The creation of Bitcoin has long been shrouded in mystery. In 2008, a pseudonymous person or persons using the name Satoshi Nakamoto released a whitepaper outlining the basis for Bitcoin and cryptocurrency technology. Since that time, many have speculated as to who Satoshi actually is – some believe it’s an individual while others think it could be a group of people with shared ideals.
This list looks at some of the people suspected to be Satoshi Nakamoto, from early suspects such as Hal Finney and Nick Szabo to more recent contenders like Craig Wright and his unverified claim that he is Satoshi. While none were confirmed as being Satoshi, each had their name linked with the original creator in some way. Take a look at each individual’s story and decide for yourself if any could really be behind Bitcoin’s invention.
1. Nick Szabo: Szabo is a computer scientist, legal scholar and cryptographer known for his research in digital contracts and cryptocurrency. He was also one of the first to suggest a decentralized digital currency in 1998 with his paper “Bit Gold” which many believe served as an inspiration for Bitcoin technology. His background makes him a likely suspect for being Satoshi, due to his extensive knowledge on cryptography and economics.
2. Hal Finney: Finney was a computer scientist, programmer and cryptographer who worked on the original Bitcoin code with Satoshi Nakamoto himself. He also received the first bitcoin transaction from Satoshi in 2009. His knowledge of cryptography and his involvement with the early development of Bitcoin made him an intriguing suspect for being Satoshi. In addition, he had a personal interest in digital currency – prior to Bitcoin’s launch, he wrote about creating a system for digital money transfers using reusable proof-of-work systems which many believe served as an inspiration for cryptocurrency technology. Unfortunately he passed away in 2014
3. Craig Wright: Wright is an Australian computer scientist and businessman who has been proposed as a potential candidate for the pseudonymous creator of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto. In 2016, he publicly declared himself to be Satoshi but his claim continues to be met with skepticism from many in the cryptocurrency community due to lack of concrete evidence and his litigious stance towards the Bitcoin community. Nevertheless, his background makes him a credible suspect – he holds multiple degrees in computer science and law and has experience in cryptography, economics and software development.
4. Shinichi Mochizuki: Mochizuki is a Japanese mathematician who made headlines in 2015 when he claimed to have solved one of the most complex problems in mathematics – the ABC Conjecture. Some believe that Mochizuki could be Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous creator of Bitcoin, due to his impressive background and achievements in mathematics. Others speculate that Satoshi may have been a group of people with Mochizuki being one of them, due to his work on the ABC Conjecture which some believe may have inspired Bitcoin’s cryptographic design.
5. Dorian Nakamoto: Nakamoto is a Japanese-American man living in California who was linked to being Satoshi, the pseudonymous creator of Bitcoin. In 2014, he was identified as a potential candidate due to his background in finance and cryptography – he had worked on classified defense projects during the 1970s and 80s with expertise in network security. He also had an interest in economics which made him an intriguing suspect for being Satoshi. Furthermore, his name (Nakamoto) matched that of the pseudonym used by Bitcoin’s mysterious creator which added further speculation about his identity. In 2014 one of Satoshi’s accounts came back online to reject the claim that he is Dorian Nakamoto, adding another layer to the mystery.
6. Gavin Andresen: Andresen is another person who has been proposed as a potential candidate for the pseudonymous creator of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto. He is a computer scientist and software developer best known for his involvement with the Bitcoin project from 2010 to 2014. During this time he was one of the most active developers in the Bitcoin community, working on its codebase and helping to promote it through public appearances and interviews. His background makes him a viable suspect – he holds multiple degrees in computer science and economics, has experience writing software for financial applications, and even worked at an early cryptocurrency startup back in 2011. In addition, he had access to many of Satoshi’s emails which made him an intriguing figure when attempting to uncover the identity behind Bitcoin’s mysterious creator.
7. Len Sassaman: Sassaman was a Belgian cryptographer who was proposed as a potential candidate for the pseudonymous creator of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto. His background in cryptography and his involvement with the early development of Bitcoin made him an intriguing suspect for being Satoshi. He had worked on various encryption systems throughout his career which gave him expertise in cryptography that could have been used to create cryptocurrency technology such as Bitcoin. In addition, he had written extensively about digital money transfers prior to Bitcoin’s launch which some believe served as an inspiration for its creation. Unfortunately, Len passed away in 2011.
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