Do You Know The True Identity Of Satoshi Nakamoto?

Satoshi Nakamoto

Since October 31, 2008, when a research paper, Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System, was released to the public, people have wondered about the real identity of Satoshi Nakamoto. Most had agreed that Satoshi Nakamoto was not a real name. However, someone must have written the paper - who was it?

In his book Life After Google: The Fall of Big Data and the Rise of the Blockchain Economy, George Gilder examines the evolution of bitcoin and blockchain from the moment the research paper was published. Bitcoin was first released in January 2009. Satoshi Nakamoto described bitcoin as "a new electronic cash system that uses a peer-to-peer network to prevent double-spending. It's completely decentralized with no server or central authority."

The total circulation of bitcoin is limited to 21 million coins. It was written using 31,000 lines of code, utilizing a set of complex cryptographic algorithms. This means that bitcoin is an artifact of computers, a fully virtual, digital entity.

Very quickly, bitcoin caught the attention of entrepreneurs and venture capitalists who saw an enormous potential bitcoin could have on the financial systems. Early on, Andreessen Horowitz and Peter Thiel invested $98 million in the bitcoin movement. In November 2013, the price of one bitcoin exceeded the price of one ounce of gold. However, this still does not address the identity of Satoshi Nakamoto.

In 2016, an Australian businessman and computer scientist, Craig Steven Wright, claimed that he was Satoshi Nakamoto. The cryptocurrency community is not convinced that the claim is true. However, in his book, Gilder mentions the anecdotal connection of Wright to Satoshi Nakamoto.

Wright's mother and his teachers have maintained that Wright had always been obsessed with the Japanese culture. He had a samurai sword hanging over his desk. Wright himself said, "I had a single mother. One of the guys who helped bring me up was Japanese...I thought it was a cool culture...In Japan, people know how to cooperate with each other."

The name Nakamoto, according to Wright, came from the Japanese philosopher who lived during the Tokugawa period (1603-1868). Nakamoto favored an open Japan and trading with the West. When talking about Nakamoto, Wright remarked, "He [Nakamoto] wrote how if Japan was to grow great, it needed to stay open to the West. Trade is not a zero-sum game. We in the bitcoin movement need to remember Nakomoto's lesson today."

Wright claims to be bitcoin's main inventor. He has filed over 300 blockchain patent applications and has dozens of patents granted in his name. Gilder describes Wright as "a burly libertarian classicist-cryptographer."


The debate over Wright's declarations continues with most of the bitcoin community asserting that he is not Satoshi Nakamoto. In February 2018, Dave Kleiman estate filed a lawsuit against Wright over the rights to $5 million worth of bitcoin, claiming that Wright defrauded Kleiman of bitcoins and intellectual property rights. During the legal proceedings, Leo Jakobson, Modern Consensus editor-in-chief, reported that Judge Beth Bloom of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida has called Wright a liar and found that he has submitted forged evidence.

I will continue to monitor the developments in Craig Steven Wright's story, but my next blog post will be about another prominent personality in the blockchain domain, Vitalik Buterin.

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