Evan checked his smartwatch nervously as he waited in the dark alley. He was supposed to meet his partner, Mia, here at 11:59 pm, but she was nowhere to be seen. He hoped she hadn’t been caught by the security drones that patrolled the city at night.
He looked up at the sky, where the moon was obscured by a thick layer of smog. He hated this place, this time. He longed for the past when the air was clean, the people were free and the money was real.
He and Mia were crypto chrononauts, time travelers who used a secret device to jump back and forth between different eras, stealing cryptocurrencies from unsuspecting victims. They were part of a larger network of rebels who opposed the oppressive regime that ruled the world in 2123.
The regime had banned all forms of decentralized money, forcing everyone to use their digital currency, the Global Credit. The Global Credit was controlled by a central authority that monitored every transaction, taxed every income, and punished every dissent.
Evan and Mia had different visions. They believed in the power of cryptocurrencies, the money of the people. They believed that by stealing and spreading them across time and space, they could undermine the regime and spark a revolution.
They had a plan for tonight. They had hacked into the security system of the Crypto Museum, a place where the regime displayed some of the rarest and most valuable cryptocurrencies in history. They had identified a window of opportunity when the drones would be offline for maintenance. They had prepared their disguises, their weapons, and their escape route.
They just needed to execute it.
Evan heard footsteps approaching. He tensed up, ready to fight or flee. He relaxed when he saw Mia’s face under the hood of her jacket.
“Sorry I’m late,” she whispered. “I had to dodge a couple of drones on the way.”
“It’s okay,” Evan said. “Are you ready?”
“Always,” Mia said. She flashed him a smile and handed him a small device. It was a crypto chronometer, a modified version of a quantum computer that could manipulate time and space. It looked like a smartphone, but it was much more powerful.
Evan activated it and entered their destination: January 3rd, 2009. The day Bitcoin was born.
A holographic map appeared on the screen, showing their current location and their target location. Evan tapped on the target location and confirmed their jump.
“Let’s go,” he said.
They held hands and pressed their thumbs on the device. A blue light enveloped them and they felt a surge of energy.
They vanished in 2123 and reappeared in 2009.
They were in a basement, surrounded by old computers and wires. They saw a monitor displaying a message:
The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of the second bailout for banks
It was the genesis block of Bitcoin, the first block ever mined by its mysterious creator, Satoshi Nakamoto.
Evan and Mia knew that somewhere in this basement, there was a hard drive containing Satoshi’s private keys, which gave access to his stash of bitcoins. According to some estimates, Satoshi had mined over one million bitcoins in the early days of Bitcoin, worth billions of dollars in 2123.
They also knew that Satoshi had never spent or moved his bitcoins, leaving them dormant for over a century. No one knew who Satoshi was or what he intended to do with his bitcoins. Some speculated that he had died or lost his keys. Others believed that he was waiting for the right moment to reveal himself and change the world.
Evan and Mia didn’t care about Satoshi’s identity or motives. They only cared about his bitcoins. They wanted to steal them and use them for their cause.
They scanned the basement, looking for clues. They saw a laptop on a desk, connected to a router and a printer. They saw a paper wallet on the printer tray, with a QR code and a string of alphanumeric characters.
They recognized it as a Bitcoin address.
They checked their crypto chronometer and saw that they had arrived just minutes before Satoshi mined his first block. They had to act fast.
Mia grabbed the paper wallet and scanned it with her device. She transferred its balance to their address.
“Got it,” she said.
Evan nodded and moved to the laptop. He hacked into it and accessed its files. He found a folder named “Bitcoin” and copied it to his device.
“Got it,” he said.
They looked at each other and smiled. They had just pulled off the biggest heist in history.
They were about to leave when they heard a noise upstairs. Someone was coming down.
They panicked. They didn’t expect anyone to be here. They had assumed that Satoshi was working alone and remotely.
They hid behind a stack of boxes and waited.
They saw a man enter the basement. He was wearing a suit and a tie. He had a briefcase in his hand. He looked like a banker or a lawyer.
He walked to the desk and opened the laptop. He typed something on the keyboard and checked the monitor.
He looked at the paper wallet on the printer tray. He scanned it with his phone.
He looked around as if sensing something was wrong.
He saw Evan and Mia.
Evan and Mia didn’t hesitate. They ran towards him, aiming their guns at his head.
They pulled the trigger.
The man dodged and grabbed his briefcase. He opened it and took out a gun of his own.
He fired back.
He hit Evan in the chest.
Evan fell to the ground, bleeding.
She dropped her gun and ran to Evan. She cradled his head in her arms.
She looked at his wound. It was fatal.
She looked at his eyes. They were fading.
She looked at his lips. They were moving.
He whispered something to her.
She leaned closer to hear him.
“I love you.”
She looked up at the man who killed him.
She saw his face.
She recognized him.
He was Satoshi Nakamoto.
She was shocked.
She was angry.
She was scared.
She grabbed her device and activated it. She entered their escape destination: on June 18th, 2010. The day of the first Bitcoin pizza transaction.
She tapped on the screen and confirmed their jump.
A blue light enveloped her and Evan’s body.
They vanished in 2009 and reappeared in 2010.
They were in a parking lot, outside a pizza place. They saw a car with a sign that said “Laszlo’s Pizza Delivery”.
They saw a man holding two pizzas, walking towards the car. He had a phone in his hand. He was talking to someone.
“Hey, I just got the bitcoins. Thanks, man. This is awesome.”
He was Laszlo Hanyecz, the man who bought two pizzas for 10,000 bitcoins, worth over $300 million in 2123.
Mia didn’t care about him or his pizzas. She only cared about Evan and his bitcoins.
She dragged Evan’s body to the car and opened the trunk. She put him inside and closed it.
She got in the driver’s seat and started the engine. She drove away, leaving Laszlo confused and pizza-less.
She checked her device and saw that they still had Satoshi’s bitcoins. She transferred them to a secure address that only she knew.
She wiped her tears and clenched her fists. She swore to herself that she would avenge Evan’s death. She swore to herself that she would use Satoshi’s bitcoins to destroy his regime. She swore to herself that she would finish what they started.
She was a crypto chrononaut, and she had a mission.
To be continued…