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Who Is Satoshi Nakamoto?

Since its inception, one of the biggest question marks over Bitcoin hasn’t been about the cryptocurrency itself. Little is known about the individual behind the world’s most popular crypto asset. Whether Satoshi Nakamoto is a pseudonym, alias, or real name is anybody’s guess. 

It’s all the more remarkable considering that, in an era where staying anonymous is next to impossible, the world has no idea about who the founder of Bitcoin really is. The last recorded communication by the person behind the name Satoshi Nakamoto was in April 2011. This was a little over 2 years after the currency’s initial release.

Satoshi Nakamoto: Understanding the Name Behind the Idea

For many, Satoshi Nakamoto remains the biggest enigma within the crypto industry. Till now, it’s not clear whether the moniker refers to a single person or a bunch of individuals acting and working collectively. What the world knows for sure at this point is that a paper was published “by Satoshi Nakamoto” in 2008. This publication initiated the development of the most popular cryptocurrency on the planet today.

Titled Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System,the paper detailed a peer-to-peer network that could solve the “double-spending” issue. The problem of duplicating digital currencies and tokens in multiple transactions doesn’t exist in physical currencies. This is because the nature of a fiat currency note or coin is such that it can only exist in one place at a time.

On the flip side, a digital currency doesn’t operate in a physical space. This means that its use in a transaction doesn’t necessarily take it away from someone’s possession. In other words, it’s a trust-based model where the trading entities depend on the guarantee of a highly scrupulous (apparently) third party.

However, this trust-based digital currency system doesn’t work if there are any doubts about the integrity of this third group that serves as a guarantor. When the guaranteeing entity cannot be trusted to do its job honestly, it puts the whole system at serious risk of financial fraud and malpractice. Moreover, the third party can only be removed if sufficient cryptography has been developed within the transactions.

To that end, Nakamoto introduced a decentralized approach to financial exchanges. This eventually led to the creation of Blockchain, which was a “digital ledger” that included timestamps for every transaction. Every new bit of dealing between the involved trading parties became part of a new “block” which was added to the network at the end of previous transactions. Based on a “proof of work” mechanism, the network created an unalterable historical record that could only be viewed by the members of that particular Blockchain system.

The record of transactions was spread across multiple nodes within the Blockchain setup. This made it extremely difficult, if not downright impossible, for any shady characters to gain enough control over the network to manipulate the financial records for their own advantage. Furthermore, the data on a Blockchain network stayed safe because the magnitude of computational power needed to alter it wasn’t possible to obtain for many. This ended up discouraging most types of attacks.

The History & Evolution of Satoshi Nakamoto

The persona behind the name Satoshi Nakamoto was heavily involved in the development of Bitcoin during its early days. He is known to have actively worked on the first version of the software that came out in 2009. Almost all the communication between Nakamoto and others was done electronically. The lack of personal details made it difficult to figure out Nakamoto’s actual identity, assuming that this is just an “alias” or “pseudonym” or “pen name.”.

It seems, however, that Nakamoto ended his association with Bitcoin in 2010, though there isn’t enough concrete evidence to say that for sure. The last apparently public correspondence that anyone had with the Bitcoin founder was an email to some crypto developer. In it, Nakamoto had talked about “moving on to other things.”

Since then, the popularity, number, and notoriety of cryptocurrencies has increased manifold. Nevertheless, the inability to figure out the identity of Satoshi Nakamoto continues to remain one of the biggest modern mysteries.

Despite the anonymity, it is believed that Nakamoto holds around 1 million Bitcoins. The value of these tokens is estimated to be more than $50 billion. Considering that the total number of Bitcoins generated to date is around 21 million, Nakamoto’s stake makes up 5% of the total public holdings of this digital currency. That’s a fair bit of market power!

Satoshi Nakamoto: The Identity Reveal

Over time, various individuals have been thought of as the “real” Satoshi Nakamoto. However, there’s no conclusive proof that pegs any of them as Mr. Nakamoto for sure. These include Dorian Nakamoto, Nick Szabo, Hal Finney, and Craig Wright among others.

Nick Szabo

Nick Szabo has been one of the earliest crypto enthusiasts. He also has a wide social circle within the crypto world. Back in 2005, he penned a blog post about a potential digital currency by the name of “Bitgold” that wouldn’t rely on third-party trust.

Dorian Nakamoto

Californian engineer and academic Dorian Nakamoto was called “the creator of Bitcoin” in a 2014 Newsweek article by Leah McGrath Goodman. One of the lines in the piece was as follows,

“The clues examined by Newsweek led the team to a 64-year-old Japanese-American engineer and academic whose real name happens to be Satoshi Nakamoto.” However, Dorian himself has vehemently denied being the man behind the emergence of Bitcoin. Subsequent digging by the magazine also ruled him out as the individual who has so far evaded any public detection.

Hal Finney

Bitcoin emerged from the cypherpunk movement, and Hal Finney was one of its cornerstones. Having passed away in 2014, he was an active part of the Bitcoin community. He is also known to be the first person who received Bitcoin through a transaction. Interestingly enough, Finney used to live just a couple of blocks from Dorian Nakamoto. Just a coincidence, or is there more to the story? No one knows for sure! 

Final Words

Cryptocurrency & Fiat Currency In a Wallet
Inside View of a Hypothetical Wallet with Cryptocurrency (In Golden Coinage) On One Side & US Dollars On the Other.

The identity of Satoshi Nakamoto remains a major mystery of our time. Will the world ever find out who the person behind the invention of Bitcoin really is? Only time will tell!

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