Who exactly created Bitcoin is a question that has been shrouded in mystery for over a decade. We know that Satoshi Nakamoto is the name used by the person or persons who created Bitcoin when communicating online before sending their final message in April of 2011.
While “Satoshi” managed to keep their true identity a mystery, there are some hints and clues that have led to a short list of possible suspects. In fact, the search has gotten pretty extensive lately considering that a group of researchers even analyzed his writing style and found that Satoshi’s writings bounce inconsistently between American and British-English expressions. This could mean that Satoshi purposely switched it up to further conceal his/her identity, or that Satoshi is actually multiple people.
Satoshi’s ominous final message to the public was simply, “I’ve moved on to other things”. Well, this just makes us want to know even more now! Here’s a short list of possible suspects.
We start our list with the most practical suspect of the bunch. Met Hal Finney, a former game designer and an OG Cypher Punk. He generally tops most lists as possible suspect #1 and for good reason.
Support for Hal Finney as Satoshi:
Hal Finney has the honor of being the first ever recipient of a Bitcoin transaction. Back in 2009, Hal Finney wrote that Satoshi sent him 10 Bitcoins as a test of the systems capabilities. Additionally, he also penned the very first tweet about Bitcoin, stating that he was "running Bitcoin".
It would make a lot of sense that the creator of Bitcoin would send the first transaction to himself on another computer. Additionally, Hal Finney stepped down from many of his public duties in 2011 after being diagnosed with ALS and that is around the same time the final public message from Satoshi was seen online.
Unfortunately, Mr. Finney did pass away from ALS in 2014 - if he is Satoshi he may have taken his secret to the grave.
File this entry under... "likely not".
Elon Musk is everywhere lately. The famous co-founder of PayPal and now Tesla CEO, Elon is no stranger to crypto. He has been in the headlines lately for his both supportive and critical tweets of Bitcoin and Dogecoin, but could Elon be Satoshi?
Support for Elon Musk as Satoshi:
For starters, in the tweet pictured above you can see a playful exchange where Elon implies that he is Satoshi.
Mr. Musk is obviously very versed in economics and was integral in some of the early coding of PayPal, he also has a similar (reaching here) written dialect to some of Satoshi's known messages.
The biggest reason Elon Musk is probably not Satoshi is the fact that we believe that the Elon we know, would not be able to stay quiet about his invention. Additionally, Mr. Musk tweeted in 2017 that him being Bitcoin's creator is "Not true". Although, that sounds like something the real Satoshi would say...hmmmm.
Dorian Nakamoto was a strong suspect to be the creator of Bitcoin back in the mid-2010s. The last person to realize he might be Satoshi? Dorian Nakamoto.
Back in 2014, Newsweek published a firm opionon article stating that Dorian was in fact Satoshi Nakamoto. This led to the poor senior citizen to be harrased by thousands of people; from members of the press to horrible human beings looking to fleece him of his alleged Bitcoin, Dorian's life became hell.
But is Dorian Nakamoto the Nakamoto?
Well he did work as a systems engineer for a good portion of his career and possibly coincidently lived just down the street from Hal Finney (the guy who received the first ever Bitcoin transaction. You may be scratching your head at that coincidence, but evidence overcame speculation and it seemed that he is in fact not Satoshi.
To take it even further, Dorian penned a heartfelt response to the accusations, which not only completed denied any involvement in crypto, but also went on to stress that due to these accusations he has had trouble securing steady work as an engineer. Furthermore, he wrote, that Newsweek's false reporting has caused him and his family great stress.
He has asked that we respect his privacy and we are happy to oblige him.
Many people on this list have been claimed by others to be the real Satoshi, but this entry involves a man who has self identified as the Bitcoin creator.
Craigh Wright, an Australian computer scientist and businessman who made the bold claim about being Satoshi himself initially in 2015.
Mr. Wright's story is a strange and lengthy one. It involves a very public battle with both the courts and public opinion to prove he is in fact Satoshi. Unfortunately, the biggest piece of evidence that fans and naysayers alike are screaming for - moving some of the original Bitcoins - has yet to materialize.
This doesn't immediately disqualify Mr. Wright in our eyes, but others have proclaimed that it does. Ethereum face and co-founder Vitalik Buterin has gone as far as to confront Craight Wright at a crypto conference and imply that he is a fraud.
You may not recognize the name Nick Szabo, but make no mistake, Nick Szabo is somewhat of a cryptocurrency legend.
His origins date back before the creation of Bitcoin when he was working on a cryptocurrency known as bit gold. Additionally, in 2005 (three years before BTC) he penned a blog post describing an idea for a cryptocurrency that would be unaffected by third parties. Finally, some researchers with much more time on their hands then us, compared the writings of the Bitcoin White Paper to some of Nick Szabo's published works and found a great many similarities.
Mr. Szabo has however gone on record many times stating that he is not Satoshi. In fact he is downright insistent of that fact.
While it is a fascinating thought experiment, we believe it is probably best left unknown. If the real Satoshi is out there and he is still alive, maybe one day he will post another message letting us know he is well, but we hope that's all he has to say.
In fact, in a lot of ways, we are all Satoshi Nakamoto. Those of us who continue to support, contribute and believe in the technology that Satoshi created all have a little Satoshi in us.