Bitcoin is often considered to be the most innovative and disruptive technology of the 21st Century. Many people believe that Bitcoin’s invention can be as significant as the creation of the internet.
However, there is still much debate about the mysterious identification of the secret founder of Bitcoin who is known by their pseudonymous name called Satoshi Nakamoto. This article is an investigation into tracing the known information about Satoshi and everything that is known about them.
Who is Satoshi Nakamoto?
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These days every person has heard about Bitcoin blockchain on account of its popularity on social media networks and among celebrities. However, even the top computer scientists have refrained from revealing who is Satoshi Nakamoto and why they chose to remain hidden.
The reason that so many people are curious about finding the real identity of Satoshi Nakamoto is that they are attributed to be the real founder of the Bitcoin blockchain. Bitcoin blockchain essentially gave birth to the entire cryptocurrency market which was valued at $3 trillion at its peak last year.
What Do We Know About Satoshi Nakamoto?
Some many theories and claims are related to the identification of Satoshi Nakamoto. Some people have come forward to claim that they are the real Satoshi Nakamoto. On the other hand, some investigators have tried to point out the top candidates who can be Satoshi Nakamoto based on their experience and qualifications.
Meanwhile, some people believe that Satoshi Nakamoto could be a group of people who have come together to create the Bitcoin blockchain.
However, Satoshi Nakamoto has maintained their privacy in every possible manner. They remained active online using their pseudonymous title and they also participated in various online forums using the same assumed digital identification.
Furthermore, Satoshi has also published a Whitepaper for Bitcoin. They also have a known digital wallet with a specified amount of Bitcoin reserves. However, the wallet has remained inactive for years leading people to believe that Satoshi might not be alive anymore.
What is Bitcoin Whitepaper?
The Bitcoin Whitepaper was published in 2008 by the cryptic founder of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto. The Whitepaper was published in a cryptographic mailing list platform that is known as Metzdowd. The main reason for the publication of the Bitcoin Whitepaper was to share the research and ideology of the Bitcoin blockchain with the world.
It also proves that the Bitcoin project is not a random cryptocurrency but rather based on planned research and a product of academic deliberation. People who are interested in Bitcoin should read the Bitcoin Whitepaper that can be found on the site called Bitcoin.org.
It is interesting to note that as per the investigators at Business insider, the Bitcoin.org website was registered by a person called Satoshi Nakamoto and it was first registered as anonymousspeech.com. However, another developer named Martti Malmi became the owner of the Bitcoin.org domain.
As per this article, the first interaction of Martti Malmi with Satoshi happened in 2011. The old domain was accepting cash and e-gold (an older version of digital currency). It is speculated that Satoshi purchased the Bitcoin.org website domain in E-gold to keep their identity a secret.
On the other hand, some sources claim that Satoshi bought the domain as early as 2008. At present, the website Bitcoin.org has hosted by another pseudonymous developer named Cobra. Cobra is also active on Twitter with an eponymous account.
However, the admin of Bitcoin.org has chosen not to reveal their name, identity, or address thus far. During a legal battle concerning the identification of Satoshi Nakamoto, Cobra tweeted that they are ready to reveal their real identity to back up their legal claims against self-professed Satoshi named Craig Wright.
Key Points Mentioned in Bitcoin Whitepaper
Here are some of the key features that are mentioned in the Bitcoin Whitepaper that every cryptocurrency investor should know. Furthermore, these points may help the investors and investigators to find out the real identity of the Bitcoin founder. Some of the key points and highlights from the Whitepaper are mentioned as under:
Introduction to Bitcoin
The first part of the Bitcoin Whitepaper is concerned with the introduction of Bitcoin and what was the ideology of the founder behind creating it. As per this document, the main purpose of Bitcoin was to create a reliable and trustless peer-to-peer cash transfer system that can effectively serve as a placeholder for a bank.
Therefore, such a digital payment network would require a solid security protocol. The system should be able to eliminate the risk of double-spend which entails that hackers can manipulate online ledgers. This problem can be solved by the creation of a decentralized system.
The next part of the Bitcoin Whitepaper concluded that the users must come up with a code that can eliminate the risk of transaction manipulation using encryption technology.
For this reason, the Bitcoin Whitepaper shared the combination of public and private keys which are interlinked with each other but are never identical.
The public key is like a bank account number while the private key is like the secret code to access that account. In the absence of a centralized warrantor, a person can secure their digital wallet access using a public and private keys.
The third section of the Bitcoin Whitepaper talks about Distributed Timestamp Server. It means that the Bitcoin server will maintain a consolidated record of transactions based on effective timestamps. This mechanism was necessary to ensure that any hackers are unable to manipulate the transaction records.
While the Bitcoin blockchain adds records of different transactions one after another stacking the Timestamp software will create time records for each hash of the block at the same time.
Proof of Work
The proof of Work mechanism is a consensus model for Bitcoin that is used to verify transaction authentication on the block. It means that there are miners who set up computing machines to solve the cryptic puzzle of each Bitcoin transaction.
Since in this verification process, miners are competing with each other to get the mining reward and the transaction fee. Therefore, this is called the Proof of Work or PoW model. Once the transaction has been verified, it can be added to the core blockchain.
Bitcoin Whitepaper switches to the matter of Bitcoin transactions. In a typical digital payment network, the record of the transaction is between the sender, receiver, and the admins of the channel.
However, Bitcoin is an open-sourced and permissioned network. It means that all the transactions on Bitcoin are sent to all its nodes. It is important to note that anyone can become an independent Bitcoin server by running a full node.
In this manner, Bitcoin does not depend on a centralized server. Additionally, the record of every single transaction happening on Bitcoin is sent to all its nodes.
In this section, Bitcoin founder Satoshi Nakamoto discusses the issue of incentivizing miners for setting up mining machines to verify transactions. Therefore, the users who are performing Bitcoin transactions are required to pay a specified fee which is known as transaction cost.
The Bitcoin blockchain also releases new Bitcoins as rewards for miners that undergo halving every four years. Once all Bitcoins are mined, the miners could keep earning profits with Bitcoin transaction fees.
Bitcoin miners are distributed to make sure that no single entity controls more than 50% of Bitcoin hashrate or mining power to prevent a 51% attack.
The structure of the Bitcoin blockchain is designed to be immutable which means that it aims to remain unchanged for a longer duration. Satoshi Nakamoto claimed in Whitepaper that a blank Bitcoin block has a digital size of 80 bytes.
To save space for users with limited hard disk capacity, he proposed that archived transactions can be discarded to make room for new transactions.
Rather than breaking the cryptographic structure, these discarded hashes can be reduced into a singular hash using Merkle Tree. Merkle Tree is used for transaction verification, using a hierarchical system of hashes distribution.
In the case of Bitcoin, the reduced hash is known as the root hash which is the uppermost hash in Merkle Tree and it is part of the block header.
Although anyone can run the full Bitcoin node, many people have limited resources or technical knowledge. Therefore, Satoshi suggested that there was a way to perform transaction verification in the absence of full node operators.
Therefore, there is a way for users can download block headers and connect them with Merkle Tree with their respective blocks that are provided as proof of inclusion. This means that the users can download one branch of Merkle Tree and check is if it contains the same root hash for authentication purposes.
Combining and Splitting
In case a Bitcoin transaction contains multiple inputs and outputs, the final node will need to combine all the hashes. Therefore, there is an option for Bitcoin users to add many inputs and outputs due to its splitting and combining value protocol.
The privacy on a Bitcoin blockchain is conditioned. The users on the blockchain can approach and check every single transaction record on the network due to its publicized nature.
However, the users do not need to provide their identifications such as legal name, address, or any state-issued identity document to create a digital wallet address on the Bitcoin network.
Another layer of privacy on the Bitcoin network is added by recommending the users use a new public/private key pair for every new transaction.
The conclusive part of the Bitcoin Whitepaper contains a set of complex calculations and presentations to ascertain that it would be very difficult for any attacker or hacker to break into the network and manipulate the ledger.
Furthermore, Satoshi also worked out the threat of any user creating a rival chain as a forgery of the Bitcoin blockchain. In theory, it requires copious amounts of computing power to achieve a Bitcoin attack that is only possible with quantum computers.
Given the popularity of Bitcoin and the fact that it has never been reportedly hacked, Satoshi Nakamoto has managed to gain a cult following among people around the world.
However, many people have come forward with claims to be the real Satoshi Nakamoto. Some of them are as under:
Craig Wright is a Computer Scientist hailing from Australia who has come out as the real person behind Satoshi Nakamoto. However, the issue has not been settled yet. His story was published by two major publications named Wired and Gizmodo in 2015. He is also the person who went head to head with the pseudonymous admin of Bitcoin.org Cobra during a legal battle. A Norwegian blogger Hodlonaut has filed a lawsuit against Wright to disprove his claims in court.
Another person who claims to be the real Satoshi Nakamoto is Phil Wilson. Wilson is also known as Scronty and he is a self-taught programmer and cryptographer. He has published his work-related emails that contained correspondence with Craig Wright.
Furthermore, he also claimed to work on the Bitcoin project and was co-author of the Bitcoin Whitepaper alongside Craig Wright and Dave Kleiman.
Wilson has also revealed that half of the Bitcoin under the custody of Satoshi is under the custody of Wright as per the agreement between the three purported collaborators of the Bitcoin project. The proverbial jury is still out on the matter.
The third person who has come forward with the claim to be a Bitcoin creator is Dave Kleiman. He was a computer forensics expert who is often thought to be either Satoshi Nakamoto or a co-creator of Bitcoin.
However, Kleiman passed away in 2013 on account of his injuries from a motorcycle accident that confined him to a wheelchair for several years. At the time of his death, Kleiman was 46 and spending his days in destitution. His dead body was found in Riviera Beach at his Florida House.
The circumstances around his murder are very mysterious as bottles of alcohol and the gun shell was discovered. His brother Ira Kleiman has also filed a case against Wright.
People Who Might be Satoshi Nakamoto
The matter of the real identity of Satoshi Nakamoto is always wrapped up in an envelope of mystery and intrigue. Here is a list of some programming experts who have been identified by others to be the real Satoshi Nakamoto:
He is a Japanese American physicist who is often thought to be Satoshi Nakamoto. The main reason for his claim to being Satoshi is his name, his proximity with other computer scientists and cryptographers, and his surname.
However, Dorian has explicitly told the Associated Press that he has got nothing to do with Bitcoin creation.
Hal Finney was the first person to receive a Bitcoin from Satoshi Nakamoto. He was a renowned computer scientist from the USA. The investigators have compared his writings with Satoshi’s online posts.
However, Finney passed away in 2014 due to complications from ALS and was cryopreserved at Alcor Life Extension Foundation.
Nick Szabo is the creator of smart contracts, which is an automation protocol that is ingrained in the decentralized network of the Bitcoin blockchain.
He was also associated with Bit gold, a forerunning project before the Bitcoin invention. Furthermore, his writing style has also been matched with Satoshi’s blogs.
Bram Cohen is another programming expert who shares the same DOB as Satoshi Nakamoto. He has been associated with digital currency projects before Bitcoin called Bits.
He invented Bittorrent and also registered a domain called Bitcoinconjurer.org. His blog posts slowed down during the period when Satoshi was active online.
Gavin Andresen is the creator of the first Bitcoin faucet in 2010. When Satoshi retired he passed the reins to Andresen in 2010. As per the study conducted by stylometry, the writing style of Andresen resembles most with Satoshi most in comparison to any other candidate.
Paul Le Roux
Paul Le Roux is an encrypted software developer, drug smuggler, pharmaceutical expert, arms dealer, and political usurper. All his activities are shrouded with adventure and controversy.
There are some claims on his pharmaceutical website that are attributed to be proof of him being Satoshi. However, his style does not match the operating methods of Satoshi.
Vili Lehdonvirta is an associate professor and Senior Research participant at Oxford Internet Institute. He was nominated as a potential Satoshi Nakamoto candidate by an article in New Yorker in 2011. However, Lehdonvirta has published an article that Bitcoin is not a currency and it would be worthless if it becomes one.
The speculation about uncovering the real identity of Satoshi Nakamoto is a rabbit hole filled with mysterious occurrences, strange coincidences, and sudden dead ends.
It is safe to assume that in the upper echelons of tech and programming, Satoshi is seen as somewhat of a celebrity. The absent Bitcoin founder was also nominated for a Noble Prize for Economics in 2016. However, at present no one has been able to locate Satoshi with 100% certainty.