Paul Le Roux is a criminal kingpin that many believe could be the founder of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto.
Paul Le Roux is a mysterious figure that some think could be the real Satoshi Nakamoto. Le Roux is a cryptographer, international crime kingpin and former informant for the DEA. Le Roux was born in Zimbabwe in 1972 to unknown parents and was adopted by a young couple who later moved to South Africa. As a teen, he became extremely interested in the new technology of computers and quickly learned to program and found work as a programmer in the UK, U.S. and Australia.
Paul Le Roux invented an encryption software known as E4M (Encryption for the Masses), which was designed to give the public more privacy when it came to disk storage. He believed strongly in privacy from the prying eyes of governments around the world. After a divorce, he relocated several times to Hong Kong and then the Netherlands all the while taking on encryption projects for various companies.
Le Roux went on to launch a series of websites dedicated to online prescription filling where customers could get access to prescription drugs under dubious circumstances. His company, RX Limited, became extremely profitable, and he went on to make possibly millions in sales through the websites. He quickly moved on to establish businesses in a number of industries, from land leasing in Zimbabwe to logging operations in the Congo. He relocated to Manila, Philippines, where he oversaw his businesses which had expanded to a slew of illegal activity including arms dealing, drug and gold smuggling, and money laundering through a series of shell companies he founded.
He became something of a cartel leader with a growing amount of hired muscle and guns, all the while running operations through his Manila compound. At some point in his operations, he was approached by the DEA and became an informant of global crime. However, this would not save him from ongoing investigation and eventual prosecution. After a cocaine and methamphetamine deal involving a Colombian cartel (consisting of undercover DEA) in Liberia, Le Roux was arrested by Liberian police and DEA operatives. In 2020 Le Roux received a 25-year prison sentence in the U.S. for his crimes surrounding RX Limited and his global crime operations.
With a rap sheet fit for a Bond villain, Paul Le Roux’s actions were shrouded in secrecy. Although he had become a murderer and global crime kingpin, many surmise that his brilliance in coding and encryption land him as a prime suspect as Bitcoin’s creator. We may never know who the real Satoshi Nakamoto is, but Paul Le Roux will remain high for some on the list of potential identities.