Although we may not know who he (or she) was, we know what he did. Satoshi Nakamoto was the inventor of the bitcoin protocol, publishing an article through the Cryptography Mailing List in November 2008.
He then launched the first version of the bitcoin software client in 2009, and participated with others in the project through mailing lists, until it finally began to disappear from the community in late 2010.
Nakamoto worked with community from the open source team, but he took care of never revealing anything personal about himself, and the last thing he heard about him was in the spring of 2011, when he said it had “happened to other things.”
But he was Japanese, right?
It is better not to judge a book by its cover. Or, in fact, maybe we should.
“Satoshi” means “clear thinking, quick wit; wise.” “Naka” can mean “medium, in or relationship.” “Moto” can mean “origin” or “foundation.”
Those things would apply to the person who founded a movement when designing an intelligent algorithm. The problem, of course, is that every word has many possible meanings.
We cannot know for sure if it was Japanese or not. In fact, it is quite presumptuous to suppose that it was actually a “he.”
We are only using that as a way of speaking, but considering the fact that this could have been a pseudonym, “he” could have been a “she” or even a “them.”
Does anyone know who Nakamoto was?
No, but the detective techniques that people use to guess are sometimes even more intriguing than the answer. Joshua Davis of the New Yorker believed that Satoshi Nakamoto was Michael Clear, a graduate student of cryptography at Trinity College in Dublin.
He reached this conclusion by analyzing 80,000 words of Nakamoto’s online writings and looking for linguistic clues. He also suspected Finnish economic sociologist and former game developer Vili Lehdonvirta.
Both have denied being the inventor of Bitcoin. Michael Clear publicly denied being Satoshi at the 2013 Web Summit.
Adam Penenberg of FastCompany disputed that claim, arguing that Nakamoto could actually have been three people: Neal King, Vladimir Oksman and Charles Bry. He discovered this by writing unique phrases from Nakamoto’s bitcoin paper on Google, to see if they were used elsewhere.
One of them, “computationally impractical to reverse,” appeared in a patent application made by these three to update and distribute encryption keys. The bitcoin.org domain name originally used by Satoshi to publish the document had been registered three days after the patent application was filed.
He was registered in Finland, and one of the patent authors had traveled there six months before the domain was registered. Everyone denies it. Michael Clear also publicly denied being Satoshi at the 2013 Web Summit.
However, when bitcoin.org was registered on August 18, 2008, the registrant actually used an anonymous Japanese registration service and hosted it using a Japanese ISP. Registration for the site was only transferred to Finland on May 18, 2011, which weakens Finland’s theory a bit.
Others think it was Martii Malmi, a developer who lives in Finland, who was involved with Bitcoin from the beginning, and developed its user interface.
It has also been pointed to Jed McCaleb, a lover of Japanese culture and resident of Japan, who created the problematic exchange of bitcoins Mt. Gox and co-founded the decentralized payment systems Ripple and then Stellar.
Another theory suggests that computer scientists Donal O’Mahony and Michael Peirce are Satoshi, according to a document they wrote about digital payments, along with Hitesh Tewari, based on a book they published together. O’Mahony and Tewari also studied at Trinity College, where Michael Clear was a student.
Israeli scholars Dorit Ron and Adi Shamir of the Weizmann Institute retracted the accusations made in a document that suggests a link between Satoshi and Silk Road, the black market website that was withdrawn by the FBI in October 2013. They suggested a link between an address allegedly owned by Satoshi, and the site. Security investigator Dustin D. Trammell was the owner of the address and questioned claims that he was Satoshi.
In May 2013, Internet pioneer Ted Nelson threw another hat into the ring: Japanese mathematician Professor Shinichi Mochizuki, although he admits that the evidence is circumstantial at best.
In February 2014, Leah McGrath Goodman of Newsweek claimed to have tracked the real Satoshi Nakamoto. Dorian S Nakamoto has denied that he knows anything about bitcoin, eventually hired a lawyer and issued an official statement to that effect.
No, Satoshi Nakamoto is not a 64-year-old Japanese who lives in California, probably …
Hal Finney, Michael Weber, Wei Dai and several other developers were among those periodically mentioned in media reports and online discussions as possible Satoshis. A group of experts in forensic linguistics at Aston University believes that the real creator of bitcoin is Nick Szabo, according to the Bitcoin White Paper analysis.
Dominic Frisby, comedian and writer, also suggests that the creator of BitGold Szabo was the most likely candidate to be Satoshi in his book, “Bitcoin: The Future of Money.” His detailed analysis involved the linguistics of Satoshi’s writing, judging the level of technical skill in C ++ and even Satoshi‘s probable birthday.
Then, in early December 2015, the reports of Wired and Gizmodo tentatively claimed to have identified Nakamoto as the Australian businessman Craig S Wright. WIRED cited “an anonymous source close to Wright” that provided a cache of emails, transcripts and other documents that point to Wright’s role in creating bitcoin. Gizmodo cited a cache of documents from someone who claims to have hacked Wright’s commercial email account, as well as efforts to interview people close to him. The idea that the Wright-Satoshi connection is nothing but a hoax has been raised by observers, although the convincing nature of the published evidence will undoubtedly feed the speculation for some time.
For the most part, all these potential Satoshi have insisted that they are not Nakamoto.
So what do we know about him?
One thing we know, based on interviews with people who were involved with him at an early stage in the development of bitcoin, is that he thought the system was thoroughly analyzed.
Its coding was unconventional, according to lead developer Jeff Garzik, in the sense that he did not apply the same rigorous tests that he would expect from a classic software engineer.
How rich is he?
An analysis by Sergio Lerner, an authority on bitcoin and cryptography, suggests that Satoshi extracted many of the first blocks of the bitcoin network and that he had accumulated a fortune of about 1 million unspent bitcoins. That accumulation would be worth $ 1 billion at the November 2013 exchange rate of $ 1,000.
What is he doing now?
No one knows what Satoshi is doing, but one of the last emails he sent to a software developer, dated April 23, 2011, said: “I have moved on to other things. You are in good hands with Gavin and everyone.”
Did he work for the government?
There are rumors, of course. People have interpreted his name as “central intelligence,” but he will see what he wants to see. Such is the nature of conspiracy theories.
The obvious question would be why one of the three-letter agencies would be interested in creating a cryptocurrency that would later be used as an anonymous trading mechanism, which would cause senators and the FBI to squeeze for potential terrorism and other criminal activities. No doubt, conspiracy theorists will also have their views on that.
Maybe it doesn’t matter. Lead developer Jeff Garzik succinctly explains. “Satoshi published an open source system with the purpose of not having to know who he was and trust who he was, or worry about his knowledge,” he says. Open source code makes it impossible to hide secrets. “The source code spoke for itself.”
In addition, he argued that it was smart to use a pseudonym, because it forced people to focus on the technology itself and not on the personality behind it. At the end of the day, bitcoin is now much bigger than Satoshi Nakamoto.
That said, if the real Satoshi Nakamoto is out there, contact us!
Sakamoto image via (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
Article Source: http://www.coindesk.com