Every couple of years, sensational investigations appear, revealing the truth of the identity of Bitcoin’s father, Satoshi Nakamoto. However, each such statement lead to more and more questions. Was he an NSA programmer? Or cypherpunk? Did he create Bitcoin out of anarchist beliefs? Is he Japanese or British?
At first glance, we can say that Bitcoin was created by a Japanese man named Satoshi Nakamoto for about 40 years. There is no evidence to support this superficial theory, so the cryptocurrency community tends to believe that several programmers with anarchic inclinations are hiding behind the pseudonym, who developed peer-to-peer Bitcoin that is now conquering the global market from banks and hierarchical model.
It is believed that Nakamoto owns 5% of all existing bitcoins, which is more than 1 000 000 BTC.
In the event of the death of the owner of the mysterious wallet, all bitcoins will be irretrievably lost. If he suddenly activates and decides to immediately sell all his coins, this leads to the cryptoeconomy’ collapse: the price of bitcoin will fall down immediately.
The disappearance of Satoshi is a critically important moment in Bitcoin history. The newbie cryptocurrency community lost a leader dictating how the protocol would develop in the future. Since that Bitcoin protocol started a long and exhausting journey towards decentralization.
Let’s consider the most verisimilar versions of the identity beside the creator of the peer-to-peer payment system below.
What the genius left in plain sight
The community is convinced that Satoshi Nakamoto is a pseudonym. One of the Japanese forum users noticed that in Japan it is not customary to write a first name before a last name, which Nakamoto constantly did. In addition, the creator of Bitcoin never used Japanese words, which convinced most truth seekers that he was not Japanese.
Translated from Japanese, Satoshi means “wise” or “clear thinking.” -Naka can mean “inside” or “relationship”, and -moto – “origin”, “base”, “base”. Together we get something like “clear thinking within the foundation.”
Some offer more trivial explanations: a quartet of tech companies SAmsung, TOSHIba, NAKAmichi, and MOTOrola may have formed Satoshi Nakamoto’s name, but it seems far-fetched.
Nakamoto’s profile on P2PFoundation is dated April 5, 1975. Satoshi detectives found a hidden meaning in it:
On April 5, 1933, US President Franklin Roosevelt signed Executive Order # 6102, better known as the Order for the Confiscation of Gold from the Population. Its operation was officially suspended only on December 31, 1974 – that is, the day before the beginning of 1975.
Swiss programmer Stefan Thomas discovered that between 05:00 and 11:00 (GMT) Nakamoto never published anything, including on weekends. Thomas suggested that Nakamoto was a resident of foggy Albion. This version was also supported by the peculiarities of the almost ideal English language of the creator of bitcoin – he often used words like “bloody”, “optimize” or “color”, which is typical for British guys. In the genesis block, Satoshi included a press clipping from the British The Times, which spoke of the possibility of a second bailout, i.e. rescue, for banks in the United Kingdom during the 2008 financial crisis.
There is an opinion that Satoshi initially wanted people to come to such conclusions and the explicit hints in the form of the standard time on the forum and the vocabulary are a great disguise.
The developer Laszlo Heinitz, the very hero of Bitcoin Pizza Day who bought pizza for 10,000 BTC in 2010, said that the bitcoin programming code was written too perfectly for one person.
The author of “The Bitcoin Tutorial” Bruce Kleinman agrees with this version. He is convinced that it is impossible to find one person with knowledge of cryptography, peer-to-peer networks, software architecture and cybersecurity.
Dr. Adam Back, creator of the Hashcash algorithm and CEO of Blockstream, is of the opposite opinion. He pointed to consistency in coding and Satoshi’s writing style in letters and documents. Some believe that Adam Back is Nakamoto. After all, it was he who created the prototype of the Proof-Of-Work algorithm back in the 1990s, and it is he who is quoted in the Bitcoin white paper.
Another person who was caught by the seekers of Satoshi Nakamoto thanks to his deep knowledge of C ++ was the entrepreneur Elon Musk, to whom people like to attribute all the ingenious inventions on the planet.
Everyone who the community tried to call Satoshi Nakamoto, rejected these speculations and called for an end to the witch hunt. On the other hand, it is unlikely that the person behind Satoshi Nakamoto would just take it and say “Yes, I am the father of Bitcoin. You found me, it was a very interesting game, wasn’t it? “
The CIA responded to an official request from journalist Daniel Oberhaus, while he was seeking out the Bitcoin father :
“Your request was rejected. The management can neither confirm nor deny that it has any information about the identity of the creator of bitcoin Satoshi Nakamoto’’, which says that it is unprofitable for the subject to show whether he owns information on the subject or not.
The wording “neither confirm nor deny” first appeared in the management’s response to a media inquiry about the secret operation “Project Azorian”, in which the American ship “Glomar” in 1974 lifted the sunken Soviet submarine K-129.
The most coherent and logical is the theory of the creation of bitcoin by cryptographer Nick Szabo. 8 years ago, researcher Sky Gray named the reasons why he believes that Sabo is Satoshi:
* text analysis (only 0.1% of cryptographers can have such a style);
* Nick was looking for partners to develop the Bit Gold project several months before the announcement of the creation of Bitcoin (after which there was no more news about Bit Gold);
* in the White Paper, Satoshi did not refer to Sabo’s work, although he did refer to other, less Bitcoin-like projects;
* lack of reaction to bitcoin from Sabo, although such a decentralized cryptocurrency has been in his sphere of interest for a whole decade;
* shortly after Bitcoin was announced, Nick deliberately changed the dating of his projects retroactively to make them appear after Bitcoin
By the way, back in the 1990s, Szabo also created the concept of smart contracts, which were implemented only 10 years later.
If Nick Szabo turned out to be the creator of Bitcoin, no one would be surprised. But Nick, as a real cryptan, denies everything.
Incidentally, during the development of Bitcoin, cypherpunk Hal Finney was working on his own implementation of a Proof-of-Work (DPOW) distributed digital currency, a concept that Szabo supposedly lacked for a perfect Bitcoin.
Hal is a significant figure in Bitcoin history. It was him who received the first transaction on the network for 10 BTC (January 12, 2009) from Satoshi Nakamoto, which he signed with two private keys. Hal Finney eventually retired from development, and died of progressive sclerosis in 2014.
It is logical to assume that Satoshi would not have sent the first transaction to the no-name. Most likely they were partners and created Bitcoin, combining innovative benefits from two projects.
Questions, questions and more questions
Bitcoin has already attracted the interest of the whole world, now it can be bought at $37.5K and many are buying it at this “cheap” price. Who was its creator really? What was his motivation? Why did he disappear, although he could have become fabulously rich?
The disappearance of Satoshi is the impetus that gave rise to true decentralization. Other raised problems were taken over by the program code and so far it copes with them perfectly. The only thing left to do is to solve the scalability thrillemma, but we’ll talk about it in the next articles.