Satoshi Nakamoto’s true identity is perhaps one of Bitcoin’s biggest mysteries. This name was used to publish the blueprints to Bitcoin online in 2008, and again to launch the cryptocurrency the following year. Bitcoin was the first of its kind, being a cryptocurrency that uses blockchain technology to monitor transfers and eliminate the potential for “Double Spending”.
Throughout the course of Bitcoin’s rise to fame, many have attempted to uncover the true identity to this mysterious founder (or group of founders). However, whilst there have been a few suggested potentials, the true identity to Satoshi Nakamoto remains unknown.
The Story of Bitcoin
Bitcoin was initially mapped out on a cryptography mailing list in 2008, before being launched the following year. Essentially, Bitcoin is a form of digital money that can be spent online to purchase goods and services. Bitcoins cannot be used everywhere, however, with its growth in popularity throughout the years, more and more organisations have begun to accept it as a payment method, including universities.
As Bitcoin grew, other cryptocurrencies begun to come onto the market, some claiming to rival Bitcoin, others creating a sense of community for shared interests (e.g. Garlicoin and The Cypherfunks), and some creating reward schemes to generate loyalty (Whoppercoin). You can see some of the, somewhat strange, competition that emerged in this infographic from Betway
One of the most notable cryptocurrencies claiming to rival Bitcoin was OneCoin, which turned out to be a scheme which investors lost billions investing into. Founder of OneCoin Dr Ruja Ignatova went missing in 2017, and has since become known in a BBC podcast as “the missing Cryptoqueen”.
Bitcoin has experienced fluctuations to its value since its launch, hitting its peak value of $19,783.06 in 2017 before dropping a third only 24 hours later. Bitcoin has since hit further ups and downs, and is now fluctuating at around the value of £10,908.
Guesses at Satoshi Nakamoto’s True Identity
Throughout Bitcoin’s journey, many have tried to find out the true identity of its founder(s), known only under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto.
One of the most high-profile guesses to the founder’s identity was Dorian Nakamoto. In 2014, Newsweek published a piece revealing Dorian Nakamoto as Satoshi Nakamoto, and thereby the founder of Bitcoin. Through the story, many claims were made about the Nakamotos’ similarities, the author of the piece commenting that “Nakamoto’s responses to my questions about Bitcoin were careful but revealing” followed by quotes from Dorian himself:
“I am no longer involved in that and I cannot discuss it” he says, dismissing all further queries with a swat of his left hand. “It’s been turned over to other people. They are in charge of it now. I no longer have any connection.”
Dorian Nakamoto has since denied these quotes, explaining that he had misunderstood and did not realise the question was about Bitcoin.
Nick Szabo is another candidate for the true identity of Satoshi Nakamoto. Szabo is trained as a computer engineer who invented the precursor for Bitcoin – Bit Gold. Whilst explaining Bit Gold this Nakamoto potential depicted “a protocol whereby unforgeable costly bits could be created online with minimal dependence on trusted 3rd parties.” A description sharing similar ideas to that of Bitcoin.
Many have suggested that Nick Szabo could well be the mystery founder of Bitcoin, with some even comparing his writing style as similar to that of Satoshi Nakamoto.
Whilst many have uncovered compelling similarities between these potentials and the founder of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto remains an anonymous symbol for the rise of cryptocurrency and all it has brought to the past decade.