Who Founded Bitcoin
When the bitcoin whitepaper was published on October 31, 2008, the author(s) identified themselves as Satoshi Nakamoto. However, it quickly became clear that this was a fictitious name used to maintain anonymity. Since then, many people have claimed to be Satoshi Nakamoto, amidst the growing quest to unveil the Boitcoin’s creators. However, none of these claims have been definitively proven. So, who created Bitcoin?
Tracing the Origin of Bitcoin
Before the creation of Bitcoin, there were discussions about digital currencies and cryptography on a mailing list called the “Cypherpunks” list. The mailing list was used by a group of individuals to discuss ways of protecting online privacy and security. Nakamoto was an active member of this group and may have been influenced by the group when creating Bitcoin. On October 31, 2008, Satoshi Nakamoto wrote:
“I’ve been working on a new electronic cash system that’s fully peer-to-peer, with no trusted third party.”
Satoshi Nakamoto also attached a link to the Bitcoin Whitepaper titled “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System,” which detailed the idea of the first-ever cryptocurrency and the underlying technology known as the blockchain. Nakamoto went ahead to develop the Bitcoin network for the next two years before disappearing suddenly in 2010.
The first Bitcoin was launched on January 12, 2009. Satoshi Nakamoto mined the first block known as the “Genesis Block”. The block contained the first 50 bitcoins and a message referencing a news headline from that day to prove that the block was created on or after that date.
The Quest for the True Identity of Satoshi Nakamoto
Despite the success of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto has remained anonymous. Over many years, several people have tried to uncover the true identity of Satoshi Nakamoto through speculations and investigations. However, the efforts to identify the founder of the first cryptocurrency have been unsuccessful. This is so despite the available hints and claims.
On his peer-to-peer Foundation profile of 2012, Nakamoto claimed to be a 37-year-old male leaving in Japan. However, some people speculate that Satoshi is unlikely to be Japanese due to Satoshi’s use of fluent English and the fact that Bitcoin was not documented or labeled in English. Satoshi also displayed an impressive knowledge of financial history and excellence in C++ coding language.
Nakamoto also published more than 80,000 words of content on the open internet and an open-source Bitcoin Code, which may be treated as clues. However, these hints have not been enough to unravel the mystery.
People have also tried to use techniques such as analyzing Nakamoto’s writing style of the Bitcoin whitepaper and tracing the Bitcoin transaction back to its origin. These efforts have also been futile.
Claims about the True Identity of Satoshi Nakamoto
Some people have come forward claiming to be Satoshi Nakamoto, while others have been implied to be, but have denied the claims. Most of these people are early bitcoin developers and related people with backgrounds in software and financial technology (FinTech):
One of them is Nick Szabo, a decentralized currency enthusiast and author of Bit Gold, a Bitcoin predecessor that was referenced in the Bitcoin whitepaper. Nick Szabo is a cypherpunk, a member of digital activists who championed unregulated digital cryptography in the 1990s. Another person is Wei Dai, a computer engineer who created another Bitcoin predecessor, B-money, and Crypto++ library. Wei Dai is also a cypherpunk. Hal Finney is another identity claimed to be Satoshi Nakamoto. Finney is one of the earliest Bitcoin developers. Another identity associated with Satoshi Nakamoto is that of David Kleiman. He is a computer forensic expert, cryptographer, and author. He died on April 26, 2013. Another person is Adam Back, who is a cypherpunk and founder of HashCash. Some people also claimed that Dorian Satoshi Nakamoto, a retired computer engineer, is Satoshi Nakamoto. However Dorian denied the claims.
Some theories about the identity of Satoshi Nakamoto have suggested that it was a group of people rather than an individual. Others have speculated that it was a government agency or corporations that created founded Bitcoin. However, there has never been any concrete evidence to support these claims.
Why Satoshi Nakamoto Left
Besides trying to identify who Satoshi Nakamoto is, another great and related concern revolves around the reason for hiding. Bitcoin is a revolutionary technology of the 21st century, and to imagine that the founder will not want to come out and take the glory could call for a serious reason.
Some theories have tried to explain Satoshi’s disappearance. One of these theories comes from a developer who claims to have worked with Satoshi Nakamoto. The person calls Satoshi Nakamoto paranoid, bossy, and kind of weird. This theory would suggest that Satoshi left the project because it started gaining popularity in 2011.
However, the prominent theory within the Bitcoin community suggests that Satoshi Nakamoto left to aid the realization of the fundamental principle of Bitcoin – decentralization. Satoshi Nakamoto’s presence would create a single entity, which could have influenced the development of the project. Satoshi’s opinions would have influenced the open-source protocol. The last email by Satoshi Nakamoto confirms this theory:
“I’ve moved on to other things. It’s in good hands with Gavin (Anderson) and everyone.”
The Impact of Satoshi Nakamoto’s Anonymity
It is worth noting that the identity of Bitcoin’s founder is not necessarily important to the success of the cryptocurrency. Bitcoin has become popular and valuable thanks to its underlying technologies and the ability to facilitate secure transactions without depending on any central authority for trust.
Despite the unraveled mystery that still surrounds Satoshi Nakamoto’s true identity, the impact of Bitcoin is undeniable. It became the first ever truly decentralized cryptocurrency. Bitcoin has revolutionized the way people think about money. Bitcoin has also empowered the concept of decentralization, sparking a global conversation about the future of finance and technology.