Over the decade, bitcoin’s popularity and value have grown thanks to an increase in adoption and acceptance of Bitcoin as a digital currency around the world. A popular feature of Bitcoin is its decentralised nature, which means that no one person, organisation or government controls it.
As the recognition of Bitcoin increases, people are more curious to learn about digital currency and how it works. But also, it has spurred the question of “who created Bitcoin?”
Bitcoin was created by Satoshi Nakamoto but you have probably heard that before. But really, who is this Satoshi Nakamoto? Well, Satoshi Nakamoto is a pseudonym for a person or entity. The cryptography community heard about Satoshi in relationship to Bitcoin back in 2008, when he published the paper “A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System'', which focused on educating the community on what Bitcoin entails and how it works. The Bitcoin software was subsequently released in 2009.
Since then, this entity has released some documents, interacted on forums relating to Bitcoin with the name Satoshi Nakamoto as he spread the idea. But, before Satoshi went under the radar in April 2015, he stated that he was male, Japanese, and born on April 5th, 1975.
Before the development of Bitcoin, there have been attempts by several developers to create a digital currency base. However, bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency and is still the most successful cryptocurrency at present. Satoshi is the brilliant mind responsible for coming up with the codebase, protocol, and software that represents bitcoin. While the real identity of Nakamoto remains unknown, a lot of people have speculated that certain people are Satoshi.
Increased interest in Bitcoin has led to several people speculating about the founder and some even falsely claiming to be Satoshi. Some of the individuals who have been speculated over the years to be Satoshi include:
Hal Finney is one of the first users of bitcoin and one of the firsts to mine bitcoin. It makes a lot of sense why Hal would be considered Satoshi as he was a software developer and the first person to test run bitcoin. However, until his death in 2014, Hal vehemently denied being Satoshi Nakamoto.
Another individual popularly considered Satoshi is Nick Szabo. Nick is a notable computer scientist who initially proposed a digital currency "bit gold" in 2005. However, his mannerism and communications within the cypherpunk community are largely similar to Satoshi's. Although Nick has repeatedly denied being Satoshi, a lot of people are still not convinced. For them, there seems a lot of similarities between the two personalities and the currency's name.
Craig Wright, an Australian computer scientist, recently declared himself Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of Bitcoin. In his claim, Craig noted that he worked with the deceased Dave Kleimen in creating Bitcoin. He showed evidence of his claim, which included his correspondence and chat transcript with an acquaintance. However, despite his claim, a significant number of the bitcoin community are still sceptical and demand more concrete proof.
You may be wondering why Satoshi has remained anonymous all this while, especially seeing that his idea has grown so much and is now widely accepted. In fact, Satoshi has a large stash of bitcoin in his possession which means he’s quite a rich man now considering how much bitcoin’s value has appreciated.
But there are concerns about what would happen to Satoshi, bitcoin’s price as well as the whole Bitcoin network if the identity of Satoshi were to come to light now and the effect his bitcoins would have if they were to be released into the network.
There are lots of theories on why Satoshi has decided to keep his identity secret. Some of these theories include:
Satoshi noted a need for an electronic means of payment based on cryptographic proof rather than trust. This would allow parties to transact directly between themselves without the need for an external trusted third party. Some believe Satoshi might have chosen to keep his identity private for this sole reason: he does not want Bitcoin to be tied to anyone or any organisation. He might prefer that people use bitcoin because they had trust that the bitcoin network and blockchain would safeguard their interests.
The value of bitcoin has increased over the years, leaving bitcoin worth over $50 000 dollars as at February 18th, 2021. In this regard, Satoshi might have feared for his life and wellbeing, which is why he chose to keep his identity a secret. Satoshi owns an impressive stash of bitcoin that could make him a target of criminal masterminds seeking to get their hands on his bitcoin.
One of the theories is that Satoshi isn’t just one person but a group of developers who worked tirelessly to create bitcoin. Many people believe this because it is intriguing that a person has such a good grasp of computer programming and economics to create a renowned currency like Bitcoin. The fact that Bitcoin might have been a collaboration may make the group of developers in charge sceptical about revealing their identities to satisfy the Bitcoin community's curiosity.
However, regardless of the reason for keeping his identity secret, the decision has no notable effect on the Bitcoin network because it is decentralised. Individuals can complete transactions on the blockchain and have faith in the system, which is perhaps one reason his identity was kept secret in the first place.
The real identity of Satoshi Nakamoto is unknown but we know one thing for sure: he is one very wealthy man. Satoshi mined the first bitcoin in 2009. Crypto experts have been able to track the bitcoin mined by Satoshi, stating that he had over a million bitcoin in his name.
Bitcoin has increased in value since that time, reaching over $50,000 per bitcoin. Assuming Satoshi, since his last 50BTC transaction with Hal Finney, hasn't spent a single satoshi, he would have about 1.1 million bitcoins today. That would be worth over US$55 billion!
On April 23rd, 2011, Satoshi sent a brief email to Bitcoin Core developer Mike Hearn informing him that he had decided to move on to other things. He noted that Bitcoin's future was in good hands thus marking his exit from the forefront of cryptocurrency. However, no one knows where Satoshi is presently or if he is still alive. We can only assume that Satoshi is enjoying his private life.
Perhaps, one day Satoshi may decide to reveal himself, which would come as a lot of interest to the Bitcoin community. However, till then, the Bitcoin creator's identity and location are unknown.
The real identity of Satoshi remains unknown, with a lot of speculations surrounding his real identity. However, the Bitcoin community can only be sure about Satoshi's identity when they are provided with substantial evidence. Satoshi hodls a lot of bitcoin, which can change the market if released within a timeframe. Although Satoshi Nakamoto has long since exited the forefront of cryptocurrency, brilliant developers from across the world are still working hand-in-hand to promote his cause.
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