Will the real Satoshi Nakamoto please stand up?
If you’re looking for a modern-day story full of mystery and intrigue, look no further than the enigmatic tale surrounding the Bitcoin founder: the mythical unicorn that is Satoshi Nakamoto.
What is at the core of this mystery? The fact is, the person behind the name Satoshi Nakamoto hasn’t been identified.
However, there are some things we do know, and plenty of conjecture to cover what we don’t.
Check out these unusual facts and theories about the founder of Bitcoin.
1. Satoshi Nakamoto is a Pseudonym
The reason the name “Satoshi Nakamoto” became associated with Bitcoin is that it was listed as the author of a white paper that was distributed to the cryptography mailing list. (via Bitcoin.org)
2. A Billionaire?
It is estimated Satoshi Nakamoto’s account holds around one million bitcoins. (via Business Insider)
Based on the August 14, 2017, exchange rate, the account is worth approximately $4.3 billion.
3. And He’s Only Spent About 500 Bitcoins
By examining the ledgers, programmer Sergio Demian Lerner determined a person who is likely Satoshi Nakamoto only spent about .0005 percent of his acquired wealth or approximately 500 bitcoins. (via The Verge)
4. Nobel Prize Nominee
In 2015, Satoshi Nakamoto was nominated for a Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences by Bhagwan Chowdhry, a professor of finance at UCLA. (via Yahoo)
5. He May Be Dead
One theory is that Hal Finney, the first person to receive a bitcoin transaction, was actually Satoshi Nakamoto. If so, the mystery of the founder’s identity may never be solved, as Finney passed away in 2014 from ALS. (via Business Insider)
6. Satoshi Nakamoto May Not be a He
Since the real identity of Satoshi Nakamoto isn’t confirmed, it’s possible “he” is a “she,” or even a “they.” As Laszlo Hanyecz, a developer for bitcoin, stated, “Bitcoin seems awfully well designed for one person to crank out.” (via Wired)
7. Maybe It’s a Group of Companies
Some bitcoin users have suggested (jokingly) that Satoshi Nakamoto could actually be a group of four Asian technology companies: Samsung, Toshiba, Nakamichi, and Motorola. The name can be created by taking the “sa” from Samsung, “toshi” from Toshiba, “naka” from Nakamichi, and “moto” from Motorola. (via The Week)
8. He Only Communicated Digitally
The Satoshi Nakamoto persona is not believed to have communicated with any bitcoin users over the phone or in person, favoring email and forums instead. (via The New York Times)
9. Wikileaks Was Asked Not to Accept Bitcoin by Satoshi Nakamoto
After fans of cryptocurrency asked Wikileaks to accept donations in bitcoin in December 2010, Satoshi Nakamoto wrote a post in a bitcoin forum stating, “I make this appeal to Wikileaks not to try to use bitcoin. Bitcoin is a small beta community in its infancy. You would not stand to get more than pocket change, and the heat you would bring you likely destroy us at this stage.” (via Wired)
10. He Told Bitcoin Project Developers to “De-Emphasize the Whole ‘Mysterious Found’ Thing”
The statement was made in an email in April 2011 to Gavin Andresen. It was Satoshi Nakamoto’s last known communication. (via The Verge)
11. “Uncanny” Writing Similarities Point to Another Suspect
Nick Szabo, a reclusive American deeply involved in the Bitcoin project, released a blog expressing interest in the technology before Bitcoin’s release, but later reposted it to alter the publishing date.
After the blog post about bit gold was determined to be from before bitcoins release, researchers at Aston University compared his writing style to Satoshi Nakamoto’s. According to Jack Grieve, a lecturer who led the project effort, the similarities were “uncanny.” (via The New York Times)
12. A Fitting Tribute
Bitcoins can be divided into smaller units, the smallest of which is called a “Satoshi,” which represents one hundred millionths of a full bitcoin. (via Investopedia)
13. Newsweek Famously Misidentified Satoshi Nakamoto
In 2014, Newsweek pointed the finger at a 64-year-old Japanese American named Dorian Prentice Satoshi Nakamoto who had a fondness for model trains. While originally supporting the narrative, Dorian Nakamoto later denied he was the founder of bitcoin and the Newsweek story has since been deemed inaccurate. (via NPR)
14. Man Who Claimed to be Satoshi Nakamoto Supplied False Evidence
Craig Steven Wright, an Australian who claimed to be Satoshi Nakamoto in 2015, withdrew from public life after supplying false evidence and later failing to provide new evidence to support his claims.
His assertions were initially met with skepticism and not following through with the promised evidence leaves many wondering if he is, in fact, the elusive creator of bitcoin. (via The Verge)
15. Maybe It’s the CIA or NSA
A group named CIA Project claims that bitcoin is a creation of the CIA or NSA. While the group provided “evidence,” such as stating the name, Satoshi Nakamoto, roughly translates to “Central Intelligence” in Japanese, their perspective is considered to be no more than a conspiracy theory. (via CIO)