Is the Hunting of Satoshi Over?


Even if this week block size debate had been settled, Kraken had acquired Visa, and Mike Hearn had proposed to Gavin Andresen, those news would have faded into oblivion next to the one concerning seemingly incontestable evidence of what earlier seemed merely impossible – true identity of Bitcoin’s creator Satoshi Nakamoto.

Most definitely, it’s not the first time someone claims Satoshi is finally unmasked. While many agreed that creator of Bitcoin should better remain a mystery, some others were evidently dying to find out who the artist previously known as Satoshi actually was.

Their most popular choice was Nick Szabo, who in turn did his best to dismiss all such rumors. However, most proofs that Szabo is Satoshi had something to do with the fact that Szabo had earlier been involved in development of a failed cryptocurrency attempt. Researcher Skye Gray, who came up with the Szabo theory in 2013, listed several reasons that caused him to suspect Szabo. They are as follows:

  • text analysis (only 0.1% of cryptography researchers could have produced this writing style)
  • fact that Nick was searching for technical collaborators on the bit gold project (a very similar cryptocurrency) a few months before the announcement of Bitcoin (and then the bit gold project became perfectly silent)
  • lack of citation of Nick’s work by Satoshi, whereas he cited other, less related cryptocurrencies
  • lack of reaction on Nick’s part about Bitcoin, whereas a decentralized currency like Bitcoin had been a major project of his for 10 years
  • fact that Nick deliberately post-dated his bit gold articles to look posterior to Bitcoin, shortly after the announcement of Bitcoin

The same idea can be found in Dominic Frisby’s book ‘Bitcoin: The Future of Money?’, where the author also uses linguistic analysis to narrow his Nakamoto search to Nick Szabo.

Szabo never acknowledged having anything to do with Satoshi and stated on several occasions that he is by no means Nakamoto. However, some community members were pretty convinced that he just plays hard to get.

In 2015, Satoshi seekers have found another candidate, whose name suggests he was too easy target: Dorian Satoshi Nakamoto, a 64-year-old man living in LA suburbs. Dorian also discarded any assumptions that he was the Satoshi the community had been looking for, and even promised to file a lawsuit if the allegations don’t stop.

Later the same year, publications Wired and Gizmodo both provided some evidence linking Australian entrepreneur Craig Wright to Satoshi. Wright himself denied the rumors back then, and a few days later some bitcoin developers received an e-mail from Satoshi stating:

“I am not Craig Wright. We are all Satoshi.”

But nothing lasts forever, so finally the long-awaited coming out has happened. Craig Wright signed Bitcoin’s genesis block in the presence of media. Prominent figures of bitcoin ecosystem have stated that the evidence is incontestable.

“During the London proof sessions, I had the opportunity to review the relevant data along three distinct lines: cryptographic, social, and technical,” said Jon Matonis, founder of Bitcoin Foundation.

Wright himself stated:

“There are lots of stories out there that have been made up and I don’t like it hurting those people I care about […] I don’t want any of them to be impacted by this. I really do not want to be the public face of anything […] I want to work, I want to keep doing what I want to do. I don’t want money. I don’t want fame. I don’t want adoration. I just want to be left alone.”

This might have put an end to the great hunting of Satoshi Nakamoto, however, many community members seem to be disappointed. It is truly hard to believe that the elusive and mysterious creator of Bitcoin is in fact a confidently-looking businessman.

For instance, a post on Reddit suggested that Wright’s signature was invalid due to using bash & instead of &&:


Others claim, and it’s actually hard to deny, that the picture might be easily photoshopped.

Some consider Gavin Andresen’s statement of approval for Wright’s signature compromised in the light of the following tweet:

The opinion of those dismissing Wright as Satoshi is probably concentrated in a comment by Reddit user ex_ample:

“He seems like a total amateur scammer, probably running some scam he thinks will be helped by publicity claiming he’s Satoshi.”

Craig Wright in some case is directly opposite to Nick Szabo. The only real thing they have in common is that the community didn’t take their word for it, so the hunting is unlikely to be over.

For Satoshi was Boojum, you see.

by Jenny Aysgarth

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