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The REAL Satoshi Nakamoto who Actually Created Bitcoin

The inception of Bitcoin is shrouded in mystery thanks to its mysterious and elusive creator who goes by the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto.

The First Breadcrumb

In August of 2008, the first breadcrumb was dropped as Satoshi registered the domain Bitcoin.org with a website that allows you to anonymously register domain names.

Now, just 15 years later, Bitcoin is worth over $800 billion.

We’re going to go over the timeline of clues and the prevailing theories as to who is Satoshi Nakamoto. Let’s get into it.

On the go? Watch my video HERE.

The Second Breadcrumb

The second breadcrumb was dropped at 2:10 p.m. EST on January 3rd, 2009, and is the first known use of the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto.

Bitcoin Paper by Satoshi Nakamoto

The famous white paper titled “Bitcoin, a peer-to-peer electronic cash system” was published on the cryptography mailing list. This paper was authored by none other than Satoshi Nakamoto and was the world’s first introduction to Bitcoin.

The Third Breadcrumb

Looking back through the blockchain, we can see every Bitcoin transaction in its entire history. 

This is where we find our next breadcrumb: the first block, known as the Genesis block, block 0. On January 3rd, 2009, the only person who could have mined this block was Satoshi. 

“Chancellor on the brink of second bailout for banks” by the Times

This first block of 50 Bitcoins is unique in many ways, but one feature sticks out above the rest. 

This secret message functions as both a timestamp and perhaps a nod to the instability of banking at the time.

The Fourth Breadcrumb

The next breadcrumb is found again by looking through the blockchain.

The first transaction of Bitcoin happened in block 170 between Satoshi Nakamoto and Hal Finney. This transaction is hugely important for many reasons.

First, it gives us a confirmed wallet of Satoshi Nakamoto. And second, it introduces us to our first suspect.

Hal Finney

Hal Finney claims that he learned about Bitcoin from an email that Satoshi posted on the cryptography mailing list. Finney was also the first person to download the Bitcoin software, right after Satoshi Nakamoto, of course.

First to download the software and first to receive a Bitcoin transaction? That is pretty suspicious.

The Fifth Breadcrumb

Next, we have a string of breadcrumbs starting in February of 2009 as Satoshi Nakamoto started the first-ever message board post dedicated to cryptocurrency.

In this post, Satoshi describes the Bitcoin project and remains an active member of the community. Satoshi used this forum to communicate regularly with other Bitcoin developers throughout the project over the next two years until the mysterious final message.

Last message on bitcoin forum written by Satoshi Nakamoto

This period of regular communication is a very important clue because it gave experts a chance to analyze Satoshi’s timestamps of messages and patterns of speech.

First, by considering the timestamps, there is a strong chance that Satoshi lives on the West Coast of the US, the East Coast of the US, or the UK.

Second, Satoshi uses the British Commonwealth spelling of certain words as opposed to the American spelling. So, there’s a good chance that he was either educated in the UK or grew up there for a time.

Of course, it is also possible that Satoshi planted these little bits of evidence to throw us off the trail.

The Sixth Breadcrumb

On December 12th, 2010, Satoshi sent the final public message on the Bitcoin forums.

There wasn’t anything about this message that screamed the final message. It was pretty standard. Satoshi was discussing different methods for defending against denial of service attacks or DOS attacks.

Last message on bitcoin forum written by Satoshi Nakamoto

And then poof, no more Satoshi.

No more public presence at least. At this point, Satoshi only communicated by email with a few select members of the Bitcoin development team, Gavin Anderson and Mike Hearn.

But it wasn’t long before Satoshi said goodbye to both of these key players as well.

The Seventh Breadcrumb

On April 23, 2011, Satoshi sent the now legendary farewell email to Mike Hearn. 

Last email from Satoshi Nakamoto to Mike Hearn

What Satoshi Nakamoto moved on to is unknown.

Last message from Satoshi Nakamoto to Gavin Anderson

Satoshi did not want to be in the limelight. And wouldn’t say anything else publicly except for one last five-word sentence three years later.

The Eighth Breadcrumb

In March of 2014, Newsweek discovered an individual by the name of Dorian Prentice Satoshi Nakamoto who lived in Temple City, California.

Dorian Prentice Satoshi Nakamoto

This man also happened to work as a systems engineer for classified defense projects and as a computer engineer for financial information service companies.

On top of all that, he lived just two blocks away from Hal Finney, the guy who received the first ever Bitcoin transaction and was the first one besides Satoshi himself to download the Bitcoin software.

After all this came to light, almost immediately on March 7th, 2014, Satoshi Nakamoto broke radio silence on the Bitcoin forum that he started long ago with a single five-word sentence stating: “ I am not Dorian Nakamoto.”

“I am not Dorian Nakamoto”

Interesting that Satoshi would break the silence so abruptly just to deny this one particular identity.

In interviews, Dorian would go on to deny any involvement in Bitcoin. Of course, I think that’s exactly what Satoshi would say.

In any case, most people agree that Dorian Nakamoto is probably not Satoshi, despite the many coincidences.

And the next prime suspect wouldn’t hit the media for over a year.

Let me know in the comments if you think you already know who the true Satoshi Nakamoto is. I would be curious to see your guesses.

The Ninth Breadcrumb

In December of 2015, WIRED Magazine wrote a profile on Craig Wright, an Australian scientist, claiming it had the strongest evidence yet of Satoshi Nakamoto’s true identity.

A cryptocurrency paper that was published on Wright’s blog months before the Bitcoin white paper was circulating

Leaked correspondences and emails with Wright’s lawyers that referenced a peer-to-peer distributed ledger

Transcripts from meetings with tax officials and attorneys where Wright admitted to running Bitcoin behind the scenes.

WIRED article profiling Craig Wright (since updated)

Craig Wright would publicly claim to be Satoshi Nakamoto, but the world would demand proof.

The Tenth Breadcrumb

In May 2016, in a hotel room in London, Gavin Anderson of the Bitcoin Foundation met with Craig Wright to seek proof.

During their meeting, Wright was able to sign a message using a private key that was used to mine one of the first 50 blocks of Bitcoin, a private key that only Satoshi should have access to.

The Eleventh Breadcrumb

And right when things are looking to be solved, Internet sleuths find inconsistencies with his story.

It turns out much of the initial evidence that was given to WIRED Magazine was either backdated or tampered with. Additionally, the signature that Wright used to convince Anderson was found to be a counterfeit.

Gavin Anderson publicly claimed that he had been tricked by Craig Wright (updated)

Anderson eventually came out publicly against Wright and claimed that he had been tricked.

To this day, Craig Wright still claims to be Satoshi Nakamoto on his website despite never moving a single Bitcoin that has been confirmed to be owned by Satoshi Nakamoto, or logging on to any of Satoshi’s confirmed blog accounts.

Craig Wright still claiming that he was Satoshi Nakamoto on his website

Was Craig Wright one of the people that you guessed was Satoshi Nakamoto? In my opinion, I don’t think he fits the bill. I just don’t believe Satoshi Nakamoto would claim to be Satoshi Nakamoto.

The Twelfth Breadcrumb

The most compelling case that I have seen for the identity of Satoshi Nakamoto is a man who never had any direct communication with Satoshi Nakamoto.

In fact, in the last eight years of evidence that I just went through, he never came up once, almost like he was being intentionally avoided. This is especially strange because of the huge impact he had on Bitcoin itself.

Nick Szabo created Bitgold in 1998, a sketch for a decentralized cryptocurrency that employed Bitgold miners to tackle intricate mathematical puzzles and includes Adam Beck’s Hashcash proof-of-work algorithm, both of which are key components in Bitcoin’s framework.

Nick Szabo

The similarities are just too numerous to ignore. So why wasn’t it referenced at all in Bitcoin’s white paper?

Nick Szabo even reached out to the big names in cryptography for assistance in programming Bitgold just six months before the white paper of Bitcoin dropped.

Paper on Bit gold published by Nick Szabo in 2005

But what’s even more suspicious is Szabo backdated that article to make it appear that it was published after Bitcoin’s white paper.

Why would he do that?

Satoshi Nakamoto seemed to deliberately avoid mentioning Bitgold or Szabo, which is incredibly strange given the similarities.

Message on bitcoin forum written by Satoshi Nakamoto claiming that Bitcoin is an implementation of Wei Dai’s b-money and Nick Szabo’s Bitgold

But if you look at the original white paper sources, Wei Dai’s b-money is there but Nick Szabo’s Bitgold is not. Satoshi admits that bit gold is a precursor to Bitcoin but does not cite it. 

Is that because you don’t have to cite yourself?

Additionally, experts have conducted studies of Szabo’s writing and coding styles and found striking similarities to Satoshi Nakamoto’s known writings.

Nick Szabo even lives on the West Coast, which matches the timestamps of Satoshi’s known writings.

Nick Szabo has been asked again and again if he is Satoshi Nakamoto, and he emphatically denies it every time. 

But isn’t that what Satoshi would say?

Unfortunately, there is no direct evidence that any one person is Satoshi Nakamoto. But is that a feature of Bitcoin or a bug? Just like it’s very difficult to trace Satoshi, it is very difficult to trace Bitcoin transactions. But not impossible.

Check out this video where I go over all the common mistakes that people make when interacting with Bitcoin so you can learn how to protect your privacy on the Bitcoin network.

Until next time.

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