What We Know so Far About Bitcoin’s Founder Satoshi Nakamoto

Data & Research / 14.11.2020

No matter how big Bitcoin becomes, there will always be one question associated with it – “Who is the founder of Bitcoin?” Everyone from governments to internet sleuths weighed in on this argument for over a decade. Despite their greatest efforts, the world still may be no closer to ever unmasking this individual’s true identity, group, or ….

Clues to Satoshi Nakamoto’s Identity

Satoshi may be gone now, but there was a time when he was very active in Bitcoin forums and other cryptographic circles. During the early days of Bitcoin, he conversed with others in open and still published posts. In these posts, Nakamoto revealed some interesting details that may or no might not be true. 

Notably, Nakamoto claims to be of Japanese descent. Specifically, he states that he was born in Japan on April 5, 1975. He also stated that he was living there at the time of the posts. Nakamoto spoke English excellently. Oddly, he also seemed to only post during UK business hours. These latter two details have led many to conclude that he wasn’t in Japan during these interactions.

Satoshi’s Fortune Grows

Nakamoto is on the top of multiple lists because he mined over 1 million Bitcoin before he disappeared. As Bitcoin’s value increases, the value of this mysterious fortune rises. Governments have expressed concerns about Nakamoto’s true intentions if Bitcoin was to become the new global standard. 

Notably, not one satoshi (smallest increment of Bitcoin) has moved from these wallets to date. Interestingly, this early mined Bitcoin has created a “Sword in the Stone” scenario for Bitcoin. In the Sword in the Stone, only the right night can remove the sword from its stone. The same rings true for Bitcoin. Only Nakamoto can access these early mined coins.

Notable Satoshis

Not surprisingly, there have been multiple attempts to unmask Nakamoto’s identity or claim the title as Bitcoin’s creator. Many of these attempts started with merit. However, under further inspection, they all fell short of the mark. Here are the most notable Nakamoto’s to date. 

Craig Wright

craig wright claimed to be satoshi nakamoto over the years however he could never bring solid proof to validate his claims

Source: Coindesk

The Craig Wright – Nakamoto saga is a long one filled with mystery and intrigue. In December 2015, the crypto world was surprised to learn from both Wired and Gizmodo that Craig Wright was Satoshi Nakamoto. Both pieces published full-length articles on the find.

In the articles, Wright claims to be Satoshi. He described his early working with the cryptocurrency and why he waited to reveal his identity. Everything was going well with his attempt until he needed to access the mined coins. Then he claimed to have lost the keys to the 1 million Bitcoin. 

As you could imagine, it didn’t take long for the crypto community to call a bluff. This claim eventually led to lawsuits and more litigation. All of which furthered the argument that Wright isn’t Nakamoto at all.

Hal Finney

hal finney was among to first to help out satoshi nakamoto with bitcoin

Source: Twitter

Out of all of the potential Nakamoto’s on this list, Hal Finney is the person who fits the description the most. For one,  he had a history in FinTech development and an engineering degree from Caltech. Also, Finney worked closely with Nakamoto during Bitcoin’s earliest days.

Notably, Finny was the first person ever to receive a Bitcoin transaction. He was also the first person to improve the Bitcoin source code after Satoshi. Sadly, Finny passed in August 2014. He stated that he wasn’t Nakamoto before he passed, but this hasn’t stopped many from believing otherwise.

Nick Szabo

Nick Szabo has been said to be satoshi nakamoto by many people due to his previous works

Source: Twitter

Another early cryptographer who had the skills and was in the area was Nick Szabo, aka “Bitcoin Jesus.” As an original Cypherpunk, he had access to all of the relevant data and possessed the skills to develop Bitcoin on his own. In fact, in 2005, many years before Bitcoin, he published a paper outlining a similar concept called bit gold

It was later revealed that Nakamoto was not aware of Szabo’s work until later in his career. However, despite not knowing Szabo when creating Bitcoin, many of Bit gold’s concepts were incorporated into Bitcoin’s core coding.

Dorian

dorian nakamoto came forward and admitted he's not satoshi nakamoto

Source: Quartz

In what seems like a little too much to be a coincidence, Newsweek published an article outing a man named Dorian Nakamoto as Satoshi in March 2014. Dorian had the technical capabilities and experience to pull off the development of Bitcoin. The report revealed that he worked on many classified defense projects and was a physicist at Cal Poly University with a history in systems engineering. 

When first approached by a swarm of reporters regarding the matter, Dorian replied that he was no longer in charge of the project. However, later he stated that he was confused and that his answer was standard when asked about classified programs. He went as far as to deny having anything to do with the creation of Bitcoin. However, he was Finney’s neighbor. Is this another coincidence or a clue? 

Dorian complained that Newsweek had destroyed his life with their irresponsible publishing. Eventually, Nakamoto took a more light-hearted view of the error that turned him into one of the most recognizable crypto faces.

Conspiracy Theories

Of course, no mystery is complete without some conspiracy theories. Bitcoin is no different. Some groups believe Nakamoto was an alien, time traveler, AI, or the work of a government agency. Each of these theories has some truth behind it, but they all fall apart after careful inspection. 

Maybe it’s Better

As the crypto market expands and Bitcoin appears to be in earshot of new all-time highs, one must wonder if it’s better never to unmask Nakamoto. With its faceless structure, Bitcoin provides a certain degree of freedom that one could see quickly compromised if the real Nakamoto were to appear suddenly. For many investors and Bitcoin maximalists, everything is going exactly as Nakamoto predicted over a decade ago.

David Hamilton aka DavidtheWriter is a long time Bitcoinist and cryptocurrency journalist. Currently, he has over a thousand articles published on blockchain technology. His expertise and experience makes him one of the most reputable writers in the sector.