On Bitcoin and Ponzi Schemes
By Tal J. Lifshitz
Bernie Madoff died in federal prison a few months ago with the dubious distinction of being the mastermind of the largest and most infamous Ponzi scheme of all time. Madoff stole tens of billions of dollars from thousands of investors over the course of 17 years. He received a 150-year prison sentence for his crimes and was ordered to forfeit $170 billion in assets. Madoff’s scheme collapsed in 2008, but the recovery and distribution of assets pursuant to the unwinding of the scheme, and the inevitable litigation accompanying that process, continue today.
Satoshi Nakamoto’s legacy remains to be determined. Most know him as the man behind the curtain—the anonymous founder of Bitcoin, the cryptocurrency that has gone from a cypherpunk electronic cash experiment to a digital asset, which, at its all-time high, has already surpassed a $1 trillion
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