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Everyone loves a good mystery. The crypto world has produced one of the greatest mysteries of the 21st century: Who is Satoshi Nakamoto?
Nakamoto is the anonymous individual who claims to have created Bitcoin (BTC), the world’s first cryptocurrency
While there is no doubt that the person(s) who operated under the name Satoshi Nakamoto created Bitcoin, no one knows who he, she, or they might be.
What do we know about Satoshi Nakamoto?
We know that Nakamoto created Bitcoin. This fact is based on the famous Bitcoin white paper, “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System”, published online in October 2008.
Nakamoto is the author of the white paper, laying out the theory and working structure of the Bitcoin payment system.
In February 2009, Nakamoto created the first-ever online bulletin board post dedicated to cryptocurrency, on the P2P Foundation forum.
In this article, Nakamoto said, “I developed a new open source P2P electronic payment system called Bitcoin. It is completely decentralized, with no central server or trusted parties, as everything is based on cryptographic proof instead of trust. Try it or take a look at the screenshots and design document.
Since that first message, millions of people have followed his advice.
In 2021, at least 1 million Bitcoin miners were verifying the data that makes up the Bitcoin blockchain. However, these 1 million miners represent a fraction of the total number of Bitcoin holders, estimated at more than 100 million people.
Today, Bitcoin is the largest cryptocurrency in the world by market capitalization, beating all other major cryptocurrencies like Ethereum (ETH), Binance Coin (BNB), Cardano (ADA) and many more.
But even with the astronomical value and adoption of BTC, we still don’t know the identity of Satoshi Nakomoto.
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Is Satoshi Nakamoto a real person
There is at least one real person behind the name Satoshi Nakamoto. We know this because someone created Bitcoin’s source code, published its whitepaper, sent emails, and posted forum posts about the cryptocurrency.
But Nakamoto’s last email was in April 2011. It was a short statement to a fellow developer in which the creator of Bitcoin said he had “moved on.”
A final forum post credited to Nakamoto was posted in March 2014.
At that time, Nakamoto simply said, “I’m not Dorian Nakamoto,” about a Japanese-American physicist named as the creator of Bitcoin in a Newsweek magazine article.
Since that post, Nakamoto, who was actively working with other developers in Bitcoin’s early days, has completely disappeared.
However, some things are known for sure about Nakamoto.
- First, using timestamps on Nakamoto’s messages and emails, it is assumed that Nakamoto was likely residing in the UK, US East Coast, or West Coast when the cryptocurrency.
- Second, Nakamoto was known to use the British/Commonwealth spelling of certain words like “favor”, with an added “U”, rather than the American “favor”. Because of this, some have assumed that Nakamoto was from the UK or was educated in the UK.
- Third, given the amount of Bitcoin traced to wallets presumably belonging to Satoshi Nakamoto, Nakamoto is most definitely a billionaire. Although none of this Bitcoin has ever been deleted or even moved from one of these wallets to another.
So, there is most likely a real person behind the name Satoshi Nakamoto. Still, given how difficult the world is to find the number, Satoshi Nakamoto is probably not that person’s real name.
Is Elon Musk Satoshi Nakamoto?
Some have speculated that SpaceX and Tesla founder Elon Musk could be Satoshi Nakamoto.
The rumor seems to have started with a blog post on Sahil Gupta’s Medium site.
Gupta had been an intern for Musk’s SpaceX company and thought Musk’s knowledge and interests could have led the billionaire to develop a cryptocurrency like Bitcoin.
But Musk denies that claim.
Satoshi Nakamoto – Rumored Identities
There are many theories about who Satoshi Nakamoto could be. Some claim the name refers to a group of developers, and some believe it represents a single person.
Regardless of what may be the case, a handful of people have gained popularity as possible identities for the anonymous creator of Bitcoin. Here are some of the most important theories.
Who is Craig Wright?
Craig Wright is an Australian computer scientist. He is also the only person who has publicly claimed to be Satoshi Nakamoto (which has never been taken seriously).
In December 2015, two separate magazines, Wired and Gizmodo, published articles claiming that Wright could have been the inventor of Bitcoin. These stories were followed by a raid on Wright’s home by Australian authorities due to a tax office investigation.
Although the magazine’s articles were later discredited, Wright maintained his existence as Satoshi Nakamoto.
Wright filed a copyright claim in the United States over the Bitcoin whitepaper and its first code, and he received both in April 2019. Although it was pointed out that anyone can file a claim copyright. Thus, the reward itself does not necessarily imply proof of ownership.
Wright sued British journalist Peter McCormack for defamation when the blogger claimed that Wright was not Nakamoto. This led to Wright being awarded £1 in damages.
The reason the award was so small: It was ruled that Wright had “deliberately given false evidence” in his claim that he was Satoshi Nakamoto.
Wright also wrote a letter to Norwegian blogger “hodlonaut” demanding that he retract his statements that Wright is not Nakamoto or face legal action. Hodlonaut rejected Wright’s claim, and the case went to the British courts, where it was dismissed.
Next September, a Norwegian court will hear arguments in a countersuit that Hodlonaut has brought against Wright.
Who is Dorian Nakamoto?
Newsweek magazine revealed in a March 2014 article that Satoshi Nakamoto’s real name was Dorian Satoshi Nakamoto and that he was an unemployed Japanese-American physicist living in California.
But Nakamoto quickly denied that claim. He responded to the Newsweek article by saying the magazine’s story had “caused a lot of confusion and stress” for him and his family.
He also said, “I did not create, invent or work on Bitcoin. I unconditionally deny the Newsweek report.
Apparently, Nakamoto had been unemployed for over a decade and hadn’t even had internet access since 2013 when he turned it off due to his inability to pay the bill. He said he had never even heard of Bitcoin until his son mentioned it the following year after being contacted by a journalist.
Nakamoto then launched a fundraising page for a lawsuit against the magazine.
Who is Nick Szabo?
Nick Szabo, a computer programmer and cryptographer, developed one of the first attempts at decentralized currency in the late 1990s. It was called Bit Gold.
Although Bit Gold shares commonalities with the later Bitcoin project, it was never fully described in public until 2005. Even then, the Bit Gold project itself was not fully implemented.
Either way, today Szabo’s work is considered one of the direct precursors to Bitcoin, and some in the community believe it could be Satoshi Nakamoto himself. Even Musk said in a podcast that he thought Szabo was Nakamoto.
“It seems that Nick Szabo is probably more responsible than anyone for the evolution of these ideas,” Musk said.
For his part, however, Szabo has continually denied those rumors.
Who is Hal Finney?
Hal Finney is the cryptographer who received the very first transfer of Bitcoin in 2009 directly from Satoshi Nakamoto himself. Some assume that Finney, under the pseudonym of Satoshi Nakamoto, simply sent those first Bitcoins from himself to himself.
To back up this claim, it is often pointed out that Finney was the first person to download Bitcoin’s software after Nakamoto posted the link. Although, in his own words, after a few days Finney turned off his bitcoin mining abilities as it was “heating up” his computer.
Eventually, Finney’s first correspondence with Nakamoto was published. These correspondences dated from Nakamoto’s publication of the Bitcoin whitepaper to the early days of Finney running the software.
Due to timestamp discrepancies between the two correspondents’ computers, the publication of the email exchange only added more fuel to the legend that Finney was Nakamoto.
However, Finney, who died of Lou Gehring’s disease aged 58 in 2014, has always denied being Nakamoto.
What is Satoshi Nakamoto net worth
No one knows how much Satoshi Nakamoto is worth, and this is due to the anonymous nature of Bitcoin and the inability of investigators to be certain of the wallets Nakamoto owns.
It is assumed that Nakamoto owns at least 1 million Bitcoins. At current prices, it can be assumed that Nakamoto holds around $20 billion in BTC.
However, other than the original 10 BTC transferred to Hal Finney in 2009, none of these Bitcoins have ever been withdrawn or moved from any of his wallets since they were originally mined, presumably by Nakamoto. The value of this Bitcoin, however, could be one of the reasons Nakamoto wants to remain anonymous.
The wealth that Bitcoin has generated could turn the life of any individual upside down. Not to mention that the creator of Bitcoin could also face serious consequences from nefarious individuals or even governments.
This leaves many people wondering: who is Satoshi Nakamoto? Is the creator of Bitcoin alive? Why didn’t he show up? Will we ever discover the truth about the anonymous genius behind one of the most important financial developments of the 21st century?
Many blockchain experts, like Andrew Lokenauth, founder of financial resource site Fluent in Finance, believe that we will likely never know the answers to any of these questions. One thing is certain, however, whoever created Bitcoin wanted to remain anonymous for one reason or another, and that person (or those people) did a good job of that.