“The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks” Where on earth is Satoshi Nakamoto?
Hello everyone. Its Tim again, and I want to discuss a topic that has already been heavily debated in the online forums I am a part of. That topic is who is Satoshi Nakamoto? This is a question everyone seems to have a different answer for. If you know anything at all about Bitcoin, then you know what Satoshi has done for cryptocurrency. Satoshi is the first one to solve the “double-spending” issues that have been a problem with prior attempts at creating digital currencies. Bit Gold was a precursor to the creation of Bitcoin. Bit Gold was thought up by Nick Szabo, but it was never implemented in the way that Bitcoin was. If you are into cryptocurrency like me than the history should intrigue you. So, who the heck is Satoshi Nakamoto? I cant tell you that, but we can have a bit of fun and discuss the possible suspects.
What we know
So when people discuss who they believe may or may not be Satoshi, things can get heated at times. Some people are so sure its this guy, or that woman. Yes, I said woman. Who the heck knows who Satoshi is or even what gender Satoshi is? There are plenty of clues that Satoshi left in his/her writings that we can look at and try to make an assumption from looking at the word choices Satoshi made and also looking at people that have a similar coding method (people code differently than others, similar to handwriting). But what if Satoshi threw us tidbits of info to throw us off his scent, so to speak? I mean we all understand Satoshi was very smart, so why would it surprise anyone that he was smart enough to remain anonymous? Let’s take a look at some of the things we have seen in Satoshi’s writings that may give a hint as to who Satoshi actually is.
Who is Nick Szabo? Well he is a computer scientist and creator of the precursor to Bitcoin, Bit gold. Some people have looked at the White paper for Bitcoin and conclude that Satoshi is in fact Nick Szabo, although Nick has not admitted it. Nick was extremely influential whether he was Satoshi or not. Szabo is also responsible for the creation of “smart contracts” which would become a huge part of the crypto industry, including Ethereum (#2 biggest crypto). Nick has a blog he has been filling out for ages, http://unenumerated.blogspot.com/. If you want to have a look into Nick’s head check out his blog. He goes into depth on many issues and the blog gives us a glimpse into his brilliance. Though throughout years of blogging he has never even mentioned anything about himself such as his age or whether he enjoys whiskey or tequila. Hell, people don’t even really know when he was born. What we do know is enough to give credence to the idea that he could be Satoshi. He graduated from George Washington university in 1989 with a degree in computer science. Nick’s creation of Bit Gold in 1998 was brilliant but it still had issues. It worked in a similar fashion to Bitcoin as people were required to solve cryptographic puzzles in order to verify transactions (sort of like mining with Bitcoin) and each solution would become a piece of the next cryptographic puzzle which would keep the chain growing. I think the main issue with Bit Gold was it was a bit ahead of its time. In 1998 I don’t even think I had a computer. Flash forward 12 years and everyone and their grandma has computers or a smart phone in 2010 (beginning of BTC). The way he looked to solve double spending was revolutionary and until 2009 nobody accomplished the feat. Nick understood that centralization wasn’t the only way to solve the issue and come 2009 it was proven to be true. The creation of Bitcoin should be attributed to Satoshi, no doubt about it. But that doesn’t mean we can’t give credit where credit is due. Nick is like the grandfather of crypto while Satoshi is the father of Bitcoin. Without Nick we may not even have Bitcoin. I strongly suggest taking a look at his blog and browsing through it. He is brilliant and I learned a lot from simply scrolling through for 15 minutes. It should be noted that Nick has denied being Satoshi numerous times.
Now I am a little less convinced that this guy could be Bitcoin’s illusive creator. Dorian was accused by News Week in March, 2014 of being the creator of Bitcoin. I am not 100% sure why they came to this conclusion, but there are a few reasons why one would suspect him of being Satoshi. Lets review what those reasons are. First and foremost, he is a physicist, and he also has a libertarian back ground (many members of the Bitcoin community are libertarian leaning) One of the biggest pieces of evidence the article pointed out was the fact Dorian was asked about Bitcoin at one point and his response was, “I am no longer involved in that and I cannot discuss it. It’s been turned over to other people. They are in charge of it now. I no longer have any connection.” Which led many to assume they had finally located Satoshi Nakamoto. Dorian later pointed out that he misunderstood the question presented to him at the time. He claims that he thought the reporter was asking him about an old military project he was involved in ages ago. I can see why people may want to think he is Satoshi. But personally, I don’t think this guy is him. Andreas Antonopoulos raised nearly 64 BTC for Dorian after the article, which Dorian claims did nothing for him except cause him grief. Antonopoulos claims that he has no idea if Dorian is in fact Satoshi. But the 64 BTC was to either thank Dorian if he was Satoshi or to say I am sorry for all the grief caused. Dorian promised not to touch the BTC for years. He kept that promise until June/July of 2017 when he likely cashed out. Dorian had a lot of people excited that they may have finally located the infamous Satoshi Nakamoto, but alas, he won’t admit it or provide any proof. So, we are back to square one. Who is Satoshi Nakamoto?
David Kleiman was one of the first people to get involved with Bitcoin. He was born in 1967 and passed away sadly in 2013. He definitely left a lasting legacy that anyone would be proud of. He was a computer forensics expert. He also spent time in the Army where he was awarded “Soldier of the year” when he was 21 years old. After his career in the army, he began a career in law enforcement. He had an accident on a motorcycle during this time which put him in a wheel chair for the rest of his days. But this didn’t phase him, as he still rose to the rank of detective and also worked in cyber-crime. He has long been suspected of being Satoshi. He may or may not have been Satoshi, but his work in the early days of Bitcoin should be recognized as he was one of the first to mine it. Kleiman allegedly mined over a million Bitcoin in the early days (along with Craig Wright) and after his death the Kleiman estate sued Wright over his alleged theft of Kleiman’s Bitcoin. These BTC that they mined are supposed to remain in a trust until 2020. Now the thing about Kleiman is he was self-taught and his coding was one of a kind. These are all signs that could point to Kleiman being Satoshi. Since he passed away in 2013, his estate has been in limbo. Wright claims that the assets they mined belong to him. There was no written contract between Kleiman and Wright, which obviously further complicates things. Jeff Garzik (well-known BTC dev) claims that Kleiman is in fact the infamous Satoshi Nakamoto for reasons I discussed earlier. Similar coding styles and the fact that Satoshi was apparently self-taught (Garzik says Kleiman was self-taught as well) Jeff Garzik was subpoenaed to appear in the court case between Wright and Kleiman’s estate. They are looking for any information that can potentially help them discover anything pertinent to the case. The case is currently on going. David Kleiman was one of the first people to ever send a Bitcoin transaction. Whether he is Satoshi or not, he should be remembered as a pioneer in this industry.
I have written about a couple of suspected people that could be Satoshi Nakamoto. These 3 gentlemen certainly aren’t the only possible creators of Bitcoin, but this is just part 1 of a few writings I plan on doing. I will get to the other suspects, so don’t fret! I have learned a lot about Nick Szabo, Dorian Nakaoto, and Dave Kleiman from the research I did while creating this write up. I hope you learned a few things as well. It is fun to speculate who is Satoshi Nakamoto. I personally feel like it would be better for Bitcoin if Satoshi remains anonymous. Bitcoin belongs to us all. It was a gift and I believe we should all be thankful for the contributions of the early developers. Stay tuned for part 2!!!
Written by: Tim Pace 3/19/2019