SamouraiDev’s Sockpuppet

6 min readApr 27, 2019


The Clues

Post Timezones

I ran fone-btc through the Reddit sockpuppet analyzer, comparing against SamouraiWalletDev and SamouraiWallet accounts.

There’s an excellent match on posting times between TDev and foneBTC.

Against the SamouraiWallet account, it’s only “somewhat matching.”

Creator of The Sockpuppet Analyzer

Before I’d go any further I’d like to share that I reached out to /u/Contrarian__, the creator of the sockpuppet detector tool, because I didn’t want to accidentally misinterpret the results, so I asked him what he thinks about the results, he replied promptly:

There’s far too little posting history to draw conclusions from the spacing. However, I’ll say that if you examine the actual ‘closest in time’ results, it does look a little funny that they comment in the exact same threads so often. I’d say it’s inconclusive but suspicious.

Insider Information


This time fone-btc posted SamouraiDev’s gist. If you search for the hash, you’ll see that as far as Google is concerned this is the first time this gist has ever been posted.

Spelling: BCASH

TDev explained well the uniqueness of this wording choice:


fone-btc also consistently writes BCASH everywhere.


Thinking The Same Thing I

Here TDev and fone-btc recommends Samourai’s Sentinel one after another within 88 seconds. Also note both of them have 2 upvotes.

Thinking The Same Thing II

Here and here, TDev and fone-btc were thinking about recommending the same thing in different threads with a few minutes difference: Afterburner.

Blockchain Analysis

Reddit post: “1 millibit to the first 10 public keys!”

One interesting thing is that TDev and fone-btc both made the exact same joke. They both posted their public keys, not addresses, which was pretty funny.
So far, I found countless clues, but no conclusive evidence of sockpuppetry. They have the same vision, the same opinions, the same technical expertise and the same suggestions for every problem. Their unique word usage is similar and they are usually posting around the same time. Based on all this, can we assume that they are really close to each other? Maybe, maybe not, but blockchain analysis rules out other possibilities.

Now, look at the Bitcoin addresses they posted. More specifically how they spent the received coins from them:

The spending transactions are both uncommon and identically formatted. They did whole coin spending 1 input 1 output transactions with the exact same fixed fees and with 4 minutes difference in propagation time.

Also note that: very few wallets are capable of spending whole coins and at the time it was even more uncommon. I only know about Electrum and Bitcoin Core that had coin control features back then. But even then, wallets those are this advanced wouldn’t normally be doing fixed fee transactions, but rather adjust the fee rate dynamically.
Considering the fixed fees and the posted public keys, I suspect they used a custom script to make the spending transactions, but this is outside the scope of this article.

So… based on this information, if we want to give the benefit of the doubt to them, we can say they were working together, possibly in the same place, otherwise the coordination of this transaction to happen the same time would’ve been really problematic.
The problem is that, if you have someone working with you closely, who is also as enthusiastic about your project as you and seems to be as technically capable as you, then that guy should be working with you already. However,
there’s no fone-btc Samourai contributor on GitHub. Why? Maybe fone-btc is just not competent in coding?

But he is. He has the exact same technical qualifications as TDev. Coincidence?

Nail In The Coffin

fone-btc’s previous project was android.bitcoinalerts[0,1,2,3, 4]

This app was created by the company Soft Machines SARL.

The co-founder of Samourai is the same as the founder of Soft Machines SARL was back then.[0, 1, 2, 3]

This is conclusive evidence that fone-btc and TDevD are the same person.

What Is The Sockpuppet Used For?

fone-btc was TDev’s original account. It was created before the SamouraiDev one. It is ok to have multiple identities on the Internet, it’s just you should not use your nym to mislead people in order to further your own financial gain by promoting your other nym’s project and throwing mud on the competition.

Definition of Scam. A fraudulent scheme performed by a dishonest individual, group, or company in an attempt obtain money or something else of value.




Such comments are everywhere. Reddit Comment Search “samourai” on the fone-btc account.

Sockpuppet Accusing Others of Sockpuppetry

Here he’s accusing /u/giszmo, Mycelium developer of sockpuppetry and being “scam artists.”


Concerns About Samourai’s Honesty? Sockpuppet To Rescue

Throwing Mud on Percieved Competition (Mycelium, AirBitz, Wasabi, “BreadFuckingWallet”, BitPay)


Rescuing himself

Throwing Mud On Projects And People In General (OpenBazaar, Brian Hoffman, Erik Voorhees)


Talking to Himself

This account was used for character assassinations, smearing, lying, for half a decade, most notably utilized against competing Android wallets. I barely looked up 1% of the things I could have, so in this article I was just scratching the surface.