Till now we all are familiar that Satoshi Nakamoto is the founder of bitcoin. Satoshi is a pseudonymous person or a group of people who created the technology around Bitcoin and published the whitepaper of “A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash system”. He worked on the software and the communication with him was done electronically and hence there are no details about him. The last time any communication with Satoshi was made was through an email in 2010. The email conversation was with a software developer where he mentioned that he had “moved on to other things”. There have been many people who have claimed to be Satoshi Nakamoto till date but no one has been verified. Lets look at some of the people who probably could be Satoshi-
Hal Finney is one of the first few adopters of Bitcoin. He received the first transaction from Satoshi. He was a cryptographic pioneer before bitcoin and was the first person other than Nakamoto to make improvements and file bug reports of the software. Forbes journalist Andy Greenberg claimed that Hal is Satoshi. He pointed out the following points-
- Hal lived near a Japanese man named ‘Dorian Satoshi Nakamoto’
- Greenberg compared samples of Finley’s writing to Satoshi’s and found it to be similar.
- He made a theory that Hal was using the identity of his neighbour Dorian to keep his identity discrete.
But later after Greenberg met Finney and after verifying emails and transactions between him and Nakamoto, Greenberg announced that Finney is not Nakamoto. Apart from Greenberg many other people also believe Finney to be Nakamoto. Unfortunately Finney suffered a paralytic attack in early 2013 and passed away in August,2014.
The next suspect in line is Hal Finney’s neighbour- Dorian. He is a systems enginner on classified defense projects as well as computer enginner for financial and technolgy information services. His misery started when Newsweek Magazine journalist Leah McGrath Goodman claimed in a high-profile article on 6 March 2014 that Dorian is the Bitcoin Founder. She pointed out that Dorian was a Japanese American and by birth his name was Satoshi Nakamoto.
Apart from the name, the second point in favour of him being Nakamoto was that after being laid off twice in the 1990s, he turned into a libertarian and advised his daughter to start her business “not under the government’s thumb.”
The biggest point Goodman announced was that Dorian in an interview said that he was no longer associated with Bitcoin and that he had handed over the reigns to other people who are now in charge of it.
The article was a distress for Dorian as Goodman published a picture of him and his house in the Magazine. Journalists and reporters started to camp outside his house and would follow him everywhere he went. In later interviews, Dorian denied his connection with Bitcoin and said he didn’t know what it was. He also said that he had misunderstood Goodman’s question as being something related to his previous works for Military contractors. During this time the unidentified Nakamoto of Bitcoin posted a message for the first time in five years on his P2P foundation account- “I am not Dorian Nakamoto.”. The authenticity of this message is under the scanner as later it was learnt through another message from the foundation’s account that it was hacked.
Nick Szabo graduated in computer science from the University of Washington. He researched and specialised in digital contracts, cryptography, computer science and digital currency. The phrase “smart contracts” which is an essential feature of most crypto was named by Szabo . He wanted to implement the laws of contract into electronic commerce. He also designed “Bit gold” which was supposed to be a decentralised digital currency but it was never actually created. Bitcoin’s architecture is derived from this and it is also known as “a direct precursor to Bitcoin.” He is known for being pseudonymous.
These facts led financial author Dominic Frisby to belive that Szabo is Nakamoto. But Szabo has always denied being Nakamoto.
Another computer engineer who is known for his contributions in cryptography. He published b-money in 1998 which is a decentralised electronic payments system where people could make payments pseudonomously. B-money is described as “money which is impossible to regulate.” The principles of this were implemented in Bitcoin. He was one of the first people contacted by Satoshi and is also speculated to be a part of the pseudo group of Satoshi Nakamoto.
He is the most controversial candidate of them all. He is the only one who claims himself to be Satoshi Nakamoto whereas the others have denied. He is a computer scientist and businessman from Australia. He came into focus when two different investigations made by Wired and Gizmodo revealed that Wright could be the founder of Bitcoin. However later it was found out that Wright was engaged in an elaborate hoax.
He tried his best to prove that he is Satoshi Nakamoto. He once posted a blog on his website http://www.drcraigwright.net with a message and a cryptographic signature attached. Dan Kaminsky, a security researcher proved that Wright’s claim was a hoax and he had just copied an old signature from a BTC transaction of Satoshi in 2009.
Later in 2019, Wright told Finer that Bitcoin was created by a group of people. He was the head of the project and Dave Kleiman and Hal Finley were with him.
He was an America computer forensics expert. He died in the year 2013. He was never questioned if he was Satoshi, as it was only in late December 2015 that Gizmodo reported the possibility of Kleiman being involved in the creation of Bitcoin.
Dave’s brother Ira, the executor of his estate filed a lawsuit in 2018 against Wright, claiming that he owes Kleiman his share of around 550,000 to 1,100,000 Bitcoins. The estate has alleged that Kleiman worked with Wright in the foundation of Bitcoin. The case is still going out in the courts and there has been no judgement till date.
No one really knows if Satoshi is one of the above or a group of the above listed or maybe someone who isn’t even listed here. Whomsoever he may be, he surely has made an eight wonder of the world – Bitcoin.To buy Bitcoin you can create an account here. In a way it’s also good that his identity is anonymous. Governments, Banks and others who have been against Bitcoin would have cracked him down. To maintain his safety and privacy it was important that he kept his identity unknown.