Let us talk about the entity behind the creation of Bitcoin — the first globally successful cryptocurrency. Let us talk about the man whose work has spawned perhaps the single biggest innovation after the internet well known as blockchain technology. Let us talk about the man himself — Satoshi Nakamoto.
Satoshi’s name has hogged the headlines ever since he launched Bitcoin in 2008, but researchers have been unable to put a face to this man’s identity.
Satoshi Nakamoto is claimed to have been born in Japan in 1975. He continued to be actively contributing to bitcoin development from 2008 till late 2010. Post that, his name mysteriously vanished from the community. Gradually emails, forums, blogs about bitcoins and everything else from him began to disappear. There has been a lot of speculation about him, his identity and contribution to cryptocurrency. Today, we’ll try to unmask whatever we can.
‘Satoshi Nakamoto’ may apparently not even represent the real name of bitcoin’s creator. So far it is not even known if this name represent a single person, or a group of people operating in the world of cryptocurrencies. It is claimed that Satoshi Nakamoto is an imaginary name, a pseudonym, adopted by the creator of Bitcoin. The search for the real Satoshi Nakamoto has been endless with one misidentification after the other, mostly created by journalists around the world. Till date, there is no solid basis for his existence.
Communication with Nakamoto has always been via digital means and that is why it has been very tough to unravel his identity. The only real information about Satoshi Nakamoto is his research paper (“Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System”) published in 2008. In this paper, Satoshi delves into details about solving the issue of double spending with Bitcoin and the use of peer-to-peer technology to this end.
A solution to this issue is the use of third-party wallets to direct and supervise the transactions. Nakamoto, in his work, has described a decentralized approach to this issue with the formation of blockchains. Blockchain in an elementary sense of understanding is basically the addition of timestamps to a ledger of transactions, serving as a historical proof of work already undertaken. This record cannot practically be tampered with. Therefore, the issue of double spending is taken care of.
In 2009, Nakamoto catapulted a software client and released the first units of this cryptocurrency he called bitcoins. He said that he had been working on the digital currency since 2007. Nakamoto also launched a website — bitcoin.org for continued collusion with researchers and developers in the direction of Bitcoin development.
At this time, he forked out the source code repository and network alert keys to other people, and decreased his involvement with the Bitcoin project. His name began disappearing and soon completely vanished. Bitcoins in his wallet have remained unspent since 2009. As per the public bitcoin transaction logs, there are roughly one million bitcoins in Nakamoto’s known transactions! We’ll let you do the math on how many billions that is worth.
Recent speculations on his identity
The identity of Satoshi Nakamoto is still not known to anyone, but there have been multiple sensational half-discoveries that have later never concluded.
Craig Steven Wright
In 2015, an Australian entrepreneur by the name of Craig Steven Wright came to be regarded as Satoshi. The claims were made by Wired and Gizmodo magazines. Later Craig Wright himself came forward to confirm the claims. The digital world was set ablaze with opinions which came flying from all cryptocurrency geeks around the world. Wright’s name was everywhere on the internet until he took down all his blogs. Why? He was unable to provide sound proof of the fact that he is in fact, Satoshi Nakamoto.
Wright’s blog was replaced by an apology that he did not have enough courage to prove his identity. The apology read as: “I believed that I could put the years of anonymity and hiding behind me. But, as the events of this week unfolded and I prepared to publish the proof of access to the earliest keys, I broke. I do not have the courage. I cannot”
Dorian Nakamoto still remains one of the strongest candidates to fit Satoshi’s figure. A Japanese American living in California, his birth name was Satoshi Nakamoto. He worked as a computer engineer on classified defence projects and with financial technology companies. After being tracked down by a reporter in March 2014, Nakamoto is said to have said this about bitcoins: “I am no longer involved in that and I cannot discuss it. It’s been turned over to other people. They are in charge of it now. I no longer have any connection.”
The release of this interview cause an expected excitement in the media, and he was chased by reporters to whom he later said he had misinterpreted the question to be meaning about something else.
Szabo was speculated to be Satoshi based on a blogger’s stylometric analysis. Szabo was apparently behind a paper on a virtual currency called ‘bit gold’ — a predecessor to bitcoin that shared many common core traits. He is also said to have been a common user of pseudonyms. In July 2014 however, he denied all such connections, saying “‘Thanks for letting me know. I’m afraid you got it wrong doxing me as Satoshi, but I’m used to it”.
The real identity of Satoshi Nakamoto still remains a mystery. It could be said that Wright was one of the co-founders or had some contribution to the development of Bitcoin, but again there is no sound proof. Similarly for Dorian, who bears strong resemblance in work history to Nakamoto, but has dismissed the speculation. We are still to unravel the entire Satoshi Nakamoto mystery, but it would be interesting to see what claims come out in the future.