Demystifying the true Identity of Satoshi Nakamoto: Part 1

By everestbits | bitcoin | 24 Feb 2019

Bitcoin Background

Bitcoin was created by a person/group that goes by the pseudo name 'Satoshi Nakamoto'.

The domain name was registred on 18th August 2008. On 31st October 2008(2 months later), Satoshi Nakamoto released a paper to a cryptography mailing list titled `Bitcoin: A peer-to-peer Electronic Cash System`. Two months later on the 3rd Jan 2009, Satoshi released the bitcoin software as open source. He further mined the first bitcoin block (genesis block) from which he earned 50 bitcoins. 

Hal Finney, a pre-bitcoin cryptographic pioneer  and creator of the first reusable Proof of Work System (RPOW) in 2004,downloaded the bitcoin software on its release date and on 12th  Jan 2009, Hal received the first bitcoins (10 bitcoins) form Satoshi Nakamoto.

Satoshi Nakamoto continued to oversee Bitcoin development along with other contributors until mid-2010 when he handed over control of the source code repository and network alert key to Gavin Andresen. He transferred several related domains to various prominent members of the bitcoin community, and stopped his involvement in the project. Until shortly before his absence and handover, Satoshi made all modifications to the source code himself.



Who is this Satoshi Nakamoto and why did he prefer to stay anonymous?

It’s still not clear why Satoshi chose anonymity but what’s clear for sure is that he was selfless and didn’t want to win claps or fame for his creation but rather to change the world with his innovation. This has not stopped the crypto-community from trying to demystify Satoshi’s true identity.

 Several cryptographers have been linked to this identity some of whom were among the first to be contacted by Nakamoto during Bitcoin’s development and post it’s development until 2010. Notably are Wei Dai, Nick Szabo, Hal Finney and Dave Kleiman all of whom have denied being Nakamoto. The only sure thing is that Nakamoto contacted most of these cryptographers during Bitcoin development. 




Unfortunately, two of those most likely to be Satoshi, Dave and Hal, both passed away in 2013 before we could perfectly exclude them from the list. Hal however denied these claims before his passing and from his emails with Nakamoto, I personally feel convinced that he was not Nakamoto and here’s why; 


Hal Finney on bitcointalk

Hal couldn’t have exchanged emails with himself since he might have known that the smart thing to do is involve as many cryptographers as possible so as to create that level of involvement, intrigue and trust in Bitcoin and hence targeting some of these cryptographers for their input would be a smarter way of having them involved.


Hal Finney on bitcointalk

Nick Szabo on the other hand, set the record straight in his statement saying him, Hal and Wei Dai were the only cryptographers he knew as having the dedication and love for a Bitcoin idea until Satoshi.



Such a confident statement could mean that Nick was very convinced that there was another hand on Bitcoin besides the 3 of them.  In my next post (part 2), I will go ahead to demystify Satoshi and your comments and opinions are deemed instrumental. You can attach any links that will inform the community further and I will be happy to learn your findings as well.

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Am a crypto and blockchain enthusiast, computer programmer and data scientist. I love tech :-)


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