Bitcoin is the biggest digital currency in the world. You can use it to buy anything from cars to food to electronic devices. The thing that you may not know about this virtual currency is who exactly created it and the answer to that question is a lot harder to answer than many may think.
Bitcoin was first introduced via a cryptography mailing list before being released as an open-source program in 2009. It is built off the concept of having your computer solve complex math equations to mine for money. This mining is usually done by computers with powerful graphics cards. The solution to these problems are the Bitcoins which are represented by long hashes of random numbers and letters. It’s worth noting that there is a cap of around 21 million bitcoins to prevent oversupply and the devaluation of the currency. What many liked about Bitcoin is that it was created with the intention of avoiding government or corporate involvement. Because of this when its inventor was still active on the project, he kept mostly to himself, stating that his identity served no value to the public.
Eventually in 2010 the founder of Bitcoin retired from the project without anyone knowing much about him, so why all the secrecy? Well according to some sources back in the early days it was not clear if creating Bitcoin was legal, so the creator went to great lengths to stay anonymous. He probably would have never been questioned if it stayed a small niche invention but with Bitcoins value skyrocketing even surpassing an ounce of gold in March!
The question of who the creator really is has become more and more important to the community. If he ever was to become active again and use the chunks of Bitcoin he had saved, his actions could leave a huge impact on the currency. Inevitably this has caused many to attempt to track him down. According to his P2P foundation profile he is supposedly a 41 year old Japanese man named Satoshi Nakamoto but even that has been highly disputed.
Despite claiming to be Japanese the creator had an almost perfect grasp on English occasionally even flipping and using British terminology. The second reason, people are suspicious of him being Japanese is that the original client was written in English and Satoshi had to hire third parties to translate the program into Japanese. Which doesn’t make sense if he had been living in Japan. Finally when looking at a graph someone had made for when Satoshi was active on the Bitcoin forums, you’ll notice that the times don’t really make sense for someone living in Japan. Unless he had a really strange sleep schedule it would make more sense if he was living somewhere in America. A writer from Fast Company even speculated that Satoshi Nakamoto’s name could have a deeper meaning. Satoshi translates into “clear thinking”, naka means “inside” while mojo is defined as “the foundation”. If we put the entire name together, we have “clear thinking inside the foundation”.
Three people have been suspected to be the true creator or possibly creators of Bitcoin.
1. Dorian Nakamoto
In March 2014, Newsweek magazine published an article in which journalists Lee Goodman concluded that the creator of Bitcoin was currently residing in California, under the name Dorian Nakamoto. Their supposed evidence was circumstantial at best and included the fact that Dorian’s birth name was Satoshi. The article says that Nakamoto was laid off twice in the early 1990’s and turned libertarian according to his daughter and encouraged her to start her own business and not be under the government’s thumb. The author also wrote about how because they couldn’t reach Dorian directly instead they found and pestered his family members for information about his personal life. This article led to reporters from various news sites to camp out near Dorian’s house in hopes of scoring an interview. Dorian denied any connection to Bitcoin and said that he had simply misconstrued what the reporter had asked. In a shocking turn of events the actual Satoshi Nakamoto account on the P2P forms posted a message in response to the recent events stating he was not Dorian Nakamoto.
2. Craig Steven Wright
Described by Wired as an unknown Australian genius, Craig Steven Wright was the first lead when an anonymous source began leaking documents to a dark web analyst named Gwern Branwen. All of them were regarding Craig Wright. Gwern then forwarded these documents to Wired. After some investigation they found Wright’s blog and uncovered many posts linking Craig to Satoshi. The first of these was a post from August of 2008 where he states that he intended to release a cryptocurrency paper featuring aspects taken from triple entry accounting. This predates the original Bitcoin paper published to the mailing list. Another post dated January 10th, 2009, shows Wright stating that the beta of Bitcoin would be live tomorrow. Wired also leaked several supposed conversations and emails that showed Wright planning to produce the original Bitcoin document.
A liquidation report was found on a corporate advisory firm, McGrathNicol’s website and was revealed that Wright had backed his own attempt at creating a Bitcoin based bank with 23 million in Bitcoin. At the time this was over 1.5% of all existing Bitcoin. Many had doubt on the idea of Craig being Satoshi due to the possibility of the leak being faked and the post seeming to have been edited to give Craig history with the project. Later that month Wired released a follow-up article in which they found new information that poked more holes into the theory. The three blog posts that apparently referenced Bitcoin had been edited as archival versions from before 2013 showed no mention of the currency. Things changed on May 2nd of 2016 though when Craig stated on his blog that he was finally willing to publicly admit that he was Satoshi. This was met with much controversy as Craig had already failed to release evidence up to that point. The community remained skeptical and two days later Craig wrote on his blog that he would finally release a series of pieces to lay the foundation of his extraordinary claim before deleting all the blog posts and replacing them with one titled “I’m sorry”. The official Bitcoin twitter account stated “that there is currently no publicly available cryptographic proof that anyone in particular is Bitcoins creator”.
3. Team of People
Dan Kaminsky a leading security expert and researcher stated that “either there’s a team of people who worked on this or this guy is a genius”. A writer for The New Yorker who attempted to track down Satoshi’s identity hired a computer security researcher who found it was nearly impossible. On October 11th of 2011, Adam Penenberg of Fast Company published an article containing his own investigative research. He took excerpts from Satoshi’s original Bitcoin paper and ran them through Google. His reasoning being that people tended to repeat themselves. He thought that if you simply plugged in unique phrases in quotes he’d be able to get only a handful of pages to sift through. His most successful attempt was the term “computationally impractical to reverse” which had only 26 results. While a majority of them were simply related to bitcoin, one of the last results was actually a patent application three men had filed three days before the official Bitcoin website had been registered. One of the three men who filed the patent denied relation and the author admitted that this was not meant to be a serious accusation but an example of how circumstantial evidence did not equal the truth. All that can be said for CERN is well we’re searching down the real creator of Bitcoin hopefully one day if we keep on searching we’ll get to the bottom of this mystery!