The world’s first cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, was created by a person or group of people using the pseudonym, Satoshi Nakamoto. In 2008, the domain name, bitcoin.org was registered. A couple of months later, Bitcoin’s white paper titled ‘Bitcoin: A peer-to-peer electronic cash system’ was released to a rather small mailing list. This white paper is the first instance of Satoshi Nakamoto’s first appearance on the web.
It’s estimated that Nakamoto owns over $1 million Bitcoin which at the time of writing would be worth around $40 Billion USD. With this in mind, it’s likely that if the price of Bitcoin were to hit $184,000 Satoshi Nakamoto would be the richest person in the world.
To this day, the true identity of Nakamoto is still unknown, a number of people having been speculated as the mysterious inventor of Bitcoin. Read on to find out some of the characteristics of the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto.
What we know about Satoshi Nakamoto
According to Nakamoto’s P2P foundation page, Satoshi Nakamoto was born in Japan on the 5th of April 1975, making them 46 years old. However, based on discussions conducted on Bitcointalk and P2P foundation it’s speculated that Nakamoto is a 55 – 65-year-old computer scientist living in San Fransico, California – the tech capital of the world.
Nakamoto also added a double space following every sentence. This is a habit that can be attributed to people who are used to typing on a typewriter.
There a number of people who have been pointed to as the real Nakamoto. We will discuss this in depth below.
In 2014, Leah Goodman, a reporter for Newsweek, published a story pinning the identity of Satoshi Nakamoto on Japanese-American retired physicist and engineer, Dorian S. Nakamoto. He was originally named Satoshi Nakamoto at birth however later changed in name to Dorian. However, he has completely denied any allegation of being the Bitcoin creator.
Dorian Nakamoto’s house was foreclosed on by his bank when he could not fulfil his home loan repayments on time. His highly libertarian beliefs could be motive enough to create this new digital currency. His daughter described Dorian as someone who was always wary of taxes, central banks, government systems and the people in charge as well as always having an obsession for privacy seeing that he had an autonomous email his whole life.
Looking into Dorian Nakamoto’s employment history, he had experience that could relate to creating Bitcoin as he worked on defensive electronics for the US military which were classified.
1 Million Bitcoin
When the article was released from Newsweek, Dorian felt victimized by the reporter, Leah Goodman, and the majority of the crypto community became angered as they believed it was false information. The Bitcoin community took a liking to Dorian and actually started a fundraiser for him to compensate for all of his troubles. The community gathered up a whopping 102 bitcoins for him! Although this is a large sum, it would be considered peanuts to the one million bitcoins the real Satoshi is said to have, therefore making Dorian Nakamoto an unlikely candidate.
Hal Finney was an early supporter of the Cypherpunks and a software developer. Finney was a vocal proponent of information privacy and cryptography. He was a programmer for the PGP Corporation. There he wrote some of the first PGP code. He also created the first anonymous remailer, RPOW (Reusable Proofs of Work), the first proof-of-work oriented digital cash method and obtained the first Bitcoin transaction sent by Satoshi Nakamoto. Hal died of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) in 2014, and the Alcor Life Extension Foundation cryopreserved his body.
Hal Finney was part of the Cyber Punks, a group of anarchists that believed and wanted to be part of the technology that was going through a huge transformation where messaging, conducting business and electronic contracts could be processed without knowing the legal identity of people.
Hal Finney was a computer scientist and developer who is best known for creating the reusable proof-of-work system before bitcoin. In the bitcoin world, he is well known for:
- Being the first recipient of Bitcoin from Nakamoto
- Being one of the first to respond to Nakamoto’s Bitcoin whitepaper
- Being one of the first to start mining bitcoin
- Tweeting “Running Bitcoin” on January 10 2009
It is speculated that Hal Finney was either Satoshi Nakamoto himself, or in very close relations to the real him. He built the protocol that bitcoin was based on so yes he would have had the capability to build the tech behind bitcoin – or at least help with it.
1 Million Bitcoin
Hal Finney was diagnosed with MLS in 2009 and passed away in 2011. If Hal was the owner of the reported 1 million Bitcoin, then this is a valid reason for it to have not been touched since then.
Craig Wright is an Australian man who is a controversial figure that has come into the public limelight as one of the most persistent to prove himself to be Satoshi Nakamoto. According to Wright, he and his pal, the late information security specialist Dave Kleiman, were both interested in the development of Bitcoin. Wright has gone so far as to intimidate developers with court litigation over breach of copyright.
Wright is suing a number of software developers for half of his alleged fortune of 1.1 million bitcoin (roughly $65.2 billion at today’s prices), as well as intellectual property, which he says he and Kleiman mined together. Wright filed a motion for summary judgement in September 2020, attempting to preclude the lawsuit from proceeding to a full trial. Judge Bloom dismissed the motion in its entirety. The trial date has been postponed many times since then.
Wright claims that he did not have the motive of money or fame, but rather just wants to take pride in building a decentralised platform using blockchain technology that would change the world.
When watching interviews of Craig Wright explaining Bitcoin he does have a lot of deep technical understanding of the technology. In a panel discussion with Nick Szabo who has been a massive contributor in the community, the panellists disagreed with what Wright was claiming as it was so obscure to their understanding of the platform thus far. Wright also claims that other people helped him develop it.
1 million Bitcoin
Craig Wright has been under investigation by the Australian Tax Office (ATO) and says that for tax purposes it does not matter how much bitcoin he has but rather when he uses it.
There are many other suspects in identifying the real Satoshi Nakamoto. Nick Szabo, Paul LeRoux, and Adam Back are some of the other candidates worth reading into. Only time and one million bitcoins will truly tell who the real Satoshi Nakamoto is.