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The Search for Satoshi Nakamoto – 11 years on

The Search for Satoshi Nakamoto – 11 years on

It’s been over a decade since Bitcoin entered the market. Since that time, the industry has grown to become a billion-dollar sector. Bitcoin spawned a wave of innovation and continues to remain the dominant coin in the market in terms of both market cap and value. So who are you to thank for this game-changing invention?

The truth is Satoshi Nakamoto, Bitcoin’s creator remains a mystery to the world. In the early days of Bitcoin’s development, Nakamoto was in communication with other developers. He would frequently seek feedback on concepts. At that time, there was little reason for anyone to seek out Nakamoto after he vanished. Bitcoin was worth only pennies.

However, when Bitcoin hit $20,000 a coin in 2017, it became a matter of national security for countries to begin to try and seek out Nakamoto’s identity. His identity became an issue when it was revealed that he had mined over 1 million Bitcoin before he vanished. When you consider the price of a single Bitcoin today is +$57,000 at the time of writing, it’s easy to see how this fortune could make those in power nervous.

In addition to government snoops, you had regular crypto users who had an interest in unmasking Nakamoto’s identity. This collection of investigators has had some interesting findings along their decade-long journey. Here is what, or moreover, who they have unearthed so far.

Dorian Nakamoto. 

Dorian Nakamoto is perhaps the best-known non-Satoshi in the world. His face became the one you see on all of the Bitcoin memes after Newsweek Magazine published a story in March 2014 which claimed he was Satoshi Nakamoto. The magazine thought they had figured everything out.

They cited multiple reasons why Nakamoto had to be the one. For one, he had the same last name. Additionally, he was a physicist at Cal Poly University and had worked on a variety of government projects. Even more interesting is the fact that when he was first confronted by reporters about Bitcoin, he responded by saying he had handed the project over to others.

Despite all of these occurrences, Dorian Nakamoto came out publicly and denounced having anything to do with the creation of Bitcoin. He stated that Newsweek wreaked his peaceful life with their shabby reporting before he eventually embraced the occurrence as a funny joke which lives on in meme culture.

Hal Finny

Another potential Nakamoto was Dorian Nakamoto’s next-door neighbor, Hal Finney. Finney was one of the closest people to Nakamoto in terms of Bitcoin’s development before he disappeared. Finny worked with Nakamoto on several occasions. He was also the first person to improve Bitcoin’s source code or to receive a transaction.

Finny did fit the bill as far as technical requirements go. He had a vast history working with cryptography and he had worked on a variety of enterprise-level cryptographic projects. Finny passed in 2014 but before he left he cleared the air by stating that he was not Bitcoin’s founder.

Craig Wright

Craig Wright claims to be Nakamoto. He appeared on the scene in a major way after Wired published a story where he outs himself as Nakamoto in December 2015. According to his story, he and another well-known cryptographer, Dave Klieman created the coin together.

Wright has taken multiple parties to court to defend his claim as Bitcoin’s creator. Notably, he was not able to move any of the one million Bitcoin that Nakamoto mined. When pressed as to why not, he stated that Klieman died without sharing his private key. This inability to access these funds has fueled skepticism towards his claims by many in the cryptomarket.

Nick Szabo

Nick Szabo is another well-known cyberpunk and cryptographer. He earned the nickname “Bitcoin Jesus” for his early efforts at improving the project. Notably, Szabo had a separate project called Bit gold that used many of the same concepts that were in the Bitcoin whitepaper.

Szabo had the skill and experience to create Bitcoin. However, when you review Nakamoto’s final communications, you can see that he was unaware of Szabo until he was brought to his attention by Wei Dai, another well-known developer in the sector. Szabo has also publicly disavowed being Nakamoto.

Satoshi Nakamoto Conspiracy Theories

While there is no hard proof of the whereabouts or identity of Nakamoto, there are plenty of online theories. These theories range from government conspiracies to otherworldly entities. Here are some of the most entertaining Satoshi Nakamoto conspiracy theories.

NSA

One popular belief that made its way through messaging boards was that Bitcoin was an NSA (National Security Agency) project. This belief sprung from confusion surrounding the Secure Hashing Algorithm (SHA) used by Bitcoin. These systems were initially developed by the military for use in secure communications. However, the SHA-256 hashing mechanism used by Bitcoin has no military application.
 

AI

Another cool theory is that Nakamoto wasn’t human at all but rather, artificial intelligence. The AI concept builds on the growing distrust for these systems and machines in the workplace in general. In this theory, an AI supercomputer created Bitcoin as part of its larger plan to take out the human race.

Aliens

Along the same lines of thought is the conspiracy theory that Bitcoin was created by aliens. While it may seem a bit out there, this theory suggests that otherworldly rulers brought this technology as a gift to help mankind escape its corrupt financial system.

Satoshi Nakamoto – Fueling Imaginations and Investigations Across the Planet

The prize to unearth the identity of Bitcoin’s true creator continues to rise. Every day that million Bitcoin treasure gains more value. Despite record highs, the world is still no closer to unearthing his identity. All of these scenarios lead you to one conclusion, Nakamoto wants to remain a ghost as part of his strategy.

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