Bitcoin was designed for anonymity, although unlike many new cryptocurrencies that have been launched today with a focus on security, many of the now-lead directors aren’t anonymous anymore. There is one major exception to this, though, and that is Satoshi Nakamoto. He is the famed creator of Bitcoin who started this great journey. Whether you’re looking to get some insight on how Bitcoin started or just want to listen to a great story, this is great information to know!
It all started with Satoshi – without him, we probably wouldn’t have the cryptocurrencies that we have today. The first trace of him, as mentioned by Wikipedia, was on the Cryptography Mailing List, on metzdowd.com. This site is still up if you wish to sign up, though the frontpage is a bit less advanced than what most people are used to. He published a paper titled “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System” in that month, and even though it created lots of hype and excitement among those in the mailing list, many believed that it only just came to fruition and probably wouldn’t get anywhere. There was then a relatively long period of stillness after that, as Satoshi was (presumably) working on further development of Bitcoin-QT, which many of us today know as Bitcoin Core. In January 2009, Nakamoto released the first bitcoin software that launched the network and the first units of the bitcoin cryptocurrency, with the same name that we know it as now – Bitcoin! Although it is unknown why Satoshi chose to become anonymous, it’s likely he realized how destructive it could be on the modern world, and he chose to become anonymous to not become a target of crime or whatever harm that could come to him- this is further confirmed by the first sentence of the paper that Satoshi wrote – it pretty much says just that. Development as we knew it continued mostly by Satoshi and a few specially selected individuals, like Gavin Adressen. It was up until Mid -2010 when Satoshi handed most of the control of Bitcoin to Gavin, including the source code repository, as well as the network alert key. He also transferred several key domains that were related to Bitcoin to several prominent members of the community, then promptly disappeared with no trace – even leaving his wallet alone, which now is worth around 650 Million USD- and possibly even more, as we have no complete knowledge which wallets were owned by him. It’s a good thing he didn’t sell all of his bitcoin, though if that had happened, the market value of Bitcoin might have dropped relatively quickly. It’s not likely that he’ll ever return to bitcoin again, so coins sent to the first ~50 addresses are essentially burned.
Nakamoto did not directly disclose information about who he was, and this is the complicating factor when one tries to find who he actually is. There are several clues, however – Satoshi himself claimed he was a 37-year old male living in Japan in 2012, although this may have been done by him just to keep others off of his track and to mislead people who were attempting to find who he was- none of his software or source code was labelled in Japanese and he had near perfect English. Although nearly all of this is speculation and it’s likely he won’t ever be found as he hid his tracks very well, it is still entirely possible that he is just good at English. There is one big dispelling factor to many believing that he is Japanese, that is that most of his 500 Bitcointalk posts were not posted during the hours between 5 and 11 GMT – a very big clue that he doesn’t live in Japan. This has led to the conclusion that he lives in a region using 5-6 UTC time, possibly anywhere from Canada to the U.S all the way to South America. Remember – not all of this may be true, as he could be cleverly disguising his sleeping habits and time zone.
Although Satoshi’s true identity may remain a mystery forever, it’s certainly an interesting story that is a favorite of nearly all cryptocurrency users and even those who aren’t involved in Bitcoin and just like to listen to a good story. If you enjoyed this article, feel free to share it with your friends- we’ll have more coming up in a short while.