The legendary Bitcoin inventor is one of the most mysterious people in the crypto world. At the same time, it is not even certain whether it is really an individual.
The hypotheses as to who is behind the mother of all cryptocurrencies do not rule out a collective either. Even the American secret service, the CIA, has been implicated as the creator of Bitcoin.
One thing is certain: The brilliant white paper “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System” has an impact on world events that goes far beyond the creation of a new payment system.
One thing upfront: no one, except Satoshi himself, can say with certainty who or what is hiding behind the pseudonym. One thing is certain: In October 2008, the white paper “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System” explained how Bitcoin and the blockchain work for the first time.
In January 2009, the time had come: the concept of “Bitcoin” entered reality, the genesis block was created and the first Bitcoins were mined.
If you look at the transactions from the early days of Bitcoin, you can see that one person/entity provided the majority of the network’s hashrate. This also means that a single person earned a whole bunch of Bitcoins – as if they were using a Binance trading bot in 2022.
Satoshi Nakamoto’s Fortune
Between January 3, 2009 (the day of “Genesis”) and January 25, 2010 (block number 36288), a total of 1,814,400 BTC were “mined”-63% of which were never spent. It was assumed that these belonged to one and the same entity and that it was most likely Satoshi Nakomoto.
The logic behind this claim was that the hashrate in 2009 was at a low level of about seven million hashes per second, which could be related to the high dominance of a single miner.
The assets of this entity were long estimated at around one million Bitcoin. Although current estimates are somewhat lower – between 600,000 and 700,000 BTC – whoever that dominant miner was is now a made man, woman, or collective.
Alive or dead, altruistic, or egotistical, there are various rumors circulating about the identity of the Bitcoin creator; some with a better factual basis, others with a poor one.
First to the speculations with scanty evidence. First candidate: Elon Musk. For some, a technology visionary who will transport mankind to Mars with his company SpaceX, while revolutionizing the movement of people and goods on Earth with the Hyperloop and electric cars.
For others, Musk is above all a marketing genius who succeeds in giving half-baked concepts trendy names. This was also the case in the Bitcoin environment.
Because here the rumor that he could be behind the invention of Bitcoin arose from the fact that “Satoshi Nakamoto” is an anagram of “A man took a shit,” which in turn is “typical” of Elon Musk’s humor. The rumor was circulated by a former SpaceX employee. Musk himself called the conjecture “ridiculous.”
“Faketoshi” Craig Wright
Some have to react to rumors, others start them themselves. This is the case with the next contender for the throne of Bitcoin creator: Craig Wright. Thus, the chief developer of nChain himself has claimed to be Satoshi Nakamoto.
However, he has not yet managed to provide cryptographic proof of this. For example, during a presentation to members of the press and Bitcoin developers, he signed messages with private keys that were assumed to belong to Satoshi Nakamoto; yet, doubts were soon raised about the validity of the demonstration, including by one of the developers present, Gavin Andresen.
This could have been staged and the witnesses could have been led around by the nose. This is supported by the fact that Craig Wright failed to move coins from addresses attributed to Nakomoto.
The general consensus now is that Wright’s action was simply to increase his media reach as well as his chances of being invited to important Bitcoin conferences.
Instead, he received a different branding from the community, with dubious promotional effect: Craig Wright became the “Faketoshi”.
Now the name “Satoshi Nakamoto” is a “common name”, comparable to John Smith. But not only the name points to possible involvement of his neighbor Dorian in the creation of Bitcoin: Nakomoto was a physicist working on various secret projects in the military field.
After losing his job twice in the nineties, Nakamoto is said to have adopted a libertarian stance and become an opponent of the “establishment.” One catalyst for the emergence of Bitcoin is said to have been the 2008 global financial crisis.
When a Newsweek reporter approached Dorian Nakamoto about Bitcoin, he gave an enigmatic response that fueled rather than quelled the rumors. “I am no longer involved in it and cannot discuss it”.
Later, Dorian stated that he had misunderstood the reporter’s question. So he thought she was asking him about his past military projects.
Is There a Need for a Satoshi Nakamoto?
You see: There is circumstantial evidence, interesting coincidences, and unfortunate misunderstandings – but no definitive proof of the identity of the Bitcoins creator.
Possibly it was a collaborative effort from the circle of cypherpunks. But until the final, cryptographic proof, we’ll have to settle for tabloid speculation.
Apart from that, the question arises whether it is at all important for Bitcoin and the rest to know who Satoshi really is. Or was. Unfortunately, Hal Finney has already passed away.
Aren’t We All a Bit of Satoshi?
So instead of spending one’s time on fruitless speculation, one might ask what purpose the whole thing is supposed to serve. For as human as the interest in the identity of the Bitcoin creator is, it would certainly be detrimental to the credo of decentralization if it were to be revealed.
It is probably better if Nakamoto’s identity remains hidden. That way, every participant in the Bitcoin network can see themselves as part of a movement that has no personified or institutionalized center.
At the end of the day, aren’t we all holding up the flag of decentralization? Don’t we all see the disruptive potential – in the best sense – of blockchain technology? Aren’t we all developing an ever-increasing awareness of the value of privacy, especially in the age of data octopi? In short, aren’t we all a bit Satoshi?