing that it is actually food and not the sky falling on them, they all come back together and gather it all up, to take it home, as food, for the old and the young ones.
But what if those grains were actually poisoned?
01:30 PM GMT
Captain Julien Wallenbach was perturbed. And he had very good reason to be.
It was not everyday that a nearly non-existent persona challenged you, your team and your country, in front of the whole world while the press had a field day harping about how long you were taking in responding to probably baseless claims! It was already hard enough shepherding this flock of baby-faced, adult-minded, lazy-headed millenials who happened to know more about computers than he ever did and ever probably will, without this unexpected, recurrent hiccup called Natoshi Sakamoto coming up again.
His team had barely put the finishing touches to their newest server farm in preparation against the recent spate of cyber attacks from hackers ensconced in poorly organized third world countries beyond the reach of Interpol. And here was the first challenge already…
The Swiss banking system had attained both notoriety and acclaim, in more or less equal measure, for being one of the most secure/private banking mechanism prevalent in the world, until Natoshi came along with his decentralized cryptocurrency, which basically made all banking systems redundant.
And now, here was the devil himself proclaiming that bitcoins had grown beyond his reaches, into basically untended weeds in the garden of the world wide web.
And what was his prescribed remedy for that? To entrust the use of unused computing power within the server farms that had been recently set up, all to aid him in tearing away the veil of hashed codes and to bring those villains who were using bitcoins to light.
But the question is, why would the builder tear down his own building so willingly?
And how could anyone be sure that this was the same old Natoshi?
And trust him with state-owned server farms?
“Nàgè báichī!”, Shaojiàng Lu Qinghan exclaimed, throwing his hands into the air. While it was definitely against protocol for a Major General in the People’s Liberation Army to refer to someone as an idiot, especially when he was surrounded by a few of his seniors in the Situation Room, there was only so much you could do to rein in exclamations of surprise.
Natoshi had effectively cornered the countries of the world. He knew precisely how much computing power they had and how much they were using. He knew that stamping out bitcoin was a problem that everyone had on their hands and everyone would love to solve.
And he also knew that letting the people know that he was trying to solve the problem and that the only thing that was slowing him down was lack of computing power. But coincidentally, he had also called upon the countries which he wanted to ‘help’ to help him out in advance with some computing power that they had saved for no particular use (officially).
As far as the people were concerned, the government was the one hesitating to stamp out cryptocurrency when someone had actually taken the initiative to help eradicate a growing evil.
So far, things were definitely not looking good.
London, United Kingdom
While the world definitely knew about the MI6, the MI6 and of course, the GCHQ, in the United Kingdom, the National Cyber Security Defense Tactical Unit or the NCSDTU was seldom seen in papers. But their deeds have been the talk of the nation.
The attacks from Russian military intelligence, the crippling cyber attacks that took down the NHS, there was no way a nation could recover so easily as the UK did, had it not been for the NCSDTU or their predecessor, the CSTU. Basically an alpha response team that worked 24/7 out of highly secure facilities deep within the hallowed halls of the GCHQ in Cheltenham, the NCSDTU had been invested with the powers to wield both the shield and the sword. And they had met with success, so far.
But right now, try as they might to insert a drawing pin into the impenetrable shield of invisibility that Natoshi had put up around him (or her or themselves), the NCSDTU were drawing a blank.
And it was not only them. With the advent of cryptocurrency, the European Union and the United States had combined forces, both in terms of computing power and manpower, in an attempt to find the one who had trumped everyone in hiding his identity. But again, to no avail.
And here he was again, dangling a huge fish in front of people who loved their fish and chips, all the while happily sitting in the shadows, just beyond their reach.
It was a matter of choice. To play by his rules and go where the games took them or to wait like sitting ducks for what would happen if they didn’t play…
While the above were responses from a few of those countries who were lucky enough to get official invites to Natoshi’s game, there were a few others who really wanted to be included in the guestlist but were left out.
Whether it was for their own good, or not, is yet to be seen.
This is a serialized novel.