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Who invented Bitcoin? Tracking down Satoshi Nakamoto
Who invented Bitcoin? Tracking down Satoshi Nakamoto
Bitcoin

Who invented Bitcoin? Tracking down Satoshi Nakamoto

By Contest Writer - 13 Jun 2020

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The true identity of who invented Bitcoin is one of the most fascinating mysteries in the history of the queen of cryptocurrencies. 

On October 31st, 2008, in a cryptography mailing list, a mysterious user wrote a message in which he/she claimed to have created a new electronic monetary system. The message was signed by Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of Bitcoin. 

Many years have passed since that day. 

Bitcoin has become the most famous and most valuable cryptocurrency in the world and curiosity about its inventor has exploded. 

Many attempts have been made to identify Satoshi, numerous have been the hypotheses and journalistic scoops that have appeared over time. 

But the question remains the same: “Who is Satoshi Nakamoto?“. 

Let’s shed some light on this thick mystery to try to find out who is behind the invention of Bitcoin. 

The first clues: an English gentleman

To try to solve the mystery, we must necessarily start with the messages that Satoshi Nakamoto has sent over the years. 

In fact, after the first e-mail in 2008, Nakamoto wrote dozens of other messages both in the cryptography mailing list and on the “p2p foundation” forum and later on the “Bitcoin Forum”, with the intent of explaining his project, answering to users’ doubts and also to look for useful collaborations for the development of the Bitcoin protocol. 

A first linguistic analysis of the messages shows that Satoshi Nakamoto is a person able to write in perfect English, probably his native language. 

This can be deduced from the choice of some terms used; moreover, the fact that he may be an English citizen, could be confirmed by the decision to include in the first bitcoin transaction ever, the title of that famous day of the newspaper The Times, a popular newspaper based in London. 

Moreover, the programming language used to write the original code on which the entire Bitcoin protocol is based, defined as being old generation and old school, may suggest that he is a middle-aged gentleman, not very young anymore. 

Satoshi Nakamoto: one or many? 

Following the textual analysis of the messages sent by Satoshi Nakamoto, another disorienting theory has been proposed. 

It would seem, in fact, that messages signed under the same pseudonym may actually belong to different people. 

In fact, there is a lot of variety among the texts: some appear extremely formal and with a refined and erudite language, others contain abbreviations and use a much more informal style contaminated by slang, still others are signed only with the name Satoshi. 

Some of them are very technical and deal with specific aspects of cryptography and programming, others express concepts of a political-philosophical nature, others expose very refined economic theses. 

Considering all these elements, it might not be so bold to say that behind this mysterious character there is actually a group of several people, certainly experts in economics, computer science and cryptography. A fascinating thesis that fits well with the complexity of the Bitcoin system

The homonymous Dorian Satoshi Nakamoto

On March 6th, 2014 the famous American magazine “Newsweekpublished an article entitled The Face Behind Bitcoin” signed by Leah McGrath Goodman, which claimed that the true identity of the inventor of Bitcoin had finally been unmasked. 

The author of the article began to investigate the matter starting from a simple assumption: Satoshi Nakamoto was not a pseudonym, but the name of a real existing person. After a series of checks the journalist identified a certain Dorian Satoshi Nakamoto, an engineer of Japanese origin who had emigrated as a child with his family to California and had worked for years as a computer engineer. 

Many clues seemed to lead to this identity, however, just when it seemed that the mystery had been solved, Dorian Nakamoto himself firmly denied that he was the creator of Bitcoin and that he had been involved in any of the projects related to cryptocurrencies. 

The plot thickened further on March 7th, 2014, when Satoshi Nakamoto wrote a new message: “I am not Dorian Nakamoto“. 

Is Bitcoin CIA money? 

One of the most widespread conspiracy theories tends to frame Bitcoin as the result of work carried out by American intelligence agencies; in fact, Bitcoin uses many technologies which the CIA, FBI and NSA have certainly worked on, such as cryptography, the Internet and electronic money. 

Bitcoin would be a sort of dollar 2.0 useful to the CIA to finance its activities and advantageous for the Government of the United States which could have a true global currency free from the control of the central banks.

In addition and thanks to the blockchain, the CIA would be able to control in real time all the financial transactions carried out in the world. These theses are certainly fascinating, but they clash with the revolutionary spirit behind Bitcoin and its principles of freedom and decentralization

Craig Steven Wright: “I am Satoshi Nakamoto!” 

Craig Steven Wright is an Australian entrepreneur, active in the field of technological research, who in 2015 was the first to publicly claim to be the real Satoshi Nakamoto

He even registered the Bitcoin whitepaper with a US patent office in 2019, claiming to be the author. 

However, this doesn’t solve the mystery at all, since Wright has never been able to prove that he is the real creator of Bitcoin and despite his various proclamations he never provided concrete evidence. 

The importance of the mystery 

To this day, the figure of Satoshi Nakamoto still remains shrouded in mystery. 

However, we must not underestimate the importance of it: the choice to use a fictitious identity was a brilliant and forward-thinking intuition able to protect the inventor of the Bitcoin from any kind of pressure, manipulation or blackmail; only this way the system could develop at its best, without any interference. 

The true story about the identity of the Bitcoin creator remains a mystery that still moves interest and curiosity. However, the persistence of the mystery contributes to protecting the great innovation of our century. What we don’t know might make us unsatisfied and yet, as the author Homer said: “The fascination of the unknown dominates everything“. 

Emanuele Parravicini 

 

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