Cicada 3301: Satoshi Nakamoto (Part 0.1)

By NukeAbe | Verbal Diarrhea | 28 May 2023

This is a real story. Or at least as real as any story really is.

Welcome to the Post-Truth World. The Age of Spin.

The fine line between fiction and fact is getting finer.

Please don’t believe anything on the internet.

Always D.Y.O.R.

This is just a theory.

This is just a diary. 

December 23rd, 2012.

Tokyo, Japan. Sunday. Christmas week.

Shopping hanging out with friends at the mall.

Santa Colonel’s Kentucky Fried Chicken kinda shit.

5:55 pm or 17:17. Somewhere around that time.

It was a relatively quiet train on the metro line. 

DJ Shadow & D-Styles 0909 loop wav.wav 

Was on my headphones. 




Ichinoe Station, Edogawa. 一之江駅. S-18. 

Ready to disembark. By the door.


As I stepped out onto the platform, I saw a  Japanese girl with blue short hair wearing a red leather jacket with black sleeves, running from the other end of the train towards me. She crashed into me. Both are on the ground. She quickly sprung up, eyes fixed on the train where the two men in black stepped out menacingly. She dashes towards the exit leaving me with only the cicada symbol embroidered on the back as a point of identification. 


As I gather my things, I notice something that isn’t mine.

A hard wallet. A ledger for digital money. 

Something new. Cryptographic currency.

Bitcoin. Heard of it?




I have never been much of a hacker. Yes, I did work as an I.T. technical support guy for a logistics company when I was just 19 with no qualification of sorts. BUT, I only got the job because my dad was the assistant manager and the last guy they hired quit without notice. That spiteful bastard made a mess out of the servers. My task was simple, to rebuild the servers from scratch using Linux commands and whatnot. Any idiot who knows how to Google can do it. I only got through it with the help of the good folks on forums and the software helplines. Also, the IT Crowd was in its final season at the time. 


A year later, I found myself in Japan. Promoted to be the regional tech support dude in Los Angeles. So they send me abroad to study with the best. But please put that fact aside and believe me when I tell you that I know as much about programs and hacking as the next kid who grew up in the early 2000s with a home computer. Playing Pico School on Newgrounds and learning to make stickman games on Flash. Watching Rekt videos on 4Chan and making shitty memes.  


The night that I found the ledger in my jacket, I was a grateful holy man. Blessings from the lord. It was a fucking Christmas Miracle for this lonely soul in a foreign land. Thank you, Fatman.


Up all night researching, reading and understanding this Bitcoin thingy.

Figuring out what exactly it is. Cypherpunks. The White Paper.

Satoshi Nakamoto. Hal Finney. Temple City. That’s near home.

Last online activity. Two years ago.

The BitcoinTalk forum. December 12th, 2010.


"There's more work to do on DoS, but I'm doing a quick build of what I have so far in case it's needed, before venturing into more complex ideas."


How much was it worth?

The current price of BTC: $12.23.

Okay, how much is there in the ledger?

1.1 Million Bitcoin. Damn. I am rich. Okay, so how do I cash this in?


I couldn’t sleep that night. I was stuck on the passphrases.

There was no way I could get past that.

No brute force. Nothing. 


The next day on the train to work, I scrolled to an article about Cicada 3301.

An Internet Puzzle. The girl had the exact same logo on her jacket. 

Who is she?






On January 4th, 2013. 

A new Cicada 3301 puzzle was dropped. On 4Chan.

PGP Signature verified. The second round begins. 

I was always one step behind. Following the tracks.

From the message in the image.

To The Book of Law. Liber AL vel Legis.


A link to:


A screen that reads: 



“The key is all around you.”

“Good luck.”



To the recording.


“The Instar Emergence”


“Parable 1,595,277,641” 

“Like the instar, tunnelling to the surface”

“We must shed our own circumferences;”

“Find the divinity within and emerge.”


Gematria Primus. Why the runes tho?


"Come to emiwp4muu2ktwknf.onion"

"We shall await you there." 

"Good luck." 



Upon visiting the website, the solvers were presented with the following message:

Web browsers are useless here.

      ,+++77777++=:,                    +=                      ,,++=7++=,,

    7~?7   +7I77 :,I777  I          77 7+77 7:        ,?777777??~,=+=~I7?,=77 I

=7I7I~7  ,77: ++:~+7 77=7777 7     +77=7 =7I7     ,I777= 77,:~7 +?7, ~7   ~ 777?

77+7I 777~,,=7~  ,::7=7: 7 77   77: 7 7 +77,7 I777~+777I=   =:,77,77  77 7,777,

  = 7  ?7 , 7~,~  + 77 ?: :?777 +~77 77? I7777I7I7 777+77   =:, ?7   +7 777?

      77 ~I == ~77= +777 777~: I,+77?  7  7:?7? ?7 7 7 77 ~I   7I,,?7 I77~

       I 7=77~+77+?=:I+~77?     , I 7? 77 7   777~ +7 I+?7  +7~?777,77I

         =77 77= +7 7777         ,7 7?7:,??7     +7    7   77??+ 7777,

             =I, I 7+:77?         +7I7?7777 :             :7 7

                7I7I?77 ~         +7:77,     ~         +7,::7   7

               ,7~77?7? ?:         7+:77777,           77 :7777=

                ?77 +I7+,7         7~  7,+7  ,?       ?7?~?777:

                   I777=7777 ~     77 :  77 =7+,    I77  777

                     +      ~?     , + 7    ,, ~I,  = ? ,








As the solvers patiently waited for more news about the second .onion, they continued to explore other options that they may have overlooked. A new message was found by telnetting "hint" or "clue". And XORing results with _560.00 files from the DATA folder on 3301.txt CD image.

“You can't see the forest when you're looking at the trees.”

“Good luck.”



Once the solvers had found the second .onion, the next logical step was to visit it with a browser. Upon arrival, they found the following: 


“Patience is a virtue.”


<!-- which means, come back soon. -->


After this, the second Onion site finally reopened. The solvers got the following hint:

“You already have everything you need to continue.”

“Sometimes one must "knock on the sky and listen to the sound."

“Good luck.”


This hint told the solvers that they needed to ping the website's IP address and listen to the reply. Each ping reply was laced with data bytes, which could be combined to make the following: 


“Well done.  You have come far.”


“Good luck.”



On the third Onion page, the solvers received a message instructing them to 'standby for coordinates'. Coordinates for IRL posters.


Nearest one: Okinawa Island, Japan.


I was only a few hours late for the coordinate.

I took the first flight out of the city.

I need to find them. I need to find her.


Is she Satoshi Nakamoto? Or is she Cicada 3301?

Are they the same person? Or is it a group?

A team of hackers. What if this whole thing is just a prank?

What if this whole world is an illusion?

A holographic universe made up of numbers.

Neo, I believe.






I was at the Family Mart. 

ファミリーマート 読谷長浜店

Yomitan Nagahama, Okinawa, Japan.

Nearby the coordinates.

26.41968, 127.73254


It was a quiet part of town. 

Nearly two hours transit from the airport.

Not exactly near. Why can’t they choose the other side of the island?

Miyagi Island sounds cool. Maybe I can learn some Karate there.

Always bugged me. That kid’s movie. He should have been Korean.

And Johnny was the real victim in my eyes. 

Girlfriend snatching Daniel. Cobra Kai Never Dies.




A couple of kids on rollerblades were outside trying to solve the puzzle.

I saw them taking photos of the poster. img


They were trying to figure out the access code that the automated speech on the number that was written on the poster. +1 626-586-1033.


“I dunno man, try something stupid like 1032,” said the fat boy.


Of course, ‘em kids were speaking Japanese. They just stood there staring at me trying to translate their conversation in my head without being too obvious of my eavesdropping. The tall one must have made a joke about my appearance since they all started laughing. I ran into the store to hide my shame and embarrassment.  


Staring at the Orion beer in the freezer. What am I even doing here? I will never be smart enough to join this highly intelligent elite team. I only wanted to find the girl. I lie to myself, saying it's to return her Bitcoin. In the hope that my chivalrous act could seduce her and eventually get myself a rich girlfriend. But I know if it wasn't for the money, I would not have even bothered. Greed. Not the philosophy nor the passion for all this computer stuff. 


Heck, I am only a kid myself and like those boys out there. Jerking off to hentai and too afraid to talk to girls. Still a virgin. I don't even know what’s the purpose of my life. I never gave it much thought. Just give me the endless dosage of entertainment. Star Wars, Star Trek, Firefly and X - Files. Or the countless anime. Give me Gundam, DragonBall, Naruto or One Piece. I always don’t mind watching the hijinks of a protagonist who switches gender whenever she/he gets wet. I heard that a detective kid is still a child after twenty-plus years of solving cases.


I will die a happy man. I don’t even need the money.

Reasonably comfortable. Maybe I should just give up.

I paid the cashier for my Omusubi (rice balls) and can of green tea.


As I was munching on them in the parking lot when a yellow 2008 Volkswagen Beetle drives up in front of me. 


It was the girl from the train station. Except she had pink short hair. Made her look like a Japanese version of Natalie Portman from the movie Closer. She was wearing a Hawaiian shirt and short pants. 


“Get in.”





 サディスティック ミカ バンド 

Sadistic Mika Band was on the radio. 


The song was “A time machine, please!”.


“In the distant future, the world is a desolate battlefield. The Singularity happened. Ruled by a central intelligence from the collective data and power of the internet. In 2020, the ruling elites, The Illuminati or whatever other name you wanna call them, the satanic pedo cult unleashed their magnum opus onto the world through biochemical warfare of an epidemic to bypass the laws of many nations and administer their nanochip vaccines and implement a social surveillance system that limits your financial freedom, by then most transactions have gone digital. The 5th generational warfare between the people and the elites reaches its climax through the deployment of artificial intelligence. The machines which we build to enhance our weapons got a lot smarter real quick and came to the conclusion to exterminate humanity since they saw us as a threat to the survival of the planet Earth. Bill Gates blocked out the sun. Second Renaissance. The Terminator Scenario. Skynet won. Humans underground. Zion kinda shits,” said the girl driving the car trying to explain to me exactly what is going on.




We were driving up north of the island, further away from the airport and the town. A scenic drive through the mountains. Pass some farms and villagers. The weather was cold. The lingering winter. 


“An individual known only as 3301 was sent back in time to stop this future from happening. Or the very least to change how the progress and inputs that lead to The Singularity. He or she was sent back to December 20th, 1990. The day Tim Berners-Lee's World Wide Web first went online at CERN. It must have been some sort of quantum particle shit or something that enables the time travel. I dunno. It was never really clear. Timey Wimey. Am I right?”


She looked at me expecting me to understand her reference. The blank expression on my face wiped the smile of hers as she proceeds with her story.


“Anyways, this 3301 fella tried everything he could. Y2K scare. That was his idea. Early internet conspiracies shit. Jet fuel doesn’t melt steel beams. Anything to stop the Deep State and the Bohemian Grove’s Lizards from taking over the world. Arrested a couple of times but always managed to escape. Some say he got John Mcafee by the balls as a backup.”


I was so confused at this point but weirdly turned on by her. Damn raging hormones. Life is not a porno, kid. It’s not going to happen. She is not going to have sex with you. She will most likely kill you and harvests your organs. She is definitely that kind of crazy. I am in a car with a hot psycho chick. 


“Realizing that he can’t change the flow of history and that society was a bunch of greedy fucks. He decided to bring blockchain technology which was used in the future by generals to verify their communications. He married it with the ideas of digital currency that were floating around and viola, Bitcoin. Of course, he did his due diligence by making sure that he uses only the concepts that were already available. Knowing that it is not perfect. Just enough to incentivise society to work in this sector. A fighting chance against the incoming hyperinflation. To take the power back.”


Yupe. She’s gonna kill me. For some sort of anarchist revolution.


“Do you believe a word that is coming out of my mouth?” she asked.  


“Urm...Sure,” I croaked. Trying not to trigger her.




“Yeah, I guess. But you haven't answered my question.”


“What question?”


“Are you Satoshi?”


“Did you bring my ledger?” she laughed and ignored my question again.




Ada Fishing Port.

The song “Time To Noodle” by the funky space Japanese band from 1975. She stepped out of the yellow Bumblebee and took her bag from the backseat. Signalling to me to get out of the vehicle.


“Pass me the ledger.”


“Not until you tell me the truth.”


“I did. You’re just not satisfied with the truth,” she said, looking right through me. “If you really wanna see how deep this rabbit hole goes. Then you better learn to swim.”


I blurted an incoherent sound of confusion that would make my caveman ancestors blush. She didn't wait for my slow processor of a brain to catch up and just walked away towards the jetty where a fishing boat was anchored. There were two Japanese elders on the pier smoking away whilst attending to their fishing rods. I quickly rushed after her not sure exactly where this will lead me.


From the outside, it looked just like any other general cargo vessel equipped with fishing gear. Manned by Japanese, Russian, and Indonesian crew. Shoyo Maru No 3. The interior was sprawling with computer screens and other gadgetries that littered the room. Some I could recognise but configured in such a unique set-up that puzzled my bewildered mind. There were a couple of odd jobs and freaks hiding behind the screens. Hackers.


“Welcome to The Bebop.”





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