Why does everyone want to know who Satoshi Nakamoto is? (And who is he?)

Why does everyone want to know who Satoshi Nakamoto is? (And who is he?)

Who is Satoshi Nakamoto? We don’t know and neither does anybody else. But we’ve got some ideas about who he might be, since there aren’t too many people out there who possess the cryptographic and C++ programming foo to have conceived and developed something as complex as Bitcoin. Especially someone who would pull such a feat and then disappear just like that. On this post we collect some of the rumors, speculation and crazy theories about the identity of the legendary Satoshi Nakamoto.

The Times’ now legendary cover. The headline “Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks” from Jan 3 2009 was Satoshi’s way of proving that Bitcoin was born on or after this date.

Hal Finney

Finney was one of the programmers behind the famous PGP – Pretty Good Privacy encryption software suite. PGP was revolutionary for its era and it introduced regular PC users to powerful public key encryption which, according to sources, not even the NSA could break at the time.

Satoshi’s first ever Bitcoin transaction was sent to Hal Finney. Mr Finney died in August 2014 from complications due to ALS. His condition had been worsening since 2009 when he was first diagnosed with the disease (also the year Bitcoin was first released).  If he were Satoshi, all the dates would make perfect sense, including Satoshi’s disappearance since 2014.

Dorian Satoshi Nakamoto

Mr. Nakamoto was doxxed as Satoshi by a Newsweek magazine report.

He vehemently denied being the creator of Bitcoin and claimed that he was in financial distress because the sudden media attention he received was making it difficult for him to find a job.

In March 2014 the same account that once posted as Satoshi came out and saidI am not Dorian Nakamoto”.

Folks at the P2PFoundation, where this message was posted, have confirmed that the email used for this message is the same as the one from 2009:

I can confirm, however, that the registered email address on the account on our ning network is xxxxx@xxx.com which is the same one mentioned in the original paper. So perhaps whoever created that account is indeed the “real” person, whoever that is. I’d guess they likely are.

Dr. Craig S. Wright

Emails attributed to CSW have appeared online recently and according to these messages Dr. Wright was the author of the 2008 paper which described Bitcoin. This is very contentious and there is widespread controversy surrounding the whole case.

The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks

Whoever added that phrase to Bitcoin’s Genesis block used the European date syntax (dd/mm/yyyy). This is definitely not the way the Japanese write their dates.

A Team of People

This is a strong possibility. Satoshi may have been, in fact, the codename for team of people who got together to develop Bitcoin. This group would certainly include Hal Finney, since he was the first person ever to receive a Bitcoin transaction from Satoshi.

This possibility was also raised in this BitcoinTalk thread.

The NSA may or may not be Satoshi Nakamoto….

Bitcoin’s amazing breakthrough in decentralized consensus is so ahead of its time, the NSA or someone within the secretive agency may well have been behind Bitcoin. It would make sense for this person to disappear, perhaps due to some contractual clause which eventually would prohibits them from getting exposed in the media while being NSA employees.

This could also explain why the original Satoshi did not move his BTC – perhaps there’s a clause in NSA working contracts that prohibits employees from profiting from such projects or investments. If this clause indeed exists, it’d make sense for this person to be waiting to retire from his restrictive government job before moving the coins. This could explain why these initial BTC haven’t been touched yet.

But NSA Knows Who He Is …

While Satoshi may or may not be a codename for a NSA skunkworks project, or for some NSA employee, one thing is for sure. The NSA knows who Satoshi is.

Elon Musk

This is the real Satoshi. Seriously. We know for certain because he knows C++. /s

Does eNom or Namecheap Know?

Bitcoin.org was registered by Satoshi. So either eNom or Namecheap probably have a credit card on file which can prove who paid for the very first Bitcoin.org domain. This wouldn’t be definitive proof of his identity, but would certainly be another relevant piece of the puzzle.

Bitcointalk has a interesting discussion on the subject. One poster claims that Satoshi regged bitcoin.org using AnonymousSpeech.com

The interesting fact is that the Bitcoin paper was published in October 2008 and the domain was registered in August 2008. Therefore whoever registered it knew Satoshi or was Satoshi himself. Certainly he did not pay for this domain using Bitcoin 😉

Does Google know who Satoshi Nakamoto is?

They could probably find out if they really wanted to.

Whoever created Bitcoin must have carried out extensive research during the coding of the system from 2008 to 2009. Also, if this person owned a Google account then maybe some of the searches could have been recorded in Satoshi’s Google history.

We’d expect someone as experienced with cryptography and infosec as Satoshi Nakamoto to be a security and privacy conscious person. If this were the case, then they’d definitely have deployed countermeasures to avoid leaking too much personal profile information to Google. Perhaps by using Tor or a Google proxy like StartPage.

So, why does everyone want to know who Satoshi Nakamoto is?

For several reasons.

First, because he’s one of the world’s richest people. Satoshi owns the first million Bitcoin and at today’s value that means over U$ 11 billion. If predictions about Bitcoin become true, he could well become the world’s first trillionaire (assuming the Rothschilds aren’t).

Secondly, because Bitcoin may well represent the future of finance and its a technology that plain simply does not have a name to credit it with. Who created Bitcoin? Why did they decide to disappear? History books will be forced to inform future generations that someone with no name created one of the world’s most revolutionary financial technologies.

See Also: Bitcoin History



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