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The strange remarks are part of a recurring joke in which the 71-year-old twin brothers claim to control the crypto markets…and the globe.
Igor and Grichka Bogdanoff, French TV celebrities and former theoretical physicists, claim to have known Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto and were engaged in the cryptocurrency’s inception.
“Igor and I, as mathematicians, were able to participate in the elaboration of some of the source code, especially the ‘predictive code’,” said Grichka Bogdanoff on French TV show Non Stop People on July 1, who expanded on his claims on L’Heure des Pros on July 7.
In the early 1990s, the two brothers claimed to have worked with François Mizzi, the creator of the touchscreen, in his lab, which featured a Japanese scientist named Sotchiro Shimoda, who was “someone close to the mythical person or a group of people” known as Nakamoto. The Bogdanoff brothers stated that they would frequently discuss ideas for a digital currency with Shimoda, however they did not provide any specifics.
The Bogdanoff brothers also claimed that when Bitcoin was founded in 2008, Nakamoto sent them two “ancient Bitcoins” in “physical form.”
Hellmouth Banner, editor-in-chief of French crypto media outlet Journal du Coin, told Decrypt that these claims should be taken with a pinch of salt since, “in terms of credibility, [the twins] are equivalent to a scientific version of the Kardashian family.”
Who are Grichka and Igor Bogdanoff?
Physicists by training, the Bogdanoff twins rose to prominence in France as hosts of science education show Temps X during the 80s. These days, they’re treated as socialites rather than scientists.
“Their atypical look and their often offbeat and original statements make them good recruits to attract audiences,” Banner said. They have been the subject of many controversies over the years, including disputes about the veracity of their academic credentials and a recent court case alleging that they scammed a bipolar millionaire.
Despite the bold claims about their involvement with Bitcoin, the twins’ passing mention of their investment inhas attracted even more attention.
There is, after all, a long-standing meme that the twins are able to control the market.
The rise of a conspiracy-meme
The brothers became a running gag in crypto following a series of parody videos in 2018 by the YouTube channel Bizonacci, which portrayed the Bogdanoffs as omnipotent market actors who conspire against an average crypto trader.
“Get Vitalik on the line,” one Bogdanoff orders in the video. “Pump Ethereum for two hours and then wake him up,” he tells an obeying Vitalik Buterin, Ethereum’s co-founder. Once the trader FOMOs into Ethereum, Bogdanoff orders the market to crash, and it crashes.
The popularity of the Bogdanoff meme follows an online trend that began in 2015 when a Reddit user posted a photo of the twins in the subreddit r/wtf, with the title “How do they think is attractive?!” in reference to what looks like botched plastic surgery.
In 2017, an anonymous 4chan user posted a made-up list of conspiracy theories about the Bogdanoff brothers, such as direct contact with aliens, the ability to control the French prime minister and “evidence which suggests that the Rothschilds are operating under their supervision.”
The conspiracy meme was best captured by a photo of Grichka Bogdanoff speaking on the phone. And that photo, said the Bogdanoff twins on July 1, will become an soon.
“It is probably Nakamoto who made [the photo] circulate,” Igor Bogdanoff casually suggested. That photo was “in all blockchains between 2010 and 2012,” he said, and it had been downloaded more than 1.3 billion times.
“Anyone with two hours of cryptoculture can see it’s a bunch of improvised nonsense,” Banner added. But, he continued, the Bogdanoffs have access to the entire Parisian elite, so if they launch a crypto project, it might be a success.
During the interviews, the Bogdanoff twins also announced the introduction of Exo-Coin, a cryptocurrency. They did not provide any details, but if conspiracy rumours are to be believed, the great Bogdanoffs will push their way to victory.