Who Is Satoshi Nakamoto? The Complex Bitcoin Founder

Among billionaires, Satoshi Nakamoto stands out as the world’s most controversial and confusing figure. From his actual name to nationality, little is certain about this figure. However, he still has an estimated net worth of over $48 billion. At his peak, he owned over $73 billion worth of Bitcoin at the end of 2021.

So, what do we know about this mysterious figure, and why is there so much up in the air about such a highly regarded figure? Let’s talk about that. 

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Controversy Over Satoshi Nakamoto’s Identity

If there’s one thing that most people agree on about Satoshi Nakamoto, it’s that he uses a pseudonym. The name is known to us due to Mr. Nakamoto’s famous Bitcoin Whitepaper essay released in 2008. Since the launch of Bitcoin, Nakamoto likely holds 5% of all Bitcoins ever mined.

While Mr. Nakamoto claims to have been born and raised in Japan, many speculate about the truth around these statements. This is partially due to his native-level English skills and the fact that most developments in Bitcoin took place in the US and Europe. 

Nakomoto has never spoken out loud to the press, so we still don’t know his voice. All of the evidence surrounding his identity lies in his essays and his leaked draft emails and forum posts from 2010. However, that hasn’t stopped people from trying to identify him!

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Rumors About Satoshi Nakamoto’s Identity

Many have sought to solve the mysteries behind Satoshi’s controversial identity questions. While most of these ideas are speculative, they are the best we have to date.

Nakomoto Is a Team of People

Many have speculated that Satoshi Nakamoto is a team rather than one specific person. The evidence for this is the complex work it would entail to create such complex tools as cryptocurrency and Bitcoin mining. This has led many experts to suggest that Satoshi is either a group of people operating under one pseudonym or is one genius with an incredible work ethic.

Nakomoto Is Dead

While this would be genuinely unsatisfying to those curious enough to solve the mystery, Satoshi Nakomoto may be deceased. After his last update in December of 2010 to warn about Bitcoin’s vulnerability to DoS attacks, nobody has heard from Nakomoto.

Also, many believe that the Bitcoin held by Nakomoto was never claimed, which is why he likely holds so much of it. If that’s true, he hasn’t been spending his lavish riches in the last 12 years since he disappeared from the public. In that case, he has likely passed away.

One last suggestion is that if his identity was Hal Finney, as many have speculated, he was battling ALS at the time of his last post. This timeline would suggest that he did pass shortly after his last communication with the public.

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Bitcoin, Ripple, and Ethereum coins next to a flash drive

Possible Identities

Journalists, online sleuths, and Bitcoin experts have created lists of possible identities for Mr. Nakomoto. Here are the most likely candidates for the role.

Dorian Nakomoto

Newsweek was the first to identify this man as the alleged Satoshi Nakomoto, and not without evidence. The strongest is the reporting journalist’s claim that Mr. Nakomoto said he “turned it over” and was “no longer involved” with Bitcoin. After the report was published, Mr. Nakomoto withdrew this claim, saying he had nothing to do with Bitcoin. Of course, there is also the name similarity and the fact that Dorian Nakomoto was a highly qualified engineer.

Beyond that, their claims were rather dubious, citing similar political leanings and Japanese heritage as evidence that Dorian is Satoshi Nakomoto. There were several other flaws in this presumption.

First, news outlets certainly made a profit off of this speculation, as they hammered down on their findings and published the home of Dorian Nakomoto’s home, enraging the Bitcoin community. But, more importantly, Dorian Nakomoto fully denies being involved with Bitcoin.

Nick Szabo

Nick Szabo is an American philosopher, legal scholar, and computer engineer. He is most known for his work with pioneering the concept of “smart contracts” in a 1996 paper. On paper, he fits the bill of the “genius” that many claim Satoshi has to be if he is one person.

In 2014, Aston University’s Centre for Forensic Linguistics reviewed Bitcoin’s white paper in an attempt to determine the identity of Nakamoto. The group concluded that Nick Szabo is Mr. Nakomoto due to frequent linguistic similarities.

Not only that, but Mr. Szabo also created “Bit Gold” before Bitcoin’s launch. It was similar to the concept of Bitcoin, using a network of computers to create a series of bits to validate transactions.

While Nick Szabo denies being Nakomoto, there is no compelling evidence to suggest that he isn’t. Timeframes, skillsets, and linguistic analysis suggest he very well could be. 

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Craig Wright

Out of the people on this list, Craig Wright is the only one who has not denied being Satoshi Nakomoto. He has even claimed the identity. Craig Wright is an Australian computer scientist with the skills necessary to create Bitcoin. Of course, that doesn’t tell us too much.

More importantly, Mr. Wright had built a blog where he referenced a “Cryptocurrency Paper” (discovered by Wired) before Bitcoin had ever launched. However, some claim that these were backdated, along with the encryption keys linked to Satoshi, and that Mr. Wright launched these as a publicity stunt. Wired also noted that they “appeared” to be backdated upon further investigation, along with several inconsistencies in Wright’s story.

 Bitcoin coins on a laptop with a calculator

Who Is Satoshi Nakamoto

A lot is up in the air about Satoshi Nakamoto’s mysterious identity. However, some interesting candidates fit the bill, and people are continuing to work to find the identity of this mysterious crypto mastermind. 

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