As close as we get to Satoshi Nakamoto
By: Team Giottus
By now, you must have probably heard of Satoshi Nakamoto, the anonymous coder whose open-source code led to the development of Blockchain, the Bitcoin white paper, and the most popular cryptocurrency — Bitcoin.
Satoshi Nakamoto announced the invention of Bitcoin in a message titled ‘Bitcoin P2P e-cash paper’ in October 2008. Satoshi stayed active in the community over the neaxt two years, talking with others involved in the blockchain’s development.
But who is Satoshi Nakamoto, though? For virtually as long as cryptocurrency has existed, reporters and members of the crypto community have been trying to solve this puzzle. According to reports, the pseudonymous individual who designed Bitcoin is a 44-year-old Japanese male. However, no one knows who Nakamoto is or if he is even a single person. Individuals suspected of being Satoshi Nakamoto have, for the most part, disputed the claim or kept silent.
Dorian Satoshi Nakamoto
Who would have believed, pseudonym or not, that a 69-year-old retired California engineer named Satoshi Nakamoto genuinely exists under the same name?
In an article that appeared in Newsweek magazine in 2014, a journalist identified Dorian Prentice Satoshi Nakamoto, a Japanese American man living in California, as the Nakamoto in question. But Dorian has categorically denied being the originator of Bitcoin, claiming that he had never heard of it until his son informed him of its existence in 2014. Then how did he become the de facto face of Satoshi and the topic of much speculation?
Nakamoto worked as a systems engineer on classified defense projects and as a computer engineer for technology and financial information services organizations after graduating in Physics from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona.
According to the author of the article, Satoshi Nakamoto stated in an interview that he was “no longer” associated with bitcoin and that he had ‘handed it over’ to others. Later, Dorian Nakamoto rejected the comment, claiming that he misinterpreted the question.
Following the release of the article, a rush of media attention erupted, with reporters camped out near Dorian Nakamoto’s home and following his vehicles and disrupting his personal life.
In 2015, Wired wrote that Australian researcher Craig Steven Wright ‘either invented bitcoin or is a clever hoaxer who very desperately wants people to believe he did.’ Wright, who is affiliated with the altcoin Bitcoin SV, has desperately claimed to be Satoshi Nakamoto. He has even filed a copyright lawsuit against the Bitcoin white paper and early code.
Wired’s proof came in the form of allusions to a ‘cryptocurrency paper’ on Wright’s blog, which surfaced months before the bitcoin whitepaper went public. But those assertions were quickly debunked as in a follow-up article, Wired pointed out various contradictions in Wright’s story. The blog entries, for example, appeared to be out of date.
Wright has remained unaffected by the criticism and has used the publicity to carve out a prominent position within the crypto world.
Nick Szabo is a computer engineer. He is credited with being the first to propose the concept of smart contracts in 1996. Szabo is also a decentralized currency enthusiast and had published a paper on ‘bit gold,’ one of the precursors of Bitcoin. However, Szabo has rejected being Nakamoto.
The blockchain is more than just Bitcoin and how to buy it.
Nick Szabo is well known for inventing smart contracts, which are a key component of blockchain’s broad adoption. Szabo’s creation of Bit Gold, a digital currency also indicated that he is well-versed in digital money, cryptography, and the blockchain. He has most likely been the topic of the most popular journalistic speculation as Satoshi Nakamoto.
Hal Finney, who died in 2014, denied being Satoshi Nakamoto, although he did not deny being aware of cryptocurrency in its inception. Finney exemplifies Bitcoin more than any other known person as the first respondent to Satoshi’s mailing list post announcing Bitcoin and the recipient of the first bitcoin transaction. When a sample of Finney’s writing was compared to Nakamoto’s, the closest resemblance was also established.
He is also credited for the creation of the first anonymous remailer and the reusable proof-of-work (RPOW) digital cash system, both of which he invented in 2004.
Many theories also emerged as Finney lived in the same town as Dorian Nakamoto for a period, so it is not improbable he heard his name and adopted it as the patriarch of cryptography.
Gavin Andresen is the Bitcoin developer Satoshi handed the reins to, upon his departure in 2010. He was one of the first Bitcoin developers, having been involved in the cryptocurrency from 2010 and soon becoming its public face. Many people believe he is Satoshi Nakamoto, who has been sought after by everyone.
Andresen was the brains behind the nonprofit Bitcoin Foundation, which was founded in 2012 — the closest to a central authority in the Bitcoin ecosystem.
Andresen also founded ClearCoin, a form of escrow service that closed in 2011. Andresen quit his position as Bitcoin’s primary developer after several years to focus on the strategic development of the technology.
There are numerous speculations as to who Satoshi Nakamoto, the Bitcoin creator, is. While many organizations continue to investigate, his identity still remains unknown.