Editor: Toju kaka
Author: Ming Guan
Translator: Li Xiang Ron
We’ve shared insights on the history of Bitcoin and its fundamentals and we believe that you now have a firm grasp of the subject. However, we got a lot of feedbacks from community members who asked about the identity of Satoshi Nakamoto- the creator of Bitcoin. So in this article, we’ll reveal some truths about Satoshi’s real identity.
Tracking Online Trails
In a bid to discover Satoshi’s real identity, let’s track his online trails from the time he appeared on the internet to the time he disappeared.
Nov 1, 2008: Satoshi Nakamoto published a paper on the cryptography mailing list at metzdowd.com, titled “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System”.
Jan 3, 2009: The first Bitcoin block（Genesis Block）was mined, which means the first 50 BTC were awarded to the first Bitcoin miner.
Dec 5, 2010: Incident of Wikileaks disclosures got spread widely. To protect baby Bitcoin and to avoid conflicts and controversies, Satoshi Nakamoto showed up online to object to the actions of the Bitcoin community donating BTC to WikiLeaks.
Dec 12, 2010: Satoshi Nakamoto published his final article on Bitcoin Forum and since then, he has only made contact with a few members of the Bitcoin core development team members via email.
Apr 26, 2011: After contact with Gavin Andresen, leader of the core development team, Satoshi Nakamoto closed his email and made no further contact with anyone.
From the information above, we can observe that Satoshi Nakamoto kept a very low profile and left behind only a few trails. All the communications he made with anyone were PGP encrypted or with Tor websites. The source of the leasing server pointed to a small colocation provider in Helsinki, Finland. Satoshi did all these to protect his identity from authorities.
Nakamoto claimed to be a 43-year-old Japanese male. on this P2P Foundation profile as of 2012. But many speculated he was more likely to be English due to his native-level use of the English language. Maybe Satoshi is not even an individual. What if Satoshi comprises of a global team. That would make sense. But we may never know for sure. There are up to ten people who are suspected to be the real Satoshi- Satoshi candidates and in this article, we will take a look at six of them.
1. Dorian Prentice Satoshi Nakamoto:
Dorian Prentice Satoshi Nakamoto (Dorian for short) is the most popularly supported image of Nakamoto because of his similar name and his Japanese identity. Dorian has, however, clearly stated that he is not Satoshi.
During an interview with a reporter named Goodman, he made some statements that suggested that he had something to do with the Bitcoin project. He said:
“I am no longer involved in that and I cannot discuss it,” “It’s been turned over to other people. They are in charge of it now. I no longer have any connection.”
Even though Dorian explained that he was misunderstood during the interview and that and he is not Satoshi Nakamoto, many people still believe that he is the one.
2. Mochizuki Shin’ichi
Mochizuki Shin’ichi is a famous Japanese mathematician with a long list of genius achievements and accolades. He joined Princeton at the age of 16, got a Ph.D. at 22, and became a full-time professor at Tokyo University at 33. His most famous accomplishment was his alleged proof of the ABC Conjecture in 2012. This, however, caused some controversy because maths experts could not understand it and Shin’ichi didn’t explain.
Because of his Japanese identity, surreptitious and unorthodox approach, and his genius in the field of mathematics, many argue that Shinichi is the real Satoshi Nakamoto. The people who argue against this point to Shin’ichi lack of experience in programming and computers. Shinichi also clearly stated that he is not Satoshi Nakamoto.
3. Hal Finney
Hal Finney is one of the pioneers of Bitcoin. Beside’s Satoshi, he was the first to mine BTC, submit bug reports and propose improvements to the Bitcoin network. To test the trading function, Satoshi Nakamoto sent him 10 BTC, which means he and Satoshi Nakamoto completed the first BTC trading. Hal Finney and Nakamoto have significant similarities in terms of writing style. This and many other factors make people argue that Hal Finney is Satoshi. Unfortunately, Finney died in of ALS 2014, and before his death, he denied that he was Satoshi Nakamoto.
Nick Szabo, co-founder of Global Financial Acces,s is one of the pioneers of Bitcoin and is also suspected to be the real Satoshi Nakamoto. He proposed the concept of “Smart Contract” in a paper about cybersecurity in Contract Law as early as 1995 which earned him recognition as the “father of Smart Contract”.
When no one had thought about Satoshi Nakamoto and Bitcoin in 2008, Nick proposed an idea of Bit gold in his blog. There are lots of similarities between this Bit gold and Bitcoin. This combined with their similar diction and writing style makes people suspect that Nik Sabo is Satoshi. But Nick has denied that he is Satoshi. In one of his articles, he made the following statements;
“only Hal Finney and Satoshi Nakamoto are powerful enough to implement this plan”.
5. Craig Steven Wright
Craig Steven Wright (CW for short) is an entrepreneur in Austria. Unlike the other Satoshi candidates, CW is the only one who admits he is Satoshi Nakamoto. CW is good at publicity stunts and you would see fights between BSV and BCH every now and then, the personality is in contrast with the real Satoshi Nakamoto who has a more surreptitious personality.
Craig Wright published a lot of suspicious evidence to prove he is Satoshi and was able to gain from Gavin Andersen(a highly reputable and respected chief scientist of the Bitcoin Foundation) who testified in public that CW is Satoshi.
Although we can agree that CW has much information about Satoshi and Bitcoin, the only sure way to prove the identity of the real Satoshi is by using the private key that controls the earliest bitcoins mined and use the keys to move the coins. Those coins have never moved in bitcoin’s history.
6. Dave Kleiman
Dave Kleiman received awards during his service to the United States Army. After a bike accident left him restricted to a wheelchair, Dave Kleiman went on to be a computer forensics expert.
There was little information about Dave until his brother (Ira) filed a lawsuit against CW over the rights to 550,000–1,100,000 bitcoins. Kleiman’s estate claimed Dave worked with CW to establish bitcoin as a cryptocurrency. This lawsuit revealed a lot of materials, which made people pay attention to Dave Kleiman and suspect that he is Satoshi Nakamoto.
Dave was a self-taught genius in encrypted computer science, this is something he shares with Satoshi Nakamoto. Some could argue that his military background explains why Satoshi was good at evading investigations and staying in the shadows.
Dave Kleiman died on 26th April 2013. Could this be the explanation of Satoshi’s disappearance?
Everyone is Satoshi Nakamoto
All the candidates mentioned above, except Craig Wright, denied that they are Satoshi Nakamoto. Satoshi’s anonymous identity is a benefit for Bitcoin and himself. Maybe Satoshi is still alive, no one can verify that, but what really matters is that the vision that he created continues to live. And finding out his real identity may not be so important because as long as we believe in that vision, we can say that we are Satoshi Nakamoto.