Elizabeth Warren Salutes Satoshi Nakamoto? Bitcoin Fans Are in a Frenzy

Across Crypto Twitter on Thursday, the rumor buzzed, accelerated by the delicious smack of hypocrisy: Senator Elizabeth Warren, crypto’s famed arch-nemesis, allegedly flew a flag above the U.S. Capitol to honor pseudonymous Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto, and commemorate the token’s recent 15th birthday.

This is the same Elizabeth Warren that—just weeks ago—decried the approval of spot Bitcoin ETFs as a huge mistake that fatally “let crypto burrow even deeper into our financial system”?


Crypto advocates quickly seized on reports about Warren’s supposed change of heart regarding Bitcoin, theorizing as to what may have been behind it. 

Some hailed the development as a sign of major shifts underway in the U.S. government’s approach to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. 

Others expressed sheer disbelief. 

But above all the giddy speculation as to why Elizabeth Warren hoisted a flag for Satoshi, loomed a much larger question: Was any of this actually true? 

Tracing the rumor back to its origin, the hullabaloo started this morning after Bitcoin Magazine published a story asserting it had seen certificates commemorating a flag raising in Satoshi’s honor, signed by Warren and the Architect of the Capitol—whose office coordinates the Capitol Flag Program. 

Those certificates, in turn, were first put on the publication’s radar by the owners of PubKey, a Bitcoin-themed bar in Manhattan.

Thomas Pacchia, one of PubKey’s co-owners, told Decrypt that an anonymous individual recently approached the bar’s staff with a folded U.S. flag and certificates bearing what appeared to be the signatures of Warren and the Architect of the Capitol. They claimed that the objects were important relics of a watershed moment in Bitcoin’s history. 

PubKey eagerly accepted custody of the flag and documents, which are now on display in the bar. The establishment owns many pieces of Bitcoin-related memorabilia

“We’re humble stewards of these historic artifacts,” Pacchia told Decrypt

The bar owner said he hadn’t confirmed directly with any government entities that the certificates were in fact legitimate, but added that this didn’t much concern him.

“We don’t have full details on motivation and mechanics, but we have no reason to believe the certificates are false,” he said. 

So how, exactly, does a shadowy anon with little backstory end up at a pub in Greenwich Village with documents ostensibly signed by federal officials, which appear to prove that one of Bitcoin’s most prominent enemies ceremonially honored the cryptocurrency—during an event that was, by the way, never publicized? 

It turns out that federal lawmakers like Warren rarely, if ever, hoist flags via the Capitol Flag Program of their own accord.

Senators and congresspeople all offer their constituents the ability to purchase flags that are flown over the Capitol to celebrate personal occasions like anniversaries, graduations, and retirements. Lawmakers then sign certificates commemorating such occasions and send them, along with a U.S. flag, to constituents to keep as mementos.

The Architect of the Capitol estimates that 100,000 such requests are submitted by lawmakers to the Capitol Flag Program every year. 

Due to that high volume of applications and flag ceremonies, the Architect of the Capitol does not keep detailed records about what flags, submitted by which lawmakers, are flown on what day. A representative of the AOC confirmed they had no records on file that could confirm or deny whether Elizabeth Warren’s office ever submitted a request, on behalf of a constituent, to hoist a flag in honor of Satoshi Nakamoto—or whether such a ceremony ever took place. 

The only office able to confirm or deny the existence of that application, or its approval, would be that of Senator Warren. Decrypt reached out to Warren’s office regarding the matter, but did not immediately receive a response.

The anonymous person who recently showed up at PubKey with the certificates claims to be a Massachusetts citizen. They told PubKey employees they applied for a Satoshi-themed flag, but didn’t expect to receive it, until a U.S. flag and the Warren-signed paperwork showed up in the mail. 

If the anon’s tale is true, that of course doesn’t mean that Warren suddenly approves of Bitcoin. It most likely indicates that someone in her office, which is presumably inundated with hundreds of Flag Program requests a year, didn’t check closely enough to catch a clever ploy to make Warren look like a hypocrite. 

Either that, or a mole walks among them.

Edited by Andrew Hayward

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