Last Update: 09-03-2014
Bitcoin is a revolutionary cypher-currency created from the works of ECDSA invented by late Scott Vanstone, SHA-256 with an unknown inventor but thought to be the NSA, Justin Frankel, Gianluca Rubinacci and Tom Pepper: co-inventors of the first decentralized Peer-to-Peer file sharing network, and Adam Back: Inventor of the first Proof-of-Work system, which he later helped conceptually code into Bitcoin. Digital currency has always been the holy grail of the cypherpunk movement. Bruce Schneier has a section about it in his 1996 book Applied Cryptography (Section 6.4). In the early 90’s, Liberty, Security, and Privacy were common motivations of the pre-bitcoin era with known and 3 or 4 unknown experts in the field. One good reference for this cyberpunk era is a paper called Cyphernomicon by Timothy C. May.
This leads to the article’s topic Bitcoin’s creator, Satoshi Nakamoto, a pseudonym of an unnamed person who on November 1st, 2008 came out of ‘nowhere’ with a Newsgroup /Gmane post with interesting Q/A’s. Satoshi Nakamoto used a pseudonym from the start and went to great lengths from the very beginning to conceal his identity. This quiet newsgroup post announces the release of a paper called “Bitcoin – A peer-to-peer Electronic Cash System” which would become the foundation for what is now known as the bitcoin protocol. Satoshi was active on the Bitcoin forum , you can see his user and his posts from 2008-2011, during which he created what is now known as the genesis block from bitcoin protocol v0.1 gave bitcoin v0.1 to the public on January 9th, 2009. He started advancing the code immediately afterwards, adding TOR support posted under the email firstname.lastname@example.org to the advancing client and completed other notable developments until Bitcoin v0.3.19 and gone by April 2011 when Nakamoto announced he has moved onto other things and has since stopped replying to queries altogether.
I’ve been following Bitcoin since around the price of 50 cents. Satoshi wasn’t the only one to create bitcoins, but his mysteriousness sets him apart from the rest. He built bitcoin on the thinking of Adam Back, Wei Dai, Ian Grigg, Nick Szabo, Ian Goldberg, David Chaum, Stefan Brands, Steve Schear, John Gilmore, Ryan Lackey, Ben Laurie, Jim McCoy, Bram Cohen, Paul Kocher, Zooko, Adam Shostack, Len Sassaman and many more including Ulf Moeller (who we sadly lost to a senseless murder). He could be one of these people but there is a huge community of cryptographers who put in the time and thinking into building bitcoin. Since the very beginning, like others, I’ve always wondered “Who is this Satoshi Nakamoto?” and “Why doesn’t he want any recognition?” He also apparently doesn’t wish to be rich as he has not moved any of his estimated fortune of around 1M Bitcoins or he hopes to remain private even over the chance of these great riches!! Ultimately, My reasoning for investigating who Satoshi really is, is to learn more about the community and protocol itself. Note: If I do find proof of Satoshi Nakamoto – I wouldn’t share that knowledge publicly as I respect his contributions and anonymity requests.
Clues about Nakamoto:
Top 10 Suspects:
1. Adam Back
2. Nick Szabo
3. Shinichi Mochizuki
4. Martti Malmi
5. Vili Lehdonvirta
6. Wei Dai
7. Michael Clear
8. Crypto Mano Group
9. Neal King, Vladimir Oksman & Charles Bry
10. Government (CIA/KGB)
Who is not Satoshi: Dorian Nakamoto
Interesting Satoshi Quotes:
Though Satoshi’s comments focussed almost exclusively on development coding, some are some economic discussions that did happen:
You can read other notable satoshi quotes.
Summary: Satoshi Nakamoto could be almost anyone around the crypto circles. Perhaps a genius not even listed above! Here are the only facts: 1: It is someone extremely knowledgeable in cryptography. This is very rare because most crypto implementations get a wee bit complex. 2: It is someone who is clued with regards to the financial sector and understands the genius behind stable currency. (1 coal to 1 coin) 3: It is someone who can code, code well, and distribute things out anonymously. (he added TOR early, and nobody knows who he is to this day. Knows a variety of other programming languages extremely well. After these three major facts, it could be anyone narrowed down into a few select online communities, I imagine he wants anonymity so the story to be about Bitcoin and not about the creator! Suspicions could be on anyone – He is sometimes referred to as “the bilabial bitcoin Father” or a part of the “bitcoin Trinity: Jesus”. With the clues we have, timelines, and facts we most likely can narrow it down to a few possible Satoshis… Who do you think Satoshi is?