Who is Satoshi Nakamoto?
Bitcoin laid the foundation for the world’s crypto scene, but the identity of its creator remains shrouded in mystery. The story of the world’s first digital currency starts with an alias – Satoshi Nakamoto. He, she, or they created a finite supply of bitcoin and never disclosed any personal information.
So, who is Satoshi Nakamoto? Although it’s been more than a decade since the design for a new digital currency first appeared, nobody knows for sure who the elusive creator of bitcoin is. And yet interest in the currency and its price have been surging for years. Many of its early investors are now millionaires, and many skeptics have become bitcoin believers.
How It All Began
As the 2008 global financial crisis unfolded, bitcoin’s nine-page whitepaper was quietly unveiled. Authored under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto, Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System provided the bitcoin definition and introduced the main principles of the bitcoin currency and bitcoin trading. Since then, countless theories of who Satoshi Nakamoto is have failed to solve one of the greatest mysteries of the digital age.
What Is Bitcoin?
The bitcoin whitepaper and the creation of the first blockchain database revolutionized our traditional monetary system, creating a convenient, untraceable, and decentralized alternative.
Unlike with government-issued currencies, there are no physical bitcoins. The balances and transactions are kept on a transparent public ledger that anyone can access.
A bitcoin can be divided down to eight decimal places with the smallest unit referred to as a satoshi. Bitcoins can be sent electronically from one user to another anywhere in the world. This system, run by a decentralized network of computers, is increasingly seen as a great investment opportunity, especially by those who are suspicious of government authorities and traditional financial institutions. That certainly explains why bitcoin is one of the most-searched terms on Google today.
How Does It Work?
Using bitcoin currency makes sense. You’re using electronic cash without going through a financial institution. That means cutting out the middlemen and not having to worry about government oversight. Anyone equipped with bitcoin miner software can set off on their bitcoin mining journey. Of course, you don’t have to be a miner to be a bitcoin owner. You can also buy bitcoins with fiat money or trade other cryptocurrencies for it.
Mining, on the other hand, is a process through which bitcoins are created and added to the blockchain. Those involved in the process are in a computational race to verify bitcoin transactions, and the winners are rewarded with a portion of new bitcoins. But this digital currency was created to have a limited supply, which is why there will only ever be 21 million bitcoins in the world.
Bitcoins can be stored in virtual wallets, such as Bitcoin Core, AirBitz, CoinBase, and Ledger Nano S.
Why Don’t We Know Who Satoshi Nakamoto Is?
There is no shortage of reasons why the person or persons who created an alternative for the world’s most powerful currencies would wish to remain anonymous. Chief among them is personal safety as there are many government and private institutions that consider bitcoin a threat.
Conspiracy theories aside, most experts agree that revealing Nakamoto’s real identity could have a profound impact on the bitcoin community’s ability to make decisions through consensus. It could also affect the bitcoin stock as Nakamoto’s bitcoin holdings are believed to be worth $19 billion.
Who Is Suspected to Be Satoshi Nakamoto?
The mystery and intrigue surrounding the bitcoin founder have only deepened over the years. There is plenty of speculation and conspiracy theories, but no promising leads.
On his P2P Foundation profile, Nakamoto claimed to be a 37-year-old man from Japan. However, this was disputed because nothing was written in Japanese in the bitcoin software, and Nakamoto is known for having perfect English. In their quest to reveal the true Satoshi Nakamoto identity, some have misidentified the genius behind the digital currency, while others constructed fake Satoshi profiles.
Dorian Nakamoto – Is He the One?
In 2014, Newsweek reported that a 64-year-old Japanese American who lived on the outskirts of Los Angeles was the bitcoin founder. His name was Dorian Prentice Satoshi Nakamoto. There were other things that suggested Dorian was the creator of bitcoin – he graduated from California State Polytechnic University with a degree in physics. He seemed to tick all the right boxes and originally supported the narrative that he was the inventor of bitcoin.
“I am no longer involved in that and I cannot discuss it,” Dorian told Newsweek. “It’s been turned over to other people. They are in charge of it now. I no longer have any connection.” But he quickly changed his story, denying any connection to bitcoin and claiming he had initially misunderstood the reporter’s question. Other sources later suggested that Dorian was talking about his previous military-related work and that he didn’t even know what bitcoin was. That’s how a clumsy misinterpretation that ended up on the cover of Newsweek transformed the life of this humble retiree, leaving the rest of us wondering: will we ever find out who Satoshi Nakamoto is?
Hal Finney – A Good Neighbor
Just a few blocks from where Dorian Nakamoto lived was the home of the person who received the very first bitcoin currency transaction. Seven years younger, Hal Finney died in 2014 and was celebrated as the pioneer of the cypherpunk movement, which gathered a group of enthusiasts who fought for private, transparent, and decentralized financial systems. They used cryptography as a tool for achieving this goal.
So, does this finally answer the question: who is Satoshi Nakamoto? Did Hal Finney use his neighbor’s name as his pseudonym? According to Forbes, the two corresponded and got involved in bitcoin trading, but never met or collaborated. But Finney, who was terminally ill at the time when Forbes was hunting for the bitcoin creator, used his limited eye movement to construct an email in which he categorically denied inventing the currency.
Nick Szabo – A Cryptography Legend
Is this man of Hungarian origin another dead end or does he answer the million-dollar question: who is Satoshi? Nick Szabo designed a mechanism for a decentralized digital currency – bit gold, a direct precursor of bitcoin. He was another member of the cypherpunk movement.
Nick was also famous for using pseudonyms. The timing is another interesting factor. Satoshi disappeared around the same time when Szabo started withdrawing from public life due to his paralysis. That’s not all. In a 2017 interview on The Tim Ferriss Show, Szabo made a possible Freudian slip. “I’d definitely go for a second layer, I mean, I designed Bitcoin … gold with two layers,” he said.
Of course, this isn’t exactly a smoking gun, and Nick himself denied being the bitcoin founder while appearing to be very amused by the theory. In the end, he is just another person who is suspected to be Satoshi Nakamoto without any real evidence to back up the claim.
Craig Wright – A Hoaxer?
Every great story needs a villain. The search for the bitcoin founder took another turn when Craig Wright, an Australian tech entrepreneur, went on television claiming to be the genius inventor. But the amount of time he spent talking about how he wouldn’t accept a Nobel Prize, money, or appear on TV again only raised doubts about the validity of his claims.
To back his claims, Wright produced the cryptographic keys known to be created and owned by the cryptocurrency creator. Several prominent members of the bitcoin development team also confirmed the story. But things got heated when other bitcoin developers labeled Wright as a fraud. According to them, he simply manipulated an old signature from Satoshi Nakamoto’s bitcoin transaction in 2019.
Craig Wright appears to be unphased by the widespread rejection of his claims and has even sued some of those who doubted him for defamation. He still asserts that he is the man behind satoshi bitcoins, and who are we to disagree?
The Mystery Remains
These are only the most prominent names, but people are constantly coming forward with their stories to feed the starving crowds. As Satoshi’s involvement with bitcoin ended in 2010, there is plenty of speculation about who he is. At one point, Ted Nelson, an American pioneer of information technology, said Shinichi Mochizuki, a mathematician from Japan, is Satoshi.
In 2016, a Financial Times report suggested that Nakamoto Satoshi refers to a group of people, including Hal Finney and Nick Szabo. There was even speculation that Elon Musk is the bitcoin founder, but Musk himself denied it on Twitter.
In 2019, American journalist Evan Ratliff came forward with a new theory. His candidate was Paul Le Roux, a former drug cartel boss and software programmer. Could the person from the dark side be the man who created the world’s first digital currency? With so many controversial names on the list and so many people looking to promote their own stories, will we ever see the real Satoshi reveal his true identity?
Let’s Ask John McAfee
Moving down the list of potential candidates led us to John McAfee’s theory. The eccentric 75-years-old computer programmer and businessman asserted that he was 99% certain about Nakamoto’s real identity.
“It was a team of eleven people over a period of five years, that came up, eventually, with [Bitcoin],” McAfee said in an interview with Cointelegraph. He also claimed that linguistic analysis of the whitepaper was all that was needed to reveal Satoshi’s identity. “He left tells. There is only five percent of the population that has two spaces after a period — everything has two spaces after a period,” MacAfee added.
So, who is Satoshi? McAfee named Craig Wright as one of the “options” but refused to give any other names.
In a world obsessed with bitcoin farming, which is a new form of agriculture, modern-day farmers harvest digital coins. From the comfort of their own home, they set a path for others, taking from the common sack. Hyper concerned about privacy and personal liberties, who created bitcoin is not their main concern.
The bitcoin network gathers enthusiasts who believe in a borderless and stateless currency not controllable by any government or dictatorship. Bitcoin has an unpredictable, heavenly nature. If it sinks, they will sink with it. But the real bitcoin believers will remain faithful in times of crisis. And at a time when the world is facing a pandemic, economic hardship, and political turmoil, they will rally the troops. Superior principles keep them together: set the world free from banks, take your fate into your own hands, and offer a financial boost to those in need.
Some oppose this idyllic image of bitcoin Satoshi paradise. In an article published by The Guardian back in 2018, financial blogger Mr. Money Mustache (Pete Adeney) expressed an interesting opinion on selling bitcoin.
“Bitcoin has become an investment bubble, with the complementary forces of human herd behavior, greed, fear of missing out, and a lack of understanding of past financial bubbles amplifying it.” When we look back on these words now, from a world in severe turmoil, we can’t help but disagree. Today, cryptocurrencies offer one of the few glimmers of hope. Just remember not to put all your eggs in one basket.
Will We Ever Find Out Who Satoshi Nakamoto Is?
When dealing with cryptography and cryptocurrencies, it makes perfect sense that you want to remain an enigma yourself. Enormous public interest, big money at stake, and political and economic instability are only fueling speculation about the true identity of the person or persons who sparked a digital currency revolution. Would it be safe to come forward, given that bitcoin is an alternative to government-issued currencies that don’t like challenges to their monetary policies?
There’s an ethical issue as well when thinking about revealing the identity of those who invented bitcoin. Bitcoin trading offers the world a dose of financial freedom from constraints imposed on us by governments, corporations, and banks. That’s only possible because bitcoin was designed to be an egalitarian and decentralized currency. Putting a single person at the helm could jeopardize all that and delegitimize the whole philosophy behind bitcoin.
But that doesn’t mean that people are going to stop asking that same old question: Who is Satoshi Nakamoto? For now, it doesn’t seem that he is interested in coming forward. Anonymity provides protection, privacy, and peace. Let’s respect it.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Does anyone know who Satoshi Nakamoto is?
Satoshi Nakamoto is a pseudonym for a person or a group of people who created bitcoin. Despite the many theories, no one has been able to identify the elusive bitcoin inventor.
Who is the real creator of Bitcoin?
The true identity of bitcoin’s creator remains unknown. All we know is that the famous whitepaper that introduced bitcoin to the world was signed by Satoshi Nakamoto. In his P2P Foundation profile, he claimed to be a 37-year-old man from Japan.
How much is Satoshi Nakamoto worth?
Satoshi Nakamoto is believed to have acquired one million bitcoins in the early days of the digital currency. He has since vanished, and at the end of 2017, his holdings were worth $19 billion.
When did Satoshi Nakamoto disappear?
Satoshi Nakamoto hasn’t been active in the cryptocurrency market since December 2010, and his bitcoins haven’t been touched since mid-January 2009. Today, many are still asking: who is Satoshi Nakamoto?
Who is the CEO of Bitcoin?
Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency without a legal entity, hence without a CEO. It is decentralized, ownerless, and provides open-access to all bitcoin users.