Satoshi Nakamoto – on paper – is one of the most wealthy people in the world. With Bitcoin being a currency of semi-anonymous nature and Mr. Nakamoto also a pseudonymous individual, it is actually hard to be sure. However, he is thought to own more than 1m bitcoins which are approximately 5% of the entirety that will exist in the future(21 million). When bitcoin attained its all-time high till date – an excess of $19,000 – in December 2017, he became worth around a whopping $20 billion!
So, who exactly is Satoshi Nakamoto? Well, wouldn’t you like to know! In this article, we’ll talk about all we know about him and the mystery surrounding his existence.
Who is Mr. Nakamoto?
Satoshi Nakamoto is a fake name for an individual or a set of individuals of which their identity/identities still remain unknown. Mr. Satoshi played a pivotal role in the creation of Bitcoin and its whitepaper. On his P2P account, he disclosed that he was a Japanese native in his late thirties. However, due to his use of perfect English and the software not translated or labeled into Japanese at the time, this is greatly regarded as untrustworthy information.
Also, the seldom usage of British English within the code and the comments lead to people speculating that he may be from a commonwealth nation. People have also deduced that because Satoshi didn’t post between 5-11am in British time – if he had a regular sleeping pattern – he should be living in a region with GMT -5 to GMT -6.
One thing, though, is certain: privacy is very important to him. He used Tor when registering Bitcoin.org. Tor is an online tool that covers tracks and it is used by political dissidents, journalists, and black marketeers. Mr. Nakamoto was actively involved in the development of his creation in the early stages, but he became silent in 2011 and has remained so ever since. A plethora of detectives – though amateurs – have been trying their best to find out who is really behind the pseudonym, but there has been virtually nothing substantial to work with.
Possible reasons why Nakamoto hid his identity
With Nakamoto trying to establish a peer-to-peer system of a decentralized nature, there’s every reason to think that he decided to remain anonymous so as to avoid any possibility of him having to become the de facto poster boy of the system, thereby making people trust him instead of the ledger.
Another reason for Nakamoto’s decision to hide his identity is the fact that people who create alternative currencies usually put themselves in danger. In 1998, Bernard Von NotHaus – an individual residing in Hawaii – established a private currency known as the Liberty Dollar. For a while, the currency actually flourished. However, the mining operation was raided by the Secret Service and FBI in 2007. After criminal proceedings were completed in 2009, there was a complete shut down of the currency while NotHaus was also found guilty of establishing a coin to compete with that of the United States. Also, a digital currency known as e-Gold – in 2007 – was accused of encouraging illegal activity due to the fact that it did not request adequate information on customers. The company was shut down and its owner placed on house arrest. There’s cause to believe that this played a role in Nakamoto deciding not to reveal his identity.
Finally, everybody can use bitcoin anywhere. What this means is that people can use it to pay for services that are both illegal and legal – the same thing with the normal fiat currency if we’re all being honest. However, it has served as a very popular method of payment on darknet markets. It also gained a lot of notoriety due to its use on Silk Road which is now defunct. Ross Ulbricht – creator and operator of the dark web market – was sentenced to life imprisonment for the role he played in encouraging the drug trade and other illegal materials. In 2017, he appealed his sentence but he is still in federal prison. Nakamoto might have had to face a fate similar to Ulbricht’s. One can see numerous reasons why he would’ve wanted to keep his identity a secret.
Who could Satoshi Nakamoto be?
In 2016, Craig Wright, an Australian programmer claimed he was Satoshi Nakamoto. He disclosed several chunks of evidence that were subsequently revealed to be inconclusive due to the fact that they were from the ledger. He has been accused of releasing fake announcements and blog posts so as to appear as the authentic Nakamoto. A lot of people believe that his announcements are lies. For example, Vitalik Buterin, the founder of Ethereum has called Wright crazy while accusing him of trying to fraud his way into being Nakamoto.
Another potential candidate that could be Satoshi Nakamoto is Hal Finney. During his lifetime, he was a prominent cryptographer and cypherpunk responsible for creating the first ever iteration of a proof of work system that could be reusable. In 2009, he also became the first person Nakamoto sent bitcoins. However, he rejected the claims that said he was Satoshi Nakamoto until he died in 2014.
Some people also consider Nick Szabo to be a strong candidate. The renowned cryptographer designed architecture for Bitgold – a digital currency of a decentralized nature – before Bitcoin was launched. Although the architecture wasn’t worked on, Bitcoin’s design shares similarities with it. This resulted in speculations linking Szabo with Nakamoto but Szabo has denied this several times.
Other people have deduced that “Satoshi Nakamoto” might be a group of individuals who put their heads together to establish the system.
In this present time, though, the leaning towards anonymity has greatly diminished with a lot of crypto project developers not as secretive about their group. This may be as a result of the obvious need to be transparent especially when considering how the cryptocurrency world has become rife with fraud and scams.
Even though the real Nakamoto may never be known, the most important thing is the success and functionality of his/their technology. Also, there’s also a probability that the currency is helped by the mere fact of its creator’s anonymity – meaning people can focus solely on the technology. Nakamoto might come forward in the future, but when that day is, remains a mystery.
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