Who is Satoshi Nakamoto?
There are many theories about who Satoshi Nakamoto is. Let’s briefly address this ‘mystery’.
Satoshi Nakamoto is the most enigmatic figure in the crypto world: Who is he? Why is he missing? Many questions on the identity of the person but first let us have a look at what she/he/they have done to deserve such attention.
Who is Satoshi Nakamoto?
Satoshi Nakamoto is the inventor of Bitcoin. In the early 2000’s a group of cypherpunks was concerned about the privacy of individuals in digital life. Those concerns centered around two key issues. a) Invasion of privacy in digital life by a central organization. b) Irresponsible monetary policies by governments via printing enormous amounts of money, which would eventually result in devaluing the currency.
They asked the following question ‘How can we enable individuals to preserve and transfer their wealth in digital life without any trespassing by central organizations?’.
There have been many initiatives that were brought up by these people such as the digital cash by David Chaum or Bitgold by Nick Szabo (you can see our post for their detailed contributions to the field).👇
One of these people was an unknown cypherpunk that uses the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto. We don’t know the actual name of the person or even if this is a person or a group of people. Satoshi Nakamoto has unveiled a white paper called Bitcoin: A Peer to Peer Electronic Cash System-pdf in October 2008. You can read the paper in English and 35 other languages on this link.
After getting numerous feedback from others, Nakamoto started operating the Bitcoin network on January 3, 2009. They (from now on Nakamoto will be addressed as ‘they’) also put a message. The message is a quote from Times newspaper (from the UK), stating “Government on the brink of a second bailout for banks”.
This was clearly a message to the existing financial system and how the government is preserving big banks from failing by using taxpayers’ money.
The initial reaction to Bitcoin was mixed. As there were many prior projects which failed grandiosely, many people approached the idea with a high degree of suspicion. Even Satoshi themselves said on many forums that this is an experimental initiative.
While there were many incidents (such as the famous pizza order for 10,000 BTC) that helped Bitcoin recognition, the real leap came in when Wikileaks came into the picture. Wikileaks, a non-profit organization located in the US, has published many classified documents leaked from the government sources. As a result, Visa and MasterCard cut Wikileaks merchant access, a huge blow as Wikileaks was an organization dependent on donations. So they decided to receive donations through Bitcoin.
Satoshi themselves wrote a message to the organization, stating that Bitcoin is an experiment and should not be used for such purpose.
When his request remain unanswered, Satoshi stopped being active in the community and disappeared in cyberspace.
Who would Satoshi be?
There are various scenarios and candidates on who Satoshi is. Most centered around Dorian Nakamoto a Japanese scientist, who denied being Satoshi.
Another was Craight Wright, the inventor of Bitcoin SV, who himself claimed he is the Satoshi Nakamoto — however many people in the community dispute his claim.
A third possible candidate is Nick Szabo, who is a leading expert in cryptography. Lastly, Hal Finney, who received the first bitcoin from Satoshi Nakamoto is seen as a potential candidate.
Does it really matter who Satoshi is?
As a matter of fact, the identity of Satoshi Nakamoto is totally irrelevant in the current context. Bitcoin itself has grown organically, with the help of volunteers who believed in the idea not the person. Satoshi probably saw the potential of bitcoin and did not want to deal with the legal consequences and decided to withdraw themselves from the spotlight. Another interesting fact is, none of the bitcoin that is owned by Satoshi Nakamoto has moved since they vanished (as bitcoin transactions are totally traceable, we are able to see those bitcoins created by Satoshi and kept in their wallet — which is estimated to be around 1 million