Since the launch of the Bitcoin network in 2009, the cryptocurrency has taken the financial world by storm. As a decentralized currency underpinned by blockchain technology, it has the potential to revolutionize the way we view money and handle transactions. Given its runaway success to date, you might expect that its creator would be either revered or reviled, depending on your viewpoint.
However, the identity of the person behind Bitcoin remains an enigma to this very day. While there are several hypotheses on the internet (which are explored at length in the informative article The Bitcoin Maker: 5 people who could be Satoshi Nakamoto), the truth is that no one knows who the mystery person or persons really is. For amateur sleuths keen to crack the case, here’s what we know about Satoshi Nakamoto at the present time.
Obviously, anyone who is capable of devising and implementing the technology behind an entirely new method of handling currency must have significant capabilities in the fields of financial markets and cryptography.
The whitepaper which Nakamoto published in late 2008 is testament to his or her academic credentials, pointing to the idea that they have graduated with qualifications in one or both of these areas, while the virtually seamless integration of Bitcoin suggests that the person has substantial practical experience, too.
Throughout their whitepaper, forum posts and email exchanges, Nakamoto consistently uses Britishisms in his phraseology.
For example, they prefer to use British spellings of certain words (like favour instead of favor) over American ones, while they also repeatedly drop colloquial terms from the UK such as “flat” instead of “apartment” and phrases like “bloody hard.” This indicates that Nakamoto is likely a British citizen, or has, at the very least, spent an extended period of time in the British Isles.
In one of the early profiles, Nakamoto claimed to be a man in his mid-thirties living in Japan. However, the fact that they have such a commanding grasp of the English (and especially British) language has led some people to doubt that claim.
Further aspersions have also been cast by online behavior; Nakatomo consistently posted on forums and other internet domains during daytime hours in the UK. Analysis of their message timestamps reveal they were almost never online between 5am and 11 a.m. in Britain, including at weekends, further hinting that they reside in the UK.
Connections and acquaintances
The very first Bitcoin exchange for goods took place between Nakamoto and a man called Hal Finney, who downloaded the software on the very same day it was released.
Nakamoto exchanged a series of emails with Finney over a number of years, as well as other industry insiders such as Wei Dai and Nick Szabo, both of whom invented predecessor currencies to Bitcoin. When stepping back from their role in 2010, they handed over the reins to another individual named Craig Andresen. This tight-knit community has prompted certain quarters of the media to speculate that one or more of them are indeed Satoshi Nakamoto themselves.
As long as he or she chooses to shy away from the limelight, we may never know the true identity of Satoshi Nakamoto… but the few clues they left behind do help to narrow the field of candidates.