Who is Satoshi Nakamoto?
Nobody knows who created Bitcoin, but Satoshi Nakamoto is a pseudonym used by the person or group of people who created the world’s first decentralized cryptocurrency.
There are several theories about it, trying to connect points to guess who the person or people behind Satoshi Nakamoto’s true identity would be, but 11 years later, for now, it’s just speculation.
The first time that the idea of Bitcoin came up was in August 2018, when registering the domain “bitcoin.org”. About three months later on The Cryptography Mailing discussion forum, the concept was introduced by Satoshi, the Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System study.
In January 2009, after Satoshi implemented the software behind Bitcoin as open-source, it was released to the world. Satoshi remained present in the development until mid-2010, accepting rare contributions from third parties and in April 2011, Satoshi Nakamoto warned a Bitcoin employee that he was going to move on to new things.
Since then, Satoshi has never been heard from, but you can view his old posts on the BitcoinTalk discussion forum. Bitcoin even without the presence of its main developer is still in development today, as it is open source and the community has been implementing the necessary implementations for its progress.
So who can be Satoshi Nakamoto?
The fact that until today we do not know the true identity of Satoshi Nakamoto, has become a relentless race in search of who really was. For several figures in the middle of cryptography, cypherpunks, and libertarians, there are some people whose theories point to being the real Satoshi Nakamoto.
Dorian Satoshi Nakamoto
Dorian was reported in 2014 as the real Satoshi Nakamoto, even for several possible similarities: His name is exactly Dorian “Satoshi Nakamoto”, he was a software developer for the US government and in 1990 he became a libertarian.
Because it is libertarian, which is a similarity, the first Bitcoin block (Genesis block) generated, Timothy C. Veil’s Crypto-Anarchist Manifesto, published in 1992, is published.
But Dorian has always denied being Satoshi Nakamoto, but he is seen by the community as a humorous figure, a meme of the ecosystem. Even in several interviews, he did not even know the name of his “own” creation, and it would not be very smart to use his name to remain anonymous.
Hal Finney was one of the first and leading names to be involved with the development of Bitcoin in its early days. The first transaction in history was exactly from Nakamoto to Finney on January 12, 2009, in the amount of 10 BTCs. These from Block Genesis, which took 6 days to be mined, for a total of 50 BTCs.
To make sense, Finney was responsible for the development of one of the main essential technologies for Bitcoin, the asymmetric cryptographic keys. And also in 2004, before Bitcoin, he created the first reusable Proof of Work system, which years later were used in Bitcoin.
In addition, Finney was also a libertarian and participated in the same discussion group The Cryptography Mailing, where the idea of Bitcoin was disclosed by Satoshi Nakamoto.
Another interesting fact is that Finney lived in the same city as Dorian Nakamoto, a few blocks away, he may have used his neighbor’s name to maintain his anonymity.
Finney faced a rare disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) that led to his death. As he could no longer develop due to the disease, as he was paralyzed in a wheelchair, he nevertheless continued development to improve Bitcoin portfolios until his death in 2014.
Always enthusiastic about having a single currency, Nick Szabo created BitGold in 1998. Famous for being a computer expert and a very talented cryptographer, as well as a lawyer in law. In addition to being libertarian, like everyone else mentioned.
BitGold was not implemented, but its mechanism was a precursor to Bitcoin, a decentralized digital currency. He wanted a coin that had the fundamentals of Gold.
“I was trying to imitate the security and trust characteristics of gold as closely as possible in cyberspace, the main one being that it does not depend on a trusted central authority.”
In 2008, just before the launch of Bitcoin, he invited several people to make the idea of BitGold real.
In 2014, financial writer Dominic Frisby conducted a forensic investigation, where he searched for about 80,000 words published in various online places by Satoshi Nakamoto. This drew attention because the similarity of writing between Satoshi Nakamoto and Nick Szabo was remarkable in several aspects, such as commas, hyphenation and some specific phrases.
Szabo was the inventor of the Smart Contracts concept, which is fundamental to the maturity of Bitcoin as a means of payment, through the Lightning Network.
Nick had a personal blog where he posted since the 90s about cryptography, concepts, etc., but between late 2008 and mid-2009, nothing was published on his blog, six months later he makes a brief mention about cryptocurrencies. While he didn’t post, Bitcoin’s development was steady. Coincidence right?
Another member of the Cypherpunk community, Wei Dai is a Chinese-born software engineer, cryptographer and cypherpunk. His life is very private, so not much is known. But it is known in the cryptocurrency universe for having made a key publication for the Bitcoin foundation, even before Bitcoin was created.
I have worked at Microsoft for years and their work in cryptography has helped Microsoft optimize its encryption algorithms for its cluster of products.
Another important contribution by Wei was the crypto ++ cryptographic library, which is still used today in various software such as Steam, Lastpass, Microsoft Office Groove, etc.
In 1998 he created a proposal for a distributed and anonymous electronic money system called b-money, in the same discussion forum as the Cypherpunks where Satoshi Nakamoto, Nick Szabo, and Hal Finney were part of.
B-money is considered the first true cryptocurrency, however, it was never implemented, but its theoretical bases are almost the same as Bitcoin.
The concepts of b-money are as follows:
- Requires the use of a Proof of Work system to generate the coins and protect the network;
- The work carried out is verified by the community, which updates a collective accounting book;
- The worker receives funds for his efforts;
- The exchange of funds is done through collective accounting and authenticated with cryptographic hashes;
- Contracts are applied through the transmission and signature of transactions with digital signatures. That is, the system bases its operation on asymmetric cryptography.
For these reasons, Wei Dai is identified with one of the possible candidates to be Satoshi Nakamoto, as these are characteristics that were applied in Bitcoin later. But Wei has always denied being the person behind the name Satoshi Nakamoto.
Both Wei Dai, Hal Finney, and Nick Szabo had contact and exchanged messages with Satoshi Nakamoto in discussion forums and email exchanges.
A group of people
Another alternative is that it is not a single person but a group of people, did you realize that almost everyone above was a libertarian? Does everyone have a degree of knowledge in programming or cryptography?
However, regardless of Satoshi Nakamoto’s identity, his upbringing has changed and will change more and more the way the world views the financial system and the world economy. Bitcoin is just the beginning of this incredible story that is shaping the world. We are all Satoshi!