Satoshi Nakamoto came to the attention of the world in 2008 after he published the bitcoin white paper shortly after the financial crisis that affected many that year. Some experts claim that there is a chance that Nakamoto was affected by that economic crisis and this influenced him.
Nakamoto succeeded where others had failed before by managing to create the first genuinely decentralized cryptocurrency.
He is the creator of Bitcoin, the first cryptocurrency. The whitepaper describes the cryptocurrency as “a purely peer-to-peer version of electronic cash that would allow online payments to be sent directly from one party to another without going through a financial institution.”
Who is he?
Unfortunately, no one has been able to unmask the man that created Bitcoin. Ten years after the launch of his famous creation he still a mystery. Many have come up with possible reasons as to why he chooses to be anonymous with some saying he wouldn’t want people putting their trust in him rather than on the blockchain and others saying he is trying to stay out of harms way given the fact that it is presumed that he has a large number of Bitcoin’s in his keeping and could make him a possible target of the state.
Some have even suggested that Satoshi Nakamoto is more than one person and go as far as saying it is a state. The Obama administration even suggested that it could be either the Russian or the Chinese state. Those, however, remain to be rumors. There are some possible theories that link certain individuals to the creator on Bitcoin and below we shall explore some of them.
Even though over the years Satoshi Nakamoto has managed to stay anonymous, there have been several individuals who are thought to be him.
Finney was a bitcoin cryptographic pioneer. He is the first guy who received the first bitcoin transaction from the bitcoin creator himself. He said that Nakamoto sent him ten coins as a test.
Other than receiving the Bitcoins, other things make people suspect him to be Nakamoto. He was the second person to use the bitcoin software, file bug reports and also suggest improvements to the network.
Also, Forbes journalist Andy Greenberg suggested that Finney may be Nakamoto’s ghostwriter. He came to this conclusion after requesting Juola & Associates, a writing analysis consultancy to analyze his writing comparing it to the Bitcoin whitepaper document.
What’s more interesting is that by the time of his death, Finney lived a few blocks away from Dorian Prentice Satoshi Nakamoto. Another person suspected to be the Bitcoin creator himself.
Some people have gone to the extent of suggesting that Finney choose to use the name of his neighbor to hide his own identity.
Szabo is a computer scientist who graduated from the University of Washington. It is also said he developed the concept and phrase smart contracts, a feature which is the backbone of Ethereum. Szabo is also a decentralized cryptocurrency enthusiast who published a paper on ‘bit gold’ which is considered a precursor to bitcoin. In December 2013, internet researcher Skye Grey claimed Szabo was Nakamoto. He came to this conclusion after running a reverse textual analysis on the bit gold text. Grey found dozens of unique phrases that linked his writing style to that of the original bitcoin white paper.
However, Szabo has repeatedly denied that he is Satoshi Nakamoto.
Dorian Prentice Satoshi Nakamoto
Leah McGrath Goodman, a journalist, published an article for Newsweek magazine on March 6, 2014, where she claimed she had identified the real Nakamoto. The man was Prentice, a Japanese American man who was living in California.
There was circumstantial evidence that pointed out that he might be the bitcoin creator. First of all, he was a trained physicist who had worked on a classified defense project. He also had worked as a computer engineer for some technology and financial information services companies.
Goodman biggest piece of evidence was the response Prentice gave when she questioned him about Bitcoin.
His response was “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.”
What was more mystifying was that his real birth name was Satoshi Nakamoto.
Wright is an Australian academic, entrepreneur and a computer engineering expert. In early November 2015, Gizmondo received an email from an anonymous individual who claimed to know that wright was Nakamoto. He also claimed to have worked with him.
On December 9, his house was raided by the Australian police hours after Wired had certified that he was indeed Nakamoto. The police said the raid was unrelated with the revelation.
Afterward, Wright deleted his presence on the internet until 2016 when came back on Twitter to claim to be indeed the creator of Bitcoin. However, after heavy criticism, he withdrew his statement.
Through Bitcoin, Nakamoto gave people control over their money. Today its possible to send $60k instantly to a person that lives in Antarctica without having to leave your home. Without the need of banks, accountants or lawyers.
“What is needed is an electronic payment system based on cryptographic proof instead of trust, allowing any two willing parties to transact directly with each other without the need for a trusted third party. Transactions that are computationally impractical to reverse would protect sellers from fraud, and routine escrow mechanisms could easily be implemented to protect buyers. In this paper, we propose a solution to the double-spending problem using a peer-to-peer distributed timestamp server to generate computational proof of the chronological order of transactions. The system is secure as long as honest nodes collectively control more CPU power than any cooperating group of attacker nodes.” Satoshi Nakamoto
With many people expecting the blockchain technology (bitcoin’s underlying technology) to affect many industries, Satoshi’s legacy is set to live on as the importance of this technology came to light after Bitcoin’s introduction. Furthermore, given the elimination of middlemen in many industries, not only is trust being built but efficiency is being brought in and in some instances, it saves cost.