Pseudonymous Grin founder Ignotus Peverell has stepped away from the project, reassuring the privacy coin’s community that it is in “safe hands.” The move has sparked inevitable Satoshi Nakamoto comparisons. Bitcoin’s pseudonymous creator used almost identical language eight years ago, writing in an email that “I’ve moved on to other things,” before adding “It’s in good hands with Gavin and everyone.”
Digital currency obsessives love a good mystery, and in Satoshi Nakamoto and to a lesser extent Ignotus Peverell, they’ve got a couple of crackers. The former needs no introduction, while the latter is the founder of Mimblewimble cryptocurrency Grin. The privacy technology underpinning the coin was posted to a bitcoin IRC chat in 2016 by someone called Tom Elvis Jedusor (Voldemort’s real name in the French version of Harry Potter), who then disappeared. It’s possible that Jedusor is also Ignotus Peverell (aka Igno), who posted an introduction to Mimblewimble and its Grin implementation on Github in March 2017.
Igno may or may not have created Mimblewimble, but it was he who got the ball rolling by turning Jedusor’s concept into a reality. The fact that the two share Harry Potter names is of course no coincidence. Ignotus Peverell was a pure-blood wizard from the 13th century, the youngest of three brothers and recipient of the invisibility cloak that eventually found its way to Harry Potter. It’s an apt moniker for a privacy coin developer who’s made a point of concealing his identity.
On June 22, Grin member Yeastplume posted on the project’s forum: “As some have already noticed, Igno has not been very active over the past few weeks. He recently communicated to us in the council that he needs to be away from the project for a while for personal reasons. We do not have further details on his situation or a timeline for his return, but we anticipate he will be absent for at least a few months, possibly more. As Grin is open source and not reliant on any single person or group in order to progress, our work continues uninterrupted in his absence.” He added:
In his message to the council members, Igno stated that Grin was “in the best hands possible” … We individuals in the current council are as committed as ever to doing our part, putting in our best work, and moving Grin forward in the spirit in which Igno started this project. We look forward to Igno’s return, and, as always, invite you to join us and help us in making Grin the best it can be.
The departure of Grin’s founder has given observers plenty to ponder. While little is known about Igno, his persona has some striking similarities with Satoshi. The first and last names of both characters are of the same length. Moreover, when ‘Ignotus’ is flipped and a few liberties are taken, it looks like this:
So @hasufl pointed out that Ignotus, pseudonomous creator of Grin, is stepping back from the project for personal reasons & says the project is in “good hands”. Then @hasufl asked if this reminds us of someone.
Hold my beer… I think I see something here. 😱 pic.twitter.com/Ded0TGXBgg
— Anders Brun (@bjuno76) June 27, 2019
In Harry Potter, Ignotus Peverell was described as the wisest and humblest of the three brothers, qualities that could easily be applied to Satoshi, who lasted just 13 months on the Bitcointalk forum he founded before stepping away. Igno, in comparison, lasted 16 months on the Grin forum before bowing out.
Like Satoshi, Ignotus could write lucidly and code proficiently, but had little interest in self-promotion. In his only interview, Grin’s founder dismissed certain aspects of Bitcoin’s design, asserting “There is no evidence that bitcoin’s supply curve is optimal. But there is a growing body of solid research showing that several aspects of it are problematic.” He did profess to “believe in the bitcoin ideals” however and stated that he saw Grin as being “much closer to Monero or bitcoin” than to fellow Mimblewimble coin Beam.
Intriguing as the parallels between Satoshi and Ignotus are, the likeliest explanation is that Grin’s founder drew his cues from Bitcoin’s creator. Any similarities between the two are likely either a deliberate ploy on Igno’s part or mere coincidence. What’s not a coincidence is that the creators of three of the most innovative and fairly distributed cryptocurrencies to date – bitcoin, monero, and grin – are anonymous. Those who place the greater good over personal glory, it seems, leave a lasting legacy.
What do you think about the similarities between Igno and Satoshi? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock.
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