On October 31st, 2008 a person that went by the alias of Satoshi Nakamoto revealed to the technology world his vision of a new currency called Bitcoin. But who exactly was Satoshi Nakatomo? Well when Bitcoin was first proposed in 2009 on metzdowd.com, the author claimed to be a Japanese man in his mid-30’s. Since then, many have attempted to discover the true origin of the man, woman, or even team behind the alias.
The mysterious founder has since left a few clues, or perhaps diversions, that help to indicate exactly who it could be. Many believe that Satoshi is not even of Japanese origin, most believing that they are of British origin due to several indications:
For one, there was the occasional use of British English terminology in his messages.
Second, the timing of the posts created by Satoshi was usually silent during the sleeping hours of 5 AM-11 AM British time.
Third, the English used in the emails was so fluent that people did not believe he could be of Japanese origin.
People then started speculating on who it was, deducing it to someone in the cryptography and technology world. At first, people thought it was a man named Hal Finney, who just happened to be a cryptography engineer, was the first person to use Bitcoin, and his writing style was like that of the original author.
Another man who seemed the most likely to be Satoshi, was a man named Dorian Satoshi Nakamoto, and lived in the same town as Hal Finney. Many seemed to believe they were working together and that Hal was simply Dorian’s ghostwriter.
Finally, Wired wrote an article on Craig Steven Wright, an Australian computer scientist, being Satoshi. While all other persons accused of being Satoshi denied it, Craig was the only one that claimed to be Satoshi after the Wired article was written. He wrote in a blog post that he was the founder and would later go on to post proof. But the crypto world stayed skeptical, and after promising to publish the proof he deleted all his blog posts leaving one saying he did not have the courage to continue supporting his claim of being the real Satoshi Nakamoto.
So why are people so adamant about finding out who Satoshi Nakamoto was? One of the reasons the American government took interest in the matter is because they suspected that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies could become weaponized. So, under the Obama administration, the NSA started sorting through trillions of documents and messages on the internet using stylometry, which is a method that can find the same author of different documents by comparing sentence structure. Through this, they can create a digital thumbprint that can match any document to any person. Alexander Muse of on Medium.com claims to have a source in the Department of Homeland Security, claiming that the DHS knows the real name of Satoshi but cannot confirm their real identity.
While there are still efforts being made to discover the real Satoshi Nakamoto, the experts of the crypto world have all concluded that it is almost impossible to find the person, or people, behind the name. It’s clear that the founder, or founders, of one of the most complex cryptographical visions, had no interest in being discovered. And they succeeded.