Here’s What We Know & Don’t Know About Satoshi Nakamoto
Little is known about the innovative brain behind Bitcoin (BTC). In 2009, Satoshi Nakamoto gifted us with the catalyst of all cryptocurrencies and its underlying revolutionary technology known as the blockchain. His innovation became well-known in the finance and technology world and crypto community without a hitch. However, despite the name being in the limelight, Satoshi remains a mystery.
While no one still knows his or her real identity, here are some of the things we could know about this person.
Satoshi Nakamoto is a pseudonym
Like many authors who have written under pen names, Satoshi Nakamoto was the pseudonym used to author the Bitcoin Whitepaper. Some crypto enthusiasts have deciphered the name and found out that Satoshi actually means quick-witted or wise. As for his surname, Naka means medium or relationship, while moto means origin or foundation—interesting, isn’t it?
Since the birth of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto has been making noise in different institutions around the world. From the looks of it, this scenario will continue until someone spills the beans about this creator’s real identity. Satoshi could be a man or a woman—who knows at this point?
He could be a group of people
From the complexity and meticulousness of the white paper and Bitcoin’s system in general, the name could refer to a company or group of people. There were instances in the white paper where Satoshi addresses himself or herself as both “we” and “I.” The pseudonym is also in Japanese, but the white paper was written in flawless English.
Some crypto enthusiasts who have been sifting through the real identity of BTC’s creator believe that Satoshi Nakamoto was probably a National Security Agency (NSA) employee. Other crypto geeks assume that the employee or employees from NSA didn’t receive the approval they all hoped and had hiccups in launching BTC because of the apparent reason to steer clear from the government’s eyes.
While no one is certain about how many people are behind this name, anything is possible at this point in time.
He could be dead
The first-ever Bitcoin transaction was received on January 12, 2009, by a computer scientist known as Hal Finney. He’s famous for the Reusable Proof-of-Work (RPoW) system and is said to be one of Bitcoin’s early contributors. The fact that Finney lived in the same town for almost a decade where Dorian Nakamoto—we’ll talk more about him later—lived added to the speculation that he may have been the mastermind behind BTC.
In March 2013, Finney posted on the BitcoinTalk forum that he was essentially paralyzed. On August 28, 2014, he died at the age of 58 after five long years of battling Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).
He could be one of these people
The search for who created Bitcoin never stops. While others firmly believe that Satoshi Nakamoto may be an NSA employee, some think his real identity lurks behind the following people:
- Dorian Nakamoto – Many people claimed that apart from his surname, Dorian has many similarities to Satoshi Nakamoto. He is a Japanese-American retired physicist and engineer, so some people in the crypto community think he is the one who created Bitcoin or at least one of the first individuals involved in the project.
But when a Newsweek columnist asked Dorian about Bitcoin, he refused to give direct answers to the question. “I am no longer involved in that and I cannot discuss it… It’s been turned over to other people. They are in charge of it now. I no longer have any connection,” Dorian said.
- Nick Szabo – Like Dorian Nakamoto, many people also believe that Nick Szabo is the one who created Bitcoin. He’s a computer scientist, legal scholar, and cryptographer who’s very well known for his research in digital currency and contracts. While many speculations have risen about him, Nick Szabo repeatedly denied that he is Satoshi Nakamoto.
- Gavin Andresen – This man became known in the crypto world because of his early contributions to Bitcoin. Gavin Andresen is a computer scientist and software developer from the United States of America, who eventually became the lead developer of Bitcoin Core after Satoshi Nakamoto vanished in 2010.
But he is definitely not this person
Many people have come forward and “admitted” that they were the real Satoshi Nakamoto, including Craig Wright. Craig Steven Wright is a known computer scientist and businessman from Australia. Unlike the people we mentioned earlier who denied the speculations of being the man who invented Bitcoin, Craig Wright publicly claimed that he is the real Satoshi Nakamoto and that he’s part of the team who created Bitcoin.
Craig Wright’s claims were regarded as an elaborate hoax after tedious research and scrutiny from many media groups and the cryptocurrency community.
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Why Satoshi Nakamoto created Bitcoin
Like anyone else, Bitcoin’s creator has also experienced some hurdles with the current financial system. In 2005, it was said that Satoshi wasn’t able to successfully open a personal bank account because he didn’t have a permanent residential address in the United Kingdom.
As we all know, banks and other centralized financial institutions require different personal documents and information from anyone who wishes to open an account. This includes full name, proof of address, phone number, date of birth, IDs, and a lot more.
This limitation led to Satoshi’s general distrust of central banks and governments. The main point at issue with traditional systems is the amount of trust required. Because of their centralized nature, banks need to be trusted with our money and transferring operations.
With all these setbacks, Bitcoin, the first-ever digital currency, was created in the hopes of decentralizing the entire process—eliminating the trust required. This new kind of money was designed to empower the average person by providing access to financial services that don’t have any nationality, boundaries, or discrimination.
Why he decided to stay anonymous
With the uninterrupted evolution of technology, staying anonymous on the Internet is a tough job. On the flip side, Satoshi Nakamoto managed to remain unknown for more than a decade now, but how? Satoshi understood the importance of anonymity, especially when creating a new type of money.
Bitcoin’s creator knew that if BTC shoots up and does well, some governments and central authorities from different jurisdictions might have varying views about it. He also probably wouldn’t want to be tagged as the creator of something that could be considered illegal by the authorities. Satoshi even saw its importance in the digital currency he developed:
“The possibility of being anonymous or pseudonymous relies on you not revealing any identifying information about yourself in connection with the Bitcoin addresses you use. If you post your Bitcoin address on the web, then you’re associating that address and any transactions with it with the name you posted under. If you posted under a handle that you haven’t associated with your real identity, then you’re still pseudonymous.”
To stay anonymous, he created different emails and an alias. He neither left any trails of his work nor interacted with developers separately—no developer saw the whole picture, hence, never revealing too much to a single person.
Satoshi Nakamoto’s net worth
With Satoshi being the creator, a lot of people wonder how much bitcoin he actually has and what it’s worth. According to several sources, Satoshi owns over a million Bitcoins—which puts his estimated net worth at just over 56 billion USD at the time of writing (even after the recent dip).
How much bitcoin has Satoshi spent?
With over 1,000,000 Bitcoins in his arsenal, how much has Satoshi Nakamoto actually spent? Does Satoshi have the wildly-coveted Lambo many crypto-enthusiasts wish for?
According to a programmer named Sergio Demian Lerner, he has examined the blockchain and saw an address that is likely to be Satoshi’s. According to that examination, Satoshi Nakamoto has spent 500 BTC. Though 500 BTC is still a lot of money, it’s only a fraction of what Satoshi has.
The great unknown
At this point, there are a handful of people who are suspected to be Satoshi Nakamoto. Even with that in mind, which among them is the most compelling case? The point is, there’s really no way to find out for sure—and maybe we’ll never know. To us, Satoshi Nakamoto will always be an unsolved mystery, a groundbreaker hiding in the darkness—we’ll just have to accept that.