Satoshi Nakamoto is the name used by the unknown person or group who developed Bitcoin, authored the 2009 Bitcoin white paper, and created and deployed the first blockchain database.
Developed as an alternative payment system that would operate free of central-bank control but be used like traditional currencies, the innovation got the attention of the finance and technology world. In 2022, Bitcoin is the world’s No. 1 cryptocurrency with a market capitalization of $788 billion. It’s considered by fans to be “digital gold” and is seen by some as a hedge against inflation. One Bitcoin is worth $41,624.47 as of this writing.
Despite the name being in the limelight, Satoshi Nakamoto remains a mystery and nobody has conclusively identified him, her, or them yet.
Satoshi Nakamoto is the name used by the unknown person or group who developed Bitcoin, authored the Bitcoin white paper, and created and deployed Bitcoin’s original reference implementation. He used the latest encryption and obfuscation methods in his communications to ensure his anonymity. He created the Bitcointalk forum and posted the first message in 2009 using the name Satoshi.
Satoshi Nakamoto was nominated for a Nobel Prize in economic sciences in 2016 by Bhagwan Chowdhry, a professor of finance at the University of California Los Angeles.
Satoshi Nakamoto may not be a real person. The name Satoshi is of Japanese origin and is usually assigned to males. It is widely considered to be a pseudonym for the creator or creators of Bitcoin who wish to remain anonymous.
Despite the cloud of mystery surrounding the name, here are 10 things to know about Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto:
Satoshi Nakamoto contributed hundreds of blogposts before disappearing in 2011. Posts depicted a mind of an anonymous genius.
He wrote mostly on the technical development of Bitcoin, his beliefs, and his grand vision. He also had several private email discussions with some select community members.
One of his widely known quotes was, “If you don’t believe it or don’t get it, I don’t have the time to try to convince you, sorry.”
He was very clear and direct with his messages on Bitcointalk and only concentrated on what seemed to improve the Bitcoin code.
Satoshi Nakamoto used blockchains, where timestamps for a transaction are added to the end of previous timestamps as proof of work, creating a historical record that cannot be changed or hacked.
The blockchain records are kept secure because the amount of computational power required to reverse them discourages small-scale attacks.
Solutions to combat the double-spend problem — the difficulty of ensuring digital money is not easily duplicated — historically involved the use of trusted, third-party intermediaries that would verify whether a digital currency had already been spent by its holder.
In most cases, third parties such as banks can effectively handle transactions without adding significant risk.
Several people have been put forward as the “real” Satoshi Nakamoto, though none have definitely proven it to be true.
These include Dorian Nakamoto, Nick Szabo and Gavin Andresen, but these people deny the speculation that they are the people who invented Bitcoin.
Craig’s claims were disregarded after tedious research and scrutiny undertaken by many media groups and the cryptocurrency community.
Due to the complexity of the white paper and Bitcoin’s system in general, the name could refer to a company or a group of people.
There were instances in the white paper where Satoshi Nakamoto addresses himself or herself as both “we” and “I”.
Some Crypto enthusiasts who have been researching the real identity of Bitcoin’s creator believe that Satoshi Nakamoto was probably an employee of the National Security Agency (NSA), the U.S. intelligence agency operating under the U.S. Department of Defense.
However, no one is sure about how many people are behind this name.
Although Satoshi Nakamoto disappeared from the Bitcoin scene in 2011, researchers have discovered that his account holds around 1 million Bitcoins, which may exceed $50 billion in value at the current price.
Given that the maximum possible number of Bitcoins is 21 million, Nakamoto’s stake of 5 percent of the total bitcoin holdings has considerable market power.
Even if Satoshi Nakamoto is a group of 10 people,1 million Bitcoins split 10 ways means everyone in the group is worth more than almost everyone else in the world.
According to researchers, Satoshi Nakamoto’s final message on the Bitcoin forums came in December 2010. The last correspondence anyone had with Satoshi Nakamoto was reportedly in an email to another crypto developer saying that they had “moved to other things.”
However, he sent a final message to developers on April 26, 2011. What happened in between and afterward is a mystery.
There were some back-and-forth emails between Satoshi Nakamoto and other developers, most notably on how to handle the publicity the project was receiving, and technical issues.
Some crypto enthusiasts believe that Satoshi Nakamoto was a pseudonym used to author the Whitepaper. The name Satoshi means quick-witted or wise.
As for the surname, “Naka” means medium or relationship, while “moto” means origin or foundation, which is quite interesting.
Since the inception of Bitcoin, the name Satoshi Nakamoto has been making noise in different institutions around the world. Satoshi could be a woman.
The search for the real identity will continue until someone spills the beans about the Bitcoin creator’s real identity. The threat he poses to the cryptocurrency market is too great and the mystery surrounding his identity is too compelling.
Satoshi Nakamoto now owns 7.5 percent of the entire Bitcoin inventory, helping concentrate control of the market in a few hands. That is not good for integrity, fairness, or transparency, according to Jeremy Glaros of CoinArch, a Bitcoin hedging system designed to pay interest on its investments.
With such a significant holding, Satoshi can exert pressure on the market and move the price as he, she or they wish, which could be catastrophic for other investors.
Satoshi Nakamoto quit Bitcoin formally by removing his name from the copyright claim in the software and leaving the code to all “Bitcoin developers.”
His dedicated mastery of personal operations security helped him, her or them remain anonymous, making for one of the greatest mysteries in more than a decade in a world where anonymity is increasingly difficult to achieve.
No one knows why Satoshi Nakamoto decided to leave Bitcoin and whether he still operates under other pseudonyms. Some people think Satoshi left because he thought Bitcoin would not progress if he stuck around.
The first bitcoin transaction occurred when Nakamoto sent 10 Bitcoins to Hal Finney, a well-known developer who had downloaded the Bitcoin software on its release date.
The first commercial transaction came in 2010 when a programmer named Laszlo Hanyecz bought himself two Papa John’s pizzas for 10,000 Bitcoin. At Bitcoin’s current price of $41,922, those were some very expensive pizzas.
However, in March 2013, Finney posted on the Bitcoin Talk forum that he was essentially paralyzed. He died on Aug. 28, 2014, at the age of 58 after a five-year battle with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).
Gavin Andresen was one of the most enthusiastic programmers and developers to write code for Bitcoin. He reached out to Satoshi Nakamoto in 2010 and became the founder’s right-hand man. Satoshi Nakamoto then left Bitcoin in Andresen’s hands.
Today, even Andresen himself has grown more reclusive. He no longer serves as “core maintainer” of Bitcoin’s code. That role may soon become as decentralized as the cryptocurrency itself.
Photo: Dorian S. Nakamoto smiles during an interview with the Associated Press, March 6, 2014 in Los Angeles. Nakamoto denied Newsweek’s claim that he founded Bitcoin and said he had never even heard of the digital currency until his son was contacted by a reporter. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes).
Listen to GHOGH with Jamarlin Martin | Episode 74: Jamarlin Martin Jamarlin returns for a new season of the GHOGH podcast to discuss Bitcoin, bubbles, and Biden. He talks about the risk factors for Bitcoin as an investment asset including origin risk, speculative market structure, regulatory, and environment. Are broader financial markets in a massive speculative bubble?