In 2009, the world’s first cryptocurrency Bitcoin was invented. And the technology which made the existence of Bitcoin possible called Blockchain Technology has become a big thing in the next decade.
We even saw more blockchain technologies like Ethereum, IBM Blockchain, Tezos, Openchain, etc. And even saw blockchain protocols like Quorum, Enterprise Ethereum, etc.
And Bitcoin is now being valued at more than a trillion dollars.
But after all of this advancement in this space, it is still not known to us who Satoshi Nakamoto, the founder of bitcoin is in the real world.
Did the creator of Bitcoin go anonymous on purpose? Is Satoshi Nakamoto the name of a person or a group of people?
Who Is Satoshi Nakamoto
On 31 October, Satoshi Nakamoto published a white paper on the cryptography mailing list at metzdowd.com describing a cryptocurrency called “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System“. You can read all the emails that Nakamoto sent here.
Satoshi has been quite active in developing the tech behind bitcoin along with some developers for a couple of years. Later, Satoshi gave control of different aspects of the tech to some developers and then disappeared.
On his P2P Foundation profile, his details were listed as 46, Male, Japan as of 2021. While considering his nativity in English (especially the use of British English in both source code comments and forum posting), many assumed that he is very unlikely from Japan.
He was also active on the bitcointalks.org forum between November 2009 to December 2010 engaging in many discussions. In 2010 Satoshi gave control of the repository containing the Bitcoin source code to Gavin Andresen, a software developer.
How Much Bitcoin Does Satoshi Nakamoto Own
As per the report by leading security and cryptocurrency researcher Sergio Demian Lerner, he looked at all the blocks mined between January 01, 2009 (block 1), and January 25, 2010 (block 36288). And he found out that a single entity using a single mining rig mined thousands of blocks during that time.
How much? Around 1 million BTC in block rewards. So, he owns 1 million of the 21 million bitcoin (these are the total bitcoins that will ever be mined).
Considering that this entity began mining right from block 1, and with the same performance as the genesis block, there is a chance that this might be Satoshi Nakamoto.
Since there is no strong evidence that Satoshi has moved any of his bitcoins, we can assume that he/she still has access to all the private keys that contain these funds. So whoever says he is Satoshi Nakamoto can prove that he is really Satoshi Nakamoto by proving that he has the keys.
Over the years many have been alleged to be the creator of bitcoin, especially in the computer science and cryptography fields. So let’s have a look at some possible identities of the real Satoshi Nakamoto and the proofs that support them.
Gavin Andresen, the software developer became the chief developer of the open-source code in late 2010. But how? He built a website called Bitcoin Faucet that handed out five free bitcoins to every visitor (He shut down the site in 2012). =
Along with running the website he also sent some code changes that can improve bitcoin to Satoshi Nakamoto via email. And that’s when Satoshi liked his work and made Gavin’s email address the only one on the homepage, removing his.
His immense work on bitcoin development has led to the accusations by many that he is Satoshi Nakamoto. But he’s not. Or at least that’s what he said:
I am not Satoshi Nakamoto; I have never met him; I have had many e-mail conversations with him– Gavin Andresen
Dorian Satoshi Nakamoto
If you search on google “Satoshi Nakamoto”, and check the images you will see a Japanese guy in the top results. And he is Dorian Satoshi Nakamoto.
In March 2014, Leah McGrath an award-winning investigative journalist published a story in Newsweek titled “The Face Behind Bitcoin“.
She revealed that Dorian revealed to her this: “I Am No Longer Involved in That and I Cannot Discuss It”.
But later it was revealed that the 64-year-old Japanese-American, retired physicist and well-educated engineer was talking about a classified project that he worked on with the financial giant Citibank.
The bitcoin community was not happy with this false news. Dorian later received 102BTC from the Bitcoin community (and the wallet is now empty) from the bitcoin community.
Here is what he said about the creator of Bitcoin:
My name is Dorian Satoshi Nakamoto and of course, if I was the creator, I would never use my real name. So from that point of view, I’m sure you guys would know, that Satoshi Nakamoto is not me. But Leah thinks so and Newsweek said so, but it’s not true– Dorian Satoshi Nakamoto
Do you know that the first transaction of Bitcoin was between Satoshi and Hal Finney? If we assume that he is not Satoshi, it is also unlikely that he would know who Satoshi is, as blockchain transactions don’t need anybody’s private information. But what if Hal Finney is Satoshi Nakamoto?
Why do people think so? Well, he created the first known cryptographically based anonymous remailer and a 2004 reusable proofs of work (RPOW) digital cash system. Anonymity. Proof of Work. Strike something? Yes, there are some key things on which blockchain tech was built.
In March 2013, Finney posted on a Bitcoin forum BitcoinTalk about his story and work on Bitcoin.
Do you know? Hal Finney used to live just a few blocks away from Dorian Satoshi Nakamoto. Crazy, right?
Hal Finney died on August 28, 2014, as a result of complications of ALS.
Craig Steven Wright
The Australian computer scientist revealed that he is Satoshi Nakamoto on many occasions. Despite his claims, most of the cryptocurrency and bitcoin community didn’t like that and some even called the entire exercise a scam. Even Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin came out against Wright, publicly calling him a fraud.
It was actually the Wired Magazine that came up initially (before Craig) that Craig Steven might be Satoshi Nakamoto.
He was even introduced as the inventor of bitcoin for all the videos on the Youtube Channel Theory of Bitcoin.
But as of now, there is no clear proof that he is Satoshi Nakamoto. And I personally don’t think he can be Satoshi.
Nick Szabo, a computer scientist, and a cryptographer is well known for his research in digital contracts and digital currency. He is the one who came up with Smart Contracts, which is now the heart of Ethereum.
He invented Bit Gold, one of the earliest attempts at creating a decentralized virtual currency. And in one of the articles on his blog titled Unenumerated, he even talked about how we are depending on 3rd party. Bitcoin removes 3rd party from the game.
And there is proof that Nick Szabo has altered the date of this article’s published date to 2008. The article was actually published in 2005.
What If Satoshi Nakamoto is a Group?
Nick Szabo used Hal Finney’s Proof Of Stake concept to create Bitgold. Hal Finney just stayed a few blocks away from Dorion Satoshi. And Hal Finney was the first to receive a bitcoin. And the opensource was transferred to Gavin Andreson from Satoshi. And Craig Wright revealed that he is the one who wrote the white paper for Bitcoin under the name of Satoshi Nakamoto.
So.. What if.. Satoshi Nakamoto is a group of people?
Why Stay Anonymous
Let’s start with this question: “What if Satoshi Nakamoto suddenly appears in front of the world tomorrow?”.
Well, the media will go crazy. The bitcoin price might affect. But the technology is still owned by people. That’s not gonna change, right?
Now, let’s go back to the anonymity question.
Evidence found in Bitcoin’s early code suggests that Satoshi Nakamoto used a Russian proxy server. But why did he choose to stay anonymous when the tech is legal and world-changing? For example, Vitalik Buterin is the founder of Ethereum and he is quite open about it.
So, what made Satoshi go anonymous?
I think the whole point of being anonymous and using a pseudonym is to prove the point of decentralization and privacy.
Although we don’t know who invented bitcoin people trusted the technology very much because it’s clear that he can’t even control or destroy it. It’s the people, not the institutions that control the network.
And all the transactions are open (anybody can see it) & anonymous (people can only see your address).
When a user makes public transactions, their public key is recorded on the blockchain. No personal data will ever be recorded or asked for. Transacting on the blockchain is like transferring value by putting a face mask on.
So whoever Satoshi Nakamoto is, he (or she) might want to prove these points of decentralization and privacy by being anonymous. And moreover, it’s about personal safety too.
Or at least that’s what I think. What do you think? Let me know in the comments below.