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The identity of Satoshi Nakamoto is a true mystery. Some believe this is a single individual, while others believe it is a group of individuals. The most popular belief remains that Satoshi Nakamoto is a group of people who brought about the revolution called cryptocurrency and the birth of a cryptographic financial market.
Satoshi Nakamoto’s claim to fame is creating the original implementation of Bitcoin. The creation of Bitcoin also meant that the first blockchain was created, the underlying technology powering Bitcoin.
Bitcoin and hence Satoshi Nakamoto are known to have resolved a very hard problem within computer science and cryptography known as the double-spending problem.
At this point you might ask, why is it so important to know who Satoshi Nakamoto is? Life goes on without knowing who created Bitcoin and blockchain, right? Yes, it certainly will, but a lot of interest is driven by the fact that there is more than 1 million Bitcoins in the first wallet created on the Bitcoin blockchain, owned by Satoshi. That makes up more than $11 billion when this article was written and as Bitcoin continues to rise, this wallet make Satoshi Nakamoto the wealthiest person or group on earth!
According to the P2P Foundation profile, Nakamoto claims to be a man born on April 5, 1975 living in Japan. Speculation suggests that he could be a man with Japanese descent living in U.S. or Europe, having cryptographic and computer science expertise. He created a forum called bittalk where he posted his first message in 2009 under the pseudonym Satoshi.
In recent years there has been a lot of speculation about his identity. This speculation has also led to a few predictions and news reports. Following are a few that became popular theories:
Satoshi is English: Some presume he is either English or from a commonwealth nation. It is argued that it was unlikely that he could be Japanese due to his flawless English. He wrote in British English, including his spellings. He also used phrases like ‘bloody hard’ in his course code comments and forum postings. Besides, his software was not labelled in Japanese, but English.
Dorian Nakamoto: In March 2015, Newsweek journalist Leah McGrath Goodman stated that Dorian Nakamoto who was of Japanese descent and living in California was Satoshi Nakamoto. She also, concluded this because Dorian Nakamoto’s birth name is Satoshi Nakamoto. His professional career further reinstated her claims – he worked as a systems engineer on classified defense projects and computer engineer for technology and financial information services companies. Amidst all the following and media interest, Dorian Nakamoto publicly denied that he is Satoshi Nakamoto in question, further sharing that he had no knowledge of Bitcoin nor did he understand the currency. The P2P Foundation’s Satoshi Nakamoto profile posted saying that Dorian Nakamoto was not the real Satoshi Nakamoto. This message was sent from the Satoshi Nakamoto profile for the first time in five years.
Australian entrepreneur Craig Wright: Though met with a lot of skepticism, Craig Wright, an academician, also becomes a possible contender. In 2015, he claimed that he was Satoshi Nakamoto. He declared his identity via his blog where he also shared a cryptographic proof. Although, later The Bitcoin Core project announced with a Tweet that there is no cryptographic proof available currently that proves the identity of Bitcoin’s creator.
Nick Szabo: Skye Grey, a blogger, in 2013 linked Nick Szabo to Bitcoin for the stylometric analysis that is used in Bitcoin’s white paper. Szabo, who is a decentralized currency enthusiast had published a paper on BitGold and is popular for his interest in using pseudonyms since the 1990s. He denied being Nakamoto when Dominic Frisby produced circumstantial evidence saying that he is sure that there is no other person than Frisby who has the breadth and the specificity of knowledge. Szabo wrote to Frisby saying that he was wrong and that Szabo was used to being mistaken as Nakamoto.
Joshua Davis’ article: In 2011, The New Yorker journalist, Joshua Davis, wrote an article discussing the possibility of Satoshi Nakamoto and narrowing down to a few talented professionals. Among a few individuals he named were Finish economic sociologist Dr. Vili Lehdonvirta and Michael Clear, an Irish student of cryptography. Both the individuals denied that they were Nakamoto.
The mystery of Satoshi Nakamoto’s identity still remains but he has most certainly created an undeniable legacy and revolution within cryptography. Satoshi Nakamoto will always be known as the pioneer of digital currency, anonymous or not.