Bitcoin (BTC) is the best-known digital asset in the world. For over a decade, BTC has been a leading cryptocurrency in terms of volume, market capitalization, popularity, etc. It has seen multiple ups and downs, reached a peak at $20,000 dollars and hit bottom at $65. But a person (or a group of people) behind the technology and the coin is remaining unknown. However, anyone who is into crypto will tell you the name of the BTC creator right away. It is Satoshi Nakamoto.
History of Satoshi Nakamoto
Let’s get back to 2008. On October 31, Nakamoto published an article ‘Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash’ in which he introduced a new digital currency and a decentralized payment system that didn’t require third-party interference. Satoshi Nakamoto was human to resolve a double-spending problem.
At the beginning of 2009, Nakamoto launched the Bitcoin Network with the first mined BTC block (a genesis block/block number 0). The mining reward was 50 BTC.
In November 2009, Satoshi created a forum dedicated to Bitcoin technology and the cryptocurrency that is now known as bitcointalk.org. The first BTC transaction took place within the forum when a software developer Laszlo Hanyecz offered 10,000 BTC for one pizza. Three days later, it was arranged to purchase two pizzas.
Nakamoto has been working tightly with other developers during 2010. They all were supposed to develop and maintain the Bitcoin network. However, by the end of that year, he had suddenly stopped working on the project. He gave keys and codes to a software developer Gavin Andresen, conveyed domains to the community members and left.
In 2011, while communicating with a developer Mike Hearn, Satoshi Nakamoto stressed:
“I’ve moved on to other things. It’s in good hands with Gavin and everyone.”
And then he disappeared as suddenly as he burst into the digital space in 2008.
Versions of Satoshi Nakamoto
What do we know about Satoshi Nakamoto? Besides being a crypto genius, someone under this name is probably male and originally from Japan. In his profile on the P2P Foundation network, Nakamoto claimed his birth date to be the 4th of April, 1975. However, the community doubts this information.
Nakamoto speaks and writes fluent English in both comment sections and technical papers and preferably works at the GMT time zone, which doesn’t suit Japan’s work hours at all.
Many can say Satoshi is not a single person, but a group of developers. Due to the complexity of the technology and volume of work, it would take several highly-qualified and tech-savvy developers to create Bitcoin.
There are lots of conspiracy theories around Satoshi’s quit including CIA investigations, Nostradamus predictions, and so on. Nevertheless, the community strives to reveal Nakamoto’s identity and as a result, proposes several candidates to be Bitcoin masterminds.
Satoshi Nakamoto is definitely a bright and gifted person and so is his namesake, Dorian Nakamoto.
In 2014, Newsweek Magazine aimed to reveal the identity of true Satoshi. During its investigation, a journalist Leah McGrath Goodman found a man who suits well to be a father of Bitcoin. She learned that Dorian was a Japanese American, a physicist, who graduated from California State Polytechnic University. Dorian worked as an engineer for the U.S military (the Federal Aviation Administration) doing security communication work.
The fact that his full name was Dorian Prentice Satoshi Nakamoto was a sensation and an extra confirmation that he was the right guy. Except for one little detail – Dorian passionately denied that he was The Satoshi Nakamoto and begged reporters to leave him and his family alone.
“I did not create, invent or otherwise work on Bitcoin. I unconditionally deny the Newsweek report. […] Newsweek’s false report has been the source of a great deal of confusion and stress for myself, my 93-year old mother, my siblings, and their families”.
Another brilliant candidate for being Satoshi Nakamoto was Hal Finney. Among all the odds in the Satoshi story, there was one weird fact – Finney lived in just several blocks from Dorian Nakamoto. Could it be possible that two cryptography geniuses live in one small town? According to a theory, Hal Finney could use Dorian’s real name to conceal his identity. Finney was the first person to receive a BTC transaction (10 BTC) straight from Satoshi Nakamoto.
Just like Dorian Nakamoto, Finney categorically denied all accusations about him being Satoshi.
Hal Finney graduated from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and was a talented programmer and a pioneer of the crypto industry. Unfortunately, Finney died in August 2014 after a long illness. His body was cryopreserved.
An important figure of the crypto industry, Nick Szabo, introduced an idea of a secure and private digital asset ‘Bit Gold’ in 1998. Nick was the first person to develop the concept of smart contracts.
In 2014, a financial author Dominic Frisby suggested Szabo being the creator of BTC: “I’ve concluded there is only one person in the whole world that has the sheer breadth but also the specificity of knowledge and it is this chap…”
While all of the aforementioned people deny their involvement in ‘Satoshi Nakomoto Revealed’ saga, an Australian entrepreneur and academic, Craig Wright, claims to be a genuine creator of BTC.
In 2015, the Wired and Gizmodo simultaneously opened an investigation against a person behind Satoshi Nakamoto. The Wired stated that Wright “either invented bitcoin or is a brilliant hoaxer who very badly wants us to believe he did.”
The magazine claimed, In just a few hours after the Wire’s publication, Craig’s house and office were raided by the Australian Federal Police. The raid was initiated in accordance with an Australian Tax office investigation.
In 2016 during the meeting with the BBC, Craig Wright signed messages with cryptographic keys that had been created at the dawn of Bitcoin’s development. The keys were linked to the blocks mined by Nakamoto. Wright stressed it was him who sent 10 BTC to Hal Finney in 2009. This was later disproved.
In 2019, Craig Wright used English libel law and tried to sue people who didn’t believe he was Satoshi.
Elon Musk can be called a genius of our time. Hence, there is no surprise some people suspect that every brilliant technological idea belongs to him.
A former intern at SpaceX claimed Musk was Satoshi Nakamoto. Yet, there were no further proofs or any logical explanation. Elon Musk tweeted on these accusations with a simple line: ‘Not true’. The question was resolved.
Why can’t Satoshi be a villain? Paul Solotshi Calder Le Roux is a talented programmer and a criminal mastermind. In the late 90s, Le Roux created encryption for masses (E4M) which allowed encrypting entire disks. In 2014, Le Roux was charged with conspiracy to import drugs into the U.S territory.
The US government might also play a significant role in the rise of Satoshi’s story. Obviously, no evidence can prove it. However, such a conspiratory theory does exist.
There are multiple candidates that are proclaimed the creators of Bitcoin. Yet, none of them provides a solid confirmation about that.
Whoever this mystery person is, we always will be grateful for his impact and revolutionized technological breakthrough in the FinTech industry. Will Satoshi Nakamoto’s identity be ever revealed? Perhaps. Till that day, the mystery around the creator of the first cryptocurrency will remain unsolved.
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