Bloomberg Businessweek

Revolution. Anarchy. Satoshi.

In Ukraine, battered by political upheaval and corruption, Bitcoin looks like a way forward
A cryptocurrency entrepreneur wants to erect a statue of a human-robot hybrid to honor Satoshi Nakamoto

The spot where a statue of Lenin once presided over Kyiv’s downtown is now in a state of mild decrepitude. The plinth remains, but it’s covered with graffiti, its steps painted the blue and gold of the Ukrainian flag. After protesters triumphantly toppled the statue in December 2013, the vacant pedestal served as a memorial to Ukraine’s violent rejection of its Soviet past.

Since late September, though, the spot has had a new occupant—of sorts. If you point your phone at the pedestal, an app will show you an augmented-reality rendering of the person some say symbolizes the country’s future: Satoshi Nakamoto, the anonymous inventor of Bitcoin. “He could be Ukrainian,” says Alexander Soroka, head of local incubator Startup.Network and co-founder of Satoshi Nakamoto Republic, an organization created to erect AR statues to Nakamoto around the world. If he can win the mayor’s support, he plans eventually to put up a permanent statue in its place. Soroka is correct about Nakamoto: No one knows where he (or she, or they) is from or what he looks like; the statue design shows three human torsos, each with a different skin tone, sprouting from a pair of robot legs. But Soroka is also speaking figuratively, describing how neatly Bitcoin serves the needs of a citizenry with an historic distrust of the state.

Before the protests, which came to be known as the

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