Satoshi Nakamoto is arguably one of the most interesting yet elusive characters in this past decade. He (or they) are credited to creating Bitcoin, the revolutionary peer-to-peer financial transaction system that uses cryptography.
There has been a lot of speculation as to who is this Satoshi Nakamoto person really is, but there has yet to be any conclusive evidence as to the true background and story behind the person (or persons).
Finding an answer to this question has proven to not be easy. But it’s now common knowledge that all the code behind Bitcoin originated from Satoshi Nakamoto – but that is about all that we know. Some say that it’s impossible for just one person to code something as complex and difficult as Bitcoin, so it’s likely that Satoshi Nakamoto is a pseudonym for a group of highly experienced programmers and cryptographers. Or, who knows, it could be possible that Satoshi is the leader of the pack or even a lone wolf.
One thing is clear – Satoshi Nakamoto created the code for Bitcoin in 2008 and made it open source in January 2009. And in 2010, Satoshi disappeared.
So how did the name ‘Satoshi Nakamoto’ became famous? In 2008, someone used this name and mailed the Bitcoin white paper to a cryptographic mailing list. This mailing list contained a number of renowned people who believed in privacy, decentralization and cryptography.
As is apparent from the name, it’s assumed that he was a Japanese man, but his impeccable use of English in the white paper – which sounds like a native speaker of the language – raises doubts about his supposed Oriental origin.
The mystery behind the name “Satoshi Nakamoto”
Have you heard about the conspiracy theory that Samsung, Toshiba, Nakamichi, and Motorola banded together created Bitcoin? It sounds pretty wild and unlikely but if you combined their names together, you’ll get “Satoshi Nakamoto:”
- Samsung and Toshiba together makes “Satoshi.”
- Nakamichi and Motorola together makes “Nakamoto.”
It’s an interesting theory, but it’s still a theory nonetheless.
Most likely candidates for Satoshi Nakamoto
There are a few possible candidates who could very well be the real “Satoshi Nakamoto.” Let’s have a look at them, who they are, and what are the possible reasons they could be “Satoshi Nakamoto”.
1. Dorian Prentice – “Satoshi Nakamoto”
This picture went viral back in 2014. He looks Japanese and happens to go by the name of Dorian Prentice Satoshi Nakamoto. He was a physicist and a systems engineer who lived in California, USA.
This “Satoshi Nakamoto” then went on record officially to deny all claims that he is the mastermind and creator of Bitcoin.
2. Hal Finney – “Satoshi Nakamoto”
Hal Finney is among the world’s foremost cryptographers, and have been involved in cryptography long before Bitcoin came into the picture. He was among the first members of the Bitcoin community back in 2009 and was even part of the mailing list that received Bitcoin’s white paper.
He claims to have been communicating with Satoshi to support his testing, which led to the speculative conclusion that he himself was Satoshi. It also just so happens that Hal’s writing style closely resembles that of Satoshi’s in the Bitcoin white paper. However, cold water was poured on the suspicion when he showed actual transcripts of his email conversations with Satoshi.
Many might not know that Hal is actually the first person to receive a Bitcoin transaction from Satoshi on 12th January 2009, a little over a week after the first genesis block was mined on 3rd January 2009.
3. Nick Szabo – “Satoshi Nakamoto”
Aside from Hal Finney, Nick Szabo has long been seen as one of the likeliest people to be the creator of Bitcoin. A cryptographer and computer scientist based in the US, Nick was the first person to coin the concept of digital currency by creating Bit Gold – a predecessor of Bitcoin.
A lot of speculations has been made behind Nick Szabo’s background and technical expertise and its links to Bitcoin, but Nick Szabo has always strongly denied being the founder of Bitcoin.
4. Craig Steven Wright – “Satoshi Nakamoto”
Aside from Satoshi Nakamoto, Craig Wright is arguably one of the most famous personalities in the crypto space. But the operative word for Craig would definitely be “infamous.”
Unlike other individuals who were speculated to be the real Satoshi Nakamoto, Craig has been vocal since day one in his claim to be “Satoshi Nakamoto” and the brainchild behind Bitcoin. He created quite a storm in the community, with many leading developers and crypto personalities demanding that he provides evidence to support his claim.
Until today, Craig Wright has not been able to sufficiently prove that he is indeed Satoshi Nakamoto.
So, who is Satoshi Nakamoto and will we ever find out?
It’s quite likely that Satoshi Nakamoto – whether he or she is still alive – will never reveal himself (or herself, or themselves). And it’s quite fitting for the creator of Bitcoin – a transaction system that allows people to trade anonymously – will remain anonymous himself (or herself).
This move could also be wise, as Satoshi is alleged to be in possession of over 1,000,000 Bitcoin – which is more than US$10 billion (as of current value). It’s a huge sum of money that many people may try to get hold of – from governments (for tax purposes) to nefarious individuals (to steal or rob).
Solving the puzzle that is Satoshi Nakamoto will be a finding for the ages, no doubt. But his or her disappearance since 2011 means that it’s highly likely that we will never find out who is behind the creation of Bitcoin.