Its been nearly a decade since Satoshi Nakamoto introduced the world to Blockchain technology and Bitcoin. Since then, the crypto market has grown to encompass thousands of projects. Additionally, the underlying technology behind Bitcoin, blockchain, has the potential to be one of the most disruptive developments since the introduction of the internet.
Despite all of these strides, the world is still no closer to discovering the true identity of Bitcoin's anonymous creator. Sadly, this lack of results has led some to speculate wildly as to this person or person’s identity. Here's what we know so far:
What Satoshi Nakamoto Told Us
In October 2008, Satoshi published Bitcoin's whitepaper. This revolutionary document introduced the world to blockchain technology and cryptocurrency via Bitcoin. In the paper, Nakamoto solved the double-spend issue that had plagued earlier attempts to make cryptocurrencies. He accomplished this task via an introduction of a timestamp to the hashing function. Luckily, Satoshi left some valuable clues to his identity.
Nakamoto stated that he was born in Japan on April 5, 1975, in his blog posts. He claimed to reside there, but this claim has come under scrutiny. What is for certain is that Nakamoto had an excellent grasp of the English language. Additionally, he tended to only work during traditional UK business hours.
Satoshi Nakamoto Wanted to Remain Anonymous
The one thing that one can't dispute is that Nakamoto desired to remain anonymous. The very fact that he used the alias Satoshi Nakamoto points to this decision. Interestingly, Satoshi is a Japanese boy’s name that means simply “one with wise ancestry”. This desire to remain anonymous has cast doubt on the facts he presented to the world.
Additionally, nobody knows for sure why Nakamoto chooses to remain in the shadows. Some speculate he met an ill fate or is just waiting for the perfect time to emerge. One thing is for sure, he has never moved a single Bitcoin from his original mining ventures. Currently, it's estimated that Satoshi Nakamoto mined over 1 million BTC in its infancy. To this day, not a single Bitcoin has moved from these early wallets.
The World Wants to Know
Governments, corporations, and internet sleuths have used every technique imaginable to try and shed some light on Nakamoto's real identity. Today, the internet is filled with conspiracy theories and such regarding Nakamoto. Here are the most popular and outlandish concepts in circulation:
So Who is the Guy in All the Satoshi Nakamoto Memes?
If you have been on social media, you probably have noticed that most Satoshi Nakamoto memes contain the picture of the same person. The person in these memes isn't Satoshi Nakamoto, it's actually Dorian Nakamoto. In March 2014, this quiet individual had his life flipped upside down after Newsweek Magazine published a story that claimed Dorian was the true Nakamoto.
Why Did Newsweek Think Dorian Satoshi Was Bitcoin's Creator?
Aside from the obvious, they bear the same name – Satoshi, Dorian was a physicist at Cal Poly University with a history in systems engineering. Additionally, he worked on many classified defense projects in the years prior. Also, he worked part-time as a computer engineer for various financial information services companies.
Fueling conspiracies that Dorian was the real Nakamoto was his early replies to investigators. When he was first approached by reporters regarding his role in the creation of the world's first cryptocurrency, he mistakenly thought they were discussing a government project he had worked on last year. He actually told reporters initially that “it had been turned over to other people.” and that “he was no longer in charge.”
However, the excitement was short-lived. Within days, Dorian went public with a statement in which he vehemently denied having anything to do with the creation of Bitcoin. He explained that when he first spoke to reporters he thought that they were asking questions about classified work he had done in the past. He even complained that Newsweek had destroyed his otherwise peaceful life
What About Hal?
Another prime suspect in the Nakamoto case was Hal Finney. Finny played a major role in Bitcoin since its earliest days. The odds started to look good that the world had unearthed Satoshi when reports surfaced that Finny was the first person to improve the Bitcoin source code after Satoshi. Also, he was the first person to ever receive a Bitcoin transaction. What’s even stranger, Finny lived next door to Dorian Nakamoto. These developments led theorist to conclude that perhaps the two worked on Bitcoin together, and, or with the help of the government.
Finny Had the Skills
Finny had a history in the realm of cryptography. He was well-known as a developer for the PGP Corporation. He also possessed an engineering degree from Caltech. Sadly, Finney passed August 2014 but not before claiming to not be Nakamoto.
Nick Szabo aka “Bitcoin Jesus” is another person of interest that emerged over the last few years. Szabo, best known for his support of the Bitcoin Cash hard fork. He was also one of Bitcoin's earliest supporters. Consequently, many people see Szabo as a polarizing figure in the market. Szabo was a prime suspect because he possesses a high level of cryptographic capabilities. Also, he was one of the original cypherpunks.
It is also common knowledge that Szabo communicated with Finney in Bitcoin's early days. Additionally, he had already published a whitepaper for a similar concept labeled bit gold. The paper, published in 2005, explained how a decentralized currency could work. Interestingly, many of the same theories in this paper made their way into Bitcoin's core coding.
The Szabo Satoshi argument begins to unravel when the evidence goes under review. Early Satoshi communications reveal that Satoshi was unaware of Szabo's work at first. It wasn't until another blockchain pioneer, Wei Dai, introduced Satoshi to Nick's work, that he noticed that Bit gold shared many attributes with Bitcoin.
There were many in the industry that believed that Szabo was for sure Nakamoto. However, Jack Grieve at Aston University’s Centre for Forensic Linguistics concluded after conducting linguistic research, that this was unlikely. He stated that his research showed that the two individuals had very different linguistic patterns. Additionally, Szabo denied being Nakamoto publicly.
Perhaps no one has attempted to lay claim to the Bitcoin throne more than Craig Wright. Unlike the previously mentioned individuals, Wright has made multiple claims that he is Satoshi Nakamoto. This saga begins in December 2015 following the publication of a story claiming his Satoshiness in Wired and Gizmodo. In the story, he communicates with the community to accept him as Satoshi Nakamoto.
He even filed a lawsuit against members in the community that refused to acknowledge his Satoshiness on Twitter. Not surprisingly, the lawsuit didn’t go as planned as Wright was unable to provide the private keys or move a single Bitcoin from wallets associated with Satoshi Nakamoto.
Satoshi Nakamoto Conspiracy Theories
There is also another band of Satoshi hunters that appear to be getting louder in the wake of his disappearance. These groups feel that Bitcoin is just too great an invention to be from a single person, or even from a human being at all. Here are the top conspiracy theories regarding Nakamoto's Identity.
Many people believe the National Security Agency (NSA) had something to do with Bitcoin's creation. For one, the NSA possesses the highest level of cryptographic capabilities. Also, Dorian worked on various classified projects in the past. Additionally, the NSA definitely had the ability and brainpower to create this protocol.
While all of this seems feasible, these theories were debunked when Edwin Snowden released his infamous leaked surveillance documents. These documents explained to the world how the USD government had spied on both international and domestic matters without a warrant for years. Additionally, the documentation showed that finding Bitcoin's creator was “Priority 1” for the NSA.
In this theory, Satoshi Nakamoto must be an alien because no one has been able to identify him on earth. The theory that Satoshi Nakamoto is an alien continues to resurface in message boards around the internet. The theory states that aliens have introduced their own software into our internet infrastructure with the plan to eventually control the human race via Bitcoin.
Conveniently, one would need to first answer the age-old questions regarding extraterrestrial life in the universe before one could accurately deny this theory. Either way, you got to hand it to these guys for being original and thinking outside the box, albeit, really outside the box.
Reddit is also filled with some interesting conspiracies surrounding Nakamoto being an AI protocol. This theory is similar to the alien approach as it begins with the assumption that no human could ever think of Bitcoin. The concept then reads like a sci-fi thriller in which the AI felt it was best to separate humans from monetary policy in a bid to create a more “egalitarian” society.
Satoshi Nakamoto Reading a Book on the Dark Side of the Moon
Despite a decade of searching, the world still remains no closer to discovering the identity of Nakamoto. However, it's becoming less important to know who Nakamoto is, and more significant to understand what his goals were. Nakamoto envisioned a day where people could rely on their financial system as a stable and value-based asset. It's in this message that his true identity shines.