In an age of supercomputers and scientific breakthroughs, it can be surprising to consider the many mysteries that remain unsolved. The Bitcoin creator is one of those mysteries.
Unlike so-called mysteries that involve ancient histories, such as Stonehenge or Atlantis, the problem of identifying the Bitcoin creator is a very modern one. Bitcoin has been on the public radar for less than a decade, and blockchain technology is far less than a lifetime old.
In spite of its short history, speculation surrounding the inventor of Bitcoin already involves controversy and conspiracy. This will continue to be the case until the Bitcoin creator is identified – and depending on that piece of information, it might continue to be a topic of conversation long after.
The identity of Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto
Who is the creator of Bitcoin? At first, the answer is short and simple: Satoshi Nakamoto. However, no such individual exists. At the very least, Nakamoto is a pseudonym for an individual who preferred their involvement in the project to remain anonymous. Linguistic analysis and other clues suggest, however, that Satoshi Nakamoto may, in fact, refer to a small group instead.
While it’s impossible to truly name the creator of Bitcoin with any certainty, there are several individuals who have received attention for their potential involvement with the project. While reminding ourselves that any, many, or none of these individuals may actually be involved, let’s take a look at a few of these figures.
Did Nick Szabo create Bitcoin?
Nick Szabo is a computer scientist based in the United States. A decade before the Bitcoin white paper was published, Szabo designed a hypothetical digital currency called BItgold. The digital currency was never implemented, but the ideas demonstrated Szabo’s extensive background in cryptography, law, and smart contracts.
Szabo consistently denies allegations that he is Satoshi Nakamoto, in spite of exhaustive knowledge on the topic and extensive history with related technology. Szabo intended to produce a working digital currency, yet never publicly did so. If Szabo is not the Bitcoin creator, as he adamantly claims, he would still be considered one of the early pioneers of smart contract and blockchain.
Did Dorian Nakamoto create Bitcoin?
According to Satoshi’s P2P Foundation profile, he is a 42-year-old male living in Japan. This leads to another individual who was speculated to be the Bitcoin creator: Dorian Nakamoto, a Japanese American whose birth name is Satoshi Nakamoto. Dorian was named in a high-profile Newsweek article, detailing his engineering background and involvement with classified government projects.
Dorian Nakamoto later denied his involvement in the creation of Bitcoin. In March 2014, Satoshi Nakamoto posted a new message from the same account used to announcement bitcoin: “I am not Dorian Nakamoto.” (A few months later, a supporter of Satoshi would post from the P2P Foundation account, claiming that its security and Nakamoto’s identity had been compromised.)
Did Hal Finney create Bitcoin?
Hal Finney was one of the very first Bitcoin users. As such, Finney was personally involved in the early usage and refinement of the technology. Finney was the first recipient of a Bitcoin transaction.
Finney held ties to both Nick Szabo and Dorian Nakamoto. Finney and Szabo were both a part of the cypherpunks email newsletter, which discussed the use of cryptography to protect technology-based privacy. Finney and Nakamoto lived in the same Los Angeles suburb for several years.
Finney, just like Szabo and Nakamoto, also denied inventing Bitcoin and might just be recognized as one of the decentralized currency’s earliest developers. Finney passed away in 2014.
Will the Bitcoin creator remain a mystery forever?
If Satoshi Nakamoto is nothing more than a pseudonym instrumental to facilitating the early establishment of Bitcoin, we may not hear anything more from the project’s “creator.”
Only time will tell if Nakamoto chooses to come forward again, either with a new message concerning the project or possibly a revelation of their true identity. Until then, only the speculation remains: who is Satoshi Nakamoto?