This article is updated on February 18th, 2019, regards the latest news on Craig Steven Wright
Ten years ago the Bitcoin white-paper, also called as “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System” was first published. It was posted by an anonymous pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto on October 31st, 2008. To this day people are still exchanging opinions on what, who or they are. Some speculate that he could be Japanese because of the Japanese-like pseudonym. Some say that he might be British because of his perfect English writing style in his posts. Also, people believe that it might be a group of people rather than just one. Nevertheless, there have been multiple people claiming that they are the real Satoshi Nakamoto, but could never back the claim. Also, many journalists have tried to find out who the mysterious creator of Bitcoin is, but all evidence is circumstantial.
There are multiple rumors who he, they or it might be, but people have speculated and investigated a lot over the mysterious Bitcoin creator. However, there are a few stories which stand out.
Who is Satoshi Nakamoto?
Craig Steven Wright
He is an Australian computer scientist and entrepreneur. In 2015 Wright publicly announced that he is the real Satoshi Nakamoto. That raised a lot of attention and subsequently his house got raided by the Australian Federal Police. After the raid, they stated that the “matter is unrelated to recent media reporting regarding the digital currency Bitcoin.”
Next, he eventually deleted his internet personality. About a year later, on May 2016, he announced on Twitter that he is indeed the real Satoshi Nakamoto and he has proof to back his allegation. The crypto crowd was so skeptical about such a statement that Wright eventually stepped back and said that he “didn’t have the courage” to reveal his identity.
An oath to testify that he created Bitcoin
Now, after some time, he is willing to testify under oath, again saying that he is the real Satoshi Nakamoto. In the statement below, he says that: “The amount of misunderstanding and fallacious information that has been propagated concerning bitcoin and any derivative system based on a blockchain (such as and including Ethereum) has resulted in my choice to start to become more public. The system I created was designed in part to end fraud as best as that can be done with any technology.”
This comes after a medium post by himself, where he explains the history behind the idea of Bitcoin. He dismisses
Wikileaks fights back
Wikileaks later fired shots back at Craig S. Wright in Twitter providing a snapshot of proof that Craig Wright had altered his old 2008 blog post “to make it seem like he was working on cryptocurrency in 2008”:
On the other hand, Gavin Andresen, a chief scientist at the Bitcoin Foundation, says that Craig Wright provided cryptographic proof to only him on a brand new laptop. He demonstrated, with a private key, how he can access the very first bitcoin block. “I think that he is Satoshi,” he says in an interview back in 2016.
Proof or not?
On one side,
But then Vitalik stepped in to quickly address his thoughts on the subject:
Twitter on fire
However, the disbelief among crypto-enthusiasts again hits high, as many tweeters share their take on this.
They even share ridiculous conspiracy theories:
To tell the truth, there is so much controversy on this subject and so many sides to take. It is fair that people are confused, and don’t know who to believe. But the fact that Craig S. Wright has claimed this multiple times, can be seen in different perspectives. Bitcoin now is fully a decentralized medium and now it does not matter who created it, or for what purpose was it created. It is building it’s own future now, and the fact that Craig is or is not Satoshi, won’t change anything.
But the last sentences in his blog post, most certainly does not seem like something that Satoshi would ever say: “Bitcoin started because of my ideas. It was my design, and it is my creation.
And, making certain that it cannot be subverted by criminals is and remains my duty
Dorian Prentice Satoshi Nakamoto
This man is a Japanese American living in California. Dorian is a physicist who, basically all his life, worked on classified projects for the U.S. Military and various significant companies. On his free time, he likes to collect train models from Britain and program. In a news article from 2014, by Newsweek, a reporter tracked down Dorian S. Nakamoto and engaged in a thrilling story which sounds staggering.
Leah McGrath Goodman meets Dorian Prentice Satoshi Nakamoto.
“The day I arrived at his modest, single-family home in southern California… at one point he did peer out, cracking open the door screen and making eye contact briefly. Then he shut it. That was the only time I saw him without police officers in attendance,” writes Leah McGrath Goodman in her intriguing article. His brother describes him as a very smart, intelligent, but “very focused and eclectic in his way of thinking.” His family says that for most of his life, he was preoccupied with money and secrecy – the two things Bitcoin is known for.
In his life, there are a few moments where you can draw parallels with the information known about Satoshi Nakamoto. For example, during 2011, Satoshi Nakamoto disappeared, after his partner Gaven Andersen told him that he had accepted an invitation to speak with the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency). That coincides with health issues suffered by Dorian S. Nakamoto. He was dealing with prostate cancer, and at that time he had had a stroke, explains his wife.
“He’ll deny everything”
Possibly the most exciting and intriguing quote from the article is when Leah contacted Dorians’ younger brother Arthur Nakamoto. During a phone conversation, he said: “He’s a brilliant man. I’m just a humble engineer. He’s very focused and eclectic in his way of thinking. Smart, intelligent, mathematics, engineering, computers. You name it, he can do it.” And this is where it gets suspiciously alarming. He continues in a rather advisory tone: “My brother is an asshole. What you don’t know about him is that he’s worked on classified stuff. His life was a complete blank for a while You’re not going to be able to get to him. He’ll deny everything. He’ll never admit to starting Bitcoin.” Although, many people have reviewed the writing style of the Bitcoin White-paper by Satoshi Nakamoto and denied the resemblance to Dorian.
This is yet another potential candidate who might be Satoshi Nakamoto. He has worked in a cypher-punk movement and as well as a cryptography writer. Andy Greenberg in his article, which was posted a few days after the Newsweek’s Leah McGrath Goodman article on Dorian S. Nakamoto, has done in-depth research on Hal. He found out that Hal Finney lived nearly a few blocks away from Dorian S. Nakamoto in Temple City, LA. Also, he is the second person who had used Bitcoin back in 2009.
Hal Finney was part of the first Bitcoin transaction
In the very first Bitcoin transaction, on January 11th, 2009, Satoshi Nakamoto sent 10 Bitcoins exclusively to Hal Finney. Although the fact is that Dorian S. Nakamoto has no resemblance to the Bitcoin White-paper, Andy Greenberg collected around 20,000 character samples from Hal Finneys blog posts and mailing lists and sent it for writing an analysis. The results were shocking – it turned out that the writing in “Bitcoin: A peer to peer Electronic Cash System” was surprisingly similar to Hal Finneys writing style. The researchers said that this had been the closest candidate they have analyzed over the years. In this quote in the e-mail which the chief scientist John Noecker wrote to Andy Greenberg, he says: “So, it seems to me that you may have found the real Satoshi Nakamoto.”
However, this does not prove that Hal could be the inventor of Bitcoin. First and foremost, Hal denied his engagement in the making of Bitcoin. In an e-mail he wrote to Andy, he says: “I’m flattered, but I deny categorically these allegations.”
In his article, Andy speculates on a few things. First, he thinks that judging by the fact that Hal Finney lived almost next to Dorian, he could’ve borrowed the name of Dorian – Satoshi Nakamoto, and used it as a pseudonym for his actions.
On the other hand, he thinks that Hal could’ve been a ghost-writer for Satoshi, hence the similarities between Hal’s writing and the Bitcoin white-paper. Finney also developed a proof-of-work system in the late 90’ties that closely resembles the one which is in Bitcoin. Hal Finney died on August 28, 2014, suffering from ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis).
Nick is a decentralized currency enthusiast, who had worked on a similar project to Bitcoin – “Bit Gold”. By far, many people refer to him as the real Satoshi Nakamoto, as there are a lot of clues which justifies that. For example, Skye Grey, an internet researcher, found many writing style similarities between Nick Szabo’s posts and the Bitcoin White-paper. By running a reverse textual analysis, she found dozens of unique phrases. In her article, she writes: “I must stress this: an open, unbiased search of texts similar in writing to the Bitcoin white-paper over the entire Internet, identifies Nick’s bit gold articles as the best candidates.” Bitcoin itself is built on top of Bit Gold ideas, which makes this even more suspicious.
Nick edits his articles after Bitcoin launch
Another somewhat speculative evidence is that when Bitcoin came out, Nick Szabo kept quiet about it in his public comments. For someone who is deeply involved in the ideas of a decentralized currency, this seems rather odd that Nick hadn’t mentioned Bitcoin months after it came out.
After Bitcoin experienced its launch, Nick edited his previous Bit Gold articles, precisely one month after the Bitcoin white-paper got published. Again, this is just a speculation, but you cannot deny the obvious similarities. Of course, Nick has reportedly renounced his connection with Bitcoin.
Many have researched the mysterious pseudonym who created Bitcoin, and such things as the NSA (National Security Agency), the Illuminati, and even A.I. (Artificial Intelligence) revolved around consideration. Many things lead up to as why the NSA could’ve created Bitcoin. For example, the most persuasive argument is that the NSA developed the Bitcoin hashing algorithm – SHA256. Mohit Kumar, in his article for Hacker News, says: “The NSA apparently possesses groundbreaking capabilities against encrypted voice and text communication and has invested billions of dollars since 2000 to make nearly everyone’s secrets available for government consumption by cracking every encryption. But we don’t know precisely how much, maybe including Bitcoin too?” Also, they did a paper in 1997 called “How to make a mint: The cryptography of anonymous electronic cash.” This presented their ideas into making a viable cryptocurrency.
Mike Adams in his article “Evidence points to Bitcoin being an NSA-engineered psyop to roll out one-world digital currency” has even made a 10-step possible plan on how the NSA and Globalists might use Bitcoin to subordinate the society in the future.
Satoshi Nakamoto’s net worth
This is yet another mystery hidden in the “files of Bitcoin”. There are many accusations on how much Bitcoin Satoshi holds. One thing is for sure – he still hasn’t touched them. Will he ever? That is the question.
People have been researching through the first addresses in the Bitcoin network, to find a pattern and possibly link the dots to a positive outcome. The numbers vary from 1,000,000 BTC, 980,000 BTC or even as low as 66,9 BTC in the original first address in genesis block 0.
People speculate that Satoshi might have mined one million coins in the very beginning of Bitcoin. Many are arguing that the founder was the first miner, and thanks to that, he got hold of the million coins. However, others say that this is not true, as, at the time when Bitcoin first saw its daylight, there was more than one miner. Also, they justify this with the theory that “If you were Satoshi, would you start mining the instant you announced bitcoin? That would be an unfair head start, right?”
1 million Bitcoins
The one million bitcoin story has emerged from the idea that claims that every unspent coin mined in the first year of Bitcoin is Satoshis. That could not be entirely true, because the transaction history clearly shows that there were multiple miners at that time. Could they all be Satoshi? It’s not clear.
However, Sergio Demian Lerner did research on the Satoshi mining patterns in 2013. Judging by his estimates, Satoshi mined about 980k Bitcoins in the period from the genesis block to April 20, 2013. He created a graph of all the blocks from 0 to 50000, which shows that a single computer solved most of the blocks. Within these blocks, he masked all the blocks that were not in the Satoshi pattern and came up with 19600 blocks which would lead to 980k BTC. Judging by current exchange rates, that would be around $3,671,481,800. However, Sergio says that this data has a 0,1% error in value since he did the masking by hand.
More importantly, this rules out all the Hard Forks that Bitcoin has had. Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin SV, Bitcoin Gold, Bitcoin Diamond, Super Bitcoin, Bitcoin Platinum, etc. If you take it as a fact, that Satoshi is still alive and can redeem his coins, then the approximate number is just mind-blowingly out of this space. But those are just numbers in the air.
Regardless of how many Bitcoins Satoshi owns, he has never yet touched them. People believe that he might be dead and that his treasury of Bitcoins could only be cracked some day. Will we come to that day? Also, currently the biggest Bitcoin holder is the FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation), which seized more than 174k Bitcoins during the Silk road incident. After which Ross Ulbricht, the founder, was sentenced to jail, and the #FreeRoss movement arose. The FBI linked all these Bitcoins to Ross.
But this doesn’t clear the question on who was Satoshi Nakamoto. There are multiple figures who’s biographies could be linked to the mysterious personality, but all of them have a few “plot-holes”.
My conspiracy theory guess would be that Satoshi Nakamoto indeed was a group of multiple people working on Bitcoin. For example, the NSA developed the SHA256 algorithm, Dorian was a classified programmer, Nick was writing the White-paper, Hal shared his PoW idea, and was there to help Dorian to test and find bugs in the Bitcoin code. The NSA helped with financing and other practical things this group needed. All these figures, if connected, came up with a sophisticated plan on how to hide their work on the issue, created stories and alibis. So that the researchers, even if wanted, couldn’t find the exact truth.
They could have anticipated the massive popularity that Bitcoin could reach, and already before the time came up with multiple articles and made the core of the Bitcoin so crooked and complicated that no one could dig deep enough to find out the truth. The pseudonym itself – Satoshi Nakamoto, implies on the creator being a single person. Meaning, the researchers would search only for one person. Reading about this subject made me think that this sounds very much like a well-planned mission.
Back to Earth
Conversely, to what I stated above, two things make me stop and think about this on a deeper, more humane level.
- First, why did Dorians’ brother say that? Why would he warn Leah? If Dorian S. Nakamoto has officially stated, with the help of his attorney, that he is not the creator of Bitcoin, then why does his brother say such things as “he will never admit starting Bitcoin” and hangs up the phone? That sure sounds very suspicious.
- And second, why did Nick Szabo get off the grid when Bitcoin launched. He disappeared for a couple of months and did not share his thoughts on the revolution-like subject. When, in fact, he has dedicated a fair part of his life researching and developing similar ideas, hence Bit-Gold.
Despite what the theories are, the mysterious Bitcoin creator still stays anonymous. We could see more in-depth research in the future, but that all is to come.
Photo by Min An from Pexels