Satoshi Nakamoto

            The name Satoshi Nakamoto is the pseudonym used by the founder of Bitcoin.  Nakamoto has managed to conceal his identity for over five years. Bitcoin was introduced to the world in 2008 in an academic paper that was emailed to the Cryptography and Cryptography Policy Mailing List. Nakamoto started emailing with individual programmers who took an interest, then began posting on the Bitcoin forum. His communications were overwhelmingly technical, never personal, and always in text.  Both The New Yorker and Fast Company tried and failed to unmask Nakamoto. The ongoing crowdsourced investigation hasn’t done any better. "People analyze Satoshi's written words, trying to divine if he speaks native British English, American English, or learned the language as a second language," said Jeff Garzik, a developer who works on the Bitcoin Project and emailed with Nakamoto in the early days. “They analyze his posting dates, trying to guess his local time zone. It's all part of the fun."

            Towards the end of 2010, Nakamoto left the project, saying he had moved on to other things.   Jeff Garzik, one of the core developers, notes that Nakamoto thought about the Bitcoin concept at a very deep level.  He comments on Nakamoto’s strengths and weaknesses.  “But in spite of being an excellent architect and designer, Satoshi’s coding practices were unconventional,” says Garzik, adding that the original version of Bitcoin was Windows only, not very portable, and “a jumble of source code” with several half-finished projects…“He was the oracle to which we would go for questions about the system, but he rarely followed standard engineering practices, like writing unit or stress tests or any of the standard qualitative analysis that we’d perform on software,” Garzik recalls. “Several things had to be disabled almost immediately upon public release of Bitcoin because they were obviously exploitable.”

 

Ongoing Speculation

 

Speculations about his identity continue until this day.  Programmer Sergio Demian Lerner discovered something new about Nakamoto…It was generally assumed that Nakamoto has been mining bitcoins since the very beginning and probably owned a large amount.

 

            But if Lerner’s analysis is correct, Nakamoto is likely hoarding an eye-popping fortune of almost a million Bitcoins, worth more than $100 million at today’s market price…By examining the ledger, Lerner deduced that Nakamoto has only spent around .0005 percent of his fortune, or about 500 Bitcoins over the last four years.  There is some disagreement over whether Lerner’s numbers are correct, but the experts The Verge consulted all said the basic gist was accurate: there is an entity that has amassed a large fortune in Bitcoin, and that entity is probably Nakamoto. "Sergio's latest detective work is technically sound," Gavin Andresen, the Bitcoin developer who took over for Nakamoto, said in an email. "It sure looks like one person (or group of cooperating people) mined about a million bitcoins in 2009, and the most likely suspect is Satoshi."

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