Bitcoin and everything about it is publicly visible online — after all, that’s one of its key characteristics as a decentralised digital currency.
BUT, Bitcoin has a mystery that remains to this very day…
Who created it?
This education piece originally featured on Britcoiners — have a listen if you’d rather not read! 🎧
Although Bitcoin was officially launched on October 31st 2008 in a whitepaper titled “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System”, the community believes it was in development from 2007 onwards.
Shortly after the whitepaper launch, the network was born on January 3rd 2009 with the Genesis Block (or Block 0) and along with the first Bitcoin transaction a few days later.
The whitepaper itself was published under the pseudonym, Satoshi Nakamoto. This is now an incredibly famous name and still no one knows who’s behind it, including whether the creator is a lone wolf or is part of a group.
Of course, with every mystery comes speculation and over the years, there have been a lot of guesses as to who Satoshi is.
This includes a number of key players in the industry like Nick Szhabo, Hal Finney, Adam Back, and Dave Kleiman. Unfortunately, some are no longer with us and if they were Satoshi, we’re unlikely to ever find out. Others, like Adam, have profusely denied the claims.
In the very early years of Bitcoin, Satoshi used to be very active in online forums like Bitcoin Talk before he suddenly disappeared and all communications stopped. People have analysed the language Satoshi used, with many speculating that they were/are British (which is why Adam Back has often been suspected as the creator).
What happens to the price if Satoshi’s identity is revealed?
Whoever Satoshi is, they’re known to be holding at least a million Bitcoin. As the creator, they were in the fortunate position of being able to mine the first Bitcoins, with a number of inactive wallet addresses holding this Bitcoin today.
If Satoshi came forward, they could prove their legitimacy by moving these original coins. All eyes would be on this person(s), potentially causing a short-term sell-off, something that’s unlikely to be a big concern though.
It’s probable that Satoshi holds considerably more Bitcoin than is known and that this will be stored in unknown wallets. If Satoshi’s alive and well, they would easily be able to move and live off these coins without anyone noticing, leaving the known coins intact as they are.
Let the mystery continue…
People love to speculate, but many in the industry prefer not knowing who Bitcoin’s creator is. While chatting on Britcoiners, Zakk (our Tech Lead) said he believes it would “ruin the romance of Bitcoin” 🧡
Ultimately, the consequence of Satoshi being identified is that Bitcoin would suddenly (after 12 years!) have a leader at its helm and this would undoubtedly change the dynamic of the industry forever. People would look to Satoshi for guidance and decision-making.
Without a leadership role, Bitcoin remains community-driven — this is integral for retaining its unique features against traditional government-backed currencies.
A final note in the wise words of our Accountant, Dave:
Never meet your heroes.