Satoshi Nakamoto is one of the most mysterious figures in the history of cryptocurrencies. When bitcoin appeared, a certain Satoshi Nakamoto called himself or herself its creator. Nobody has ever seen this man.
And despite numerous attempts to expose the creator of bitcoin, perhaps this is the case when such secrecy has only benefited the world of cryptocurrencies. After all, the main thing that Satoshi Nakamoto wanted to achieve was the complete independence of financial instruments. And its deanonymization can become one of the main vulnerabilities of bitcoin.
Still, today, we’ll try to consider generally known facts about Satoshi Nakamoto and find out who may stay behind this pseudonym. Let’s get started!
What Is Satoshi Nakamoto Known For?
In October 2008, a user named ‘Satoshi Nakamoto’ published the article ‘Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System’ in a cypherpunk mailing list, the famous bitcoin white paper. In it, he or she described a decentralized settlement system that does not require the mediation of a third party, such as a bank. And just two months later, in January 2009, the Bitcoin genesis block was mined.
Satoshi Nakamoto was inspired to create the first cryptocurrency by the idea of solving the basic issues of the existing financial system, in particular, the policy of depreciation of fiat currencies by central banks.
Key Things to Know About Satoshi Nakamoto
Satoshi Nakamoto’s activities were closely associated with the cypherpunk community, whose ideology has always been based on the importance of privacy and data protection. Torrents, VPNs, and e-signatures are all ideas that, in one way or another, have been brought to life through the efforts of cypherpunks.
Cryptocurrencies were no exception — before Bitcoin, there were many attempts to create a decentralized settlement system. But it was Satoshi Nakamoto who was the first to propose a working model.
Until now, no one knows for sure who is hiding behind this pseudonym. It is believed that with equal success, it can be a person of any gender and origin and perhaps even a whole group of developers who wish to remain anonymous.
In his/her profile on the P2P Foundation website, Satoshi Nakamoto indicated that he or she was originally from Japan, but this information has been questioned more than once. At least many signs point to Satoshi Nakamoto working and corresponding from London.
For example, Satoshi always published all his/her messages during working hours corresponding to the London time zone, and the hash of the Bitcoin genesis block contained a link to the headline of the article ‘Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks’ from the London newspaper The Times.
In addition, in his or her letters, Satoshi often used words unique to native English speakers. Bitcoin white paper was also written in perfect English, which, moreover, was never translated into Japanese. However, it cannot be ruled out that in this way, Satoshi was simply trying to confuse the tracks.
Arguments are going on the estimated date of birth of Satoshi. According to one version, Satoshi chose the date April 5, 1975, not by chance, and in fact, it is a reference to significant events in the history of the financial system.
It was on April 5, 1933, that US President Franklin Roosevelt signed a decree according to which Americans were forbidden to accumulate and store gold. The Americans were able to regain this right only in 1975.
Perhaps in this way, Satoshi wanted to emphasize the imperfection of the modern financial system and at the same time, show the world what role he/she assigns to bitcoin in the future. We can say that this reference turned out to be prophetic – today, many people call the first cryptocurrency’ digital gold.’
According to experts, the name has also been questioned more than once, which could also have a hidden meaning. In Japanese, the word ‘Satoshi’ means ‘wise’ or ‘clear thinker.’ The word ‘Naka’ can be translated as ‘inside,’ and ‘Moto’ — as ‘basis.’
At the same time, if the name is divided into hieroglyphs, then together, the words ‘Naka’ and ‘Moto’ can be interpreted as meaning ‘in the book.’ In any case, it turns out something like ‘clear thinker inside’ or ‘wisdom in the book.’
Why Did Satoshi Nakamoto Disappear?
From the early days of his/her appearance, Satoshi paid great attention to anonymity. He or she always accessed the network only through the secure Tor browser and carefully concealed his/her identity. While others wondered if Satoshi could be crazy, followed the phases of his/her sleep, and even suspected him/her of having links with the Yakuza, Satoshi continued to work on the Bitcoin source code along with other crypto enthusiasts.
Discussing in the chat the existing issues of bitcoin and ways to solve them, Satoshi remained an authority for everyone for a long time, and any bugs and shortcomings of the network were always solved only with his/her participation. However, over time, Satoshi’s policies and actions regarding bitcoin have increasingly come under criticism.
This eventually led Satoshi to remove his/her name from the bitcoin copyright statement, update the bitcoin.org website, and add contacts to other active developers.
The last time Satoshi Nakamoto appeared online was 11 years ago, on April 26, 2011. On that day, Satoshi wrote a short letter to one of the associates, Gavin Andresen (creator of the first bitcoin faucet), in which Satoshi gave him a copy of the cryptographic key from the bitcoin security alert system and wrote a few words about his/her vision for the further development of the network.
Since then, attempts to expose the real identity behind the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto have not stopped.
Who Is Called the Creator of Bitcoin?
As mentioned before, there are versions that a whole group of developers was hiding behind the personality of Satoshi Nakamoto. Conspiracy theorists consider Nick Szabo, a lawyer and cryptographer from George Washington University, to be the main suspect in the creation of the Bitcoin project.
A number of circumstantial evidence points in favor of this version:
- Nick Szabo released a work called ‘Bit Gold’ shortly before the emergence of bitcoin;
- Satoshi Nakamoto quoted many personalities in his/her article, but not Nick Szabo;
- Nick Szabo did not react in any way to the emergence of the Bitcoin project.
- Nick Szabo published an article about how he’d like to create an implementation of bit gold a few months before the whitepaper came out.
A certain Sky Gray stated that he conducted a comparative analysis of Nick Szabo’s text and found out that only 0.1% of cryptography researchers could express themselves this way, and Nick Szabo could well.
Why would anyone be interested in the personality of Satoshi Nakamoto? It’s not just history buffs or dedicated fans. It is also important that every 12th bitcoin programmatically passes into its creator’s possession. Now, this is a fortune of 1 million bitcoins!
Ironically, the smallest piece of bitcoin that can be exchanged is called ‘satoshi.’ It is equal to 0.00000001 parts of the unit of the world’s first cryptocurrency.
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