After more than a decade, we’re as far away from truly knowing who Satoshi Nakamoto is as we are who William Shakespeare really was. According to hundreds of articles reckoning and conjecturing as to who may be the person behind the man known only as Satoshi Nakamoto, a name seems to have been chosen by someone because it’s the Japanese equivalent of John Smith. Who could it be? All the usual suspects were very close to the Bitcoin project from day one, be it Hal Finney, Christopher Marlowe, Nick Szabo, Francis Bacon, Dorian Nakamoto, Edward de Vere, Craig Wright, or even Keyser Söze?
He’s been tagged as a native English speaker and a bunch of indefatigable internet and digital forensic scientists were able to track Satoshi Nakamoto’s sleep cycle data and they suggest that he was probably sleeping, arguably, on the East Coast of the United States.
Even the CIA (Langley) and the NSA (Fort Meade)—both denizens of the East Coast—have been accused of being behind the first shove of Bitcoin in the right direction. (Satoshi Nakamoto translates to Central Intelligence in English) And doesn’t the eponymous Dorian Prentice Satoshi Nakamoto have a background in spycraft and the intelligence community himself. According to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request made by Daniel Oberhaus of Vice, “the request has been rejected, with the agency stating that it can neither confirm nor deny the existence of the requested documents.”
Christopher Marlowe, Francis Bacon, and Edward de Vere weren’t contemporaries to Satoshi Nakamoto, they were contemporaries to William Shakespeare. To this day, we don’t know exactly who Shakespeare was. Everyone’s got a theory. He could have been Marlowe, Bacon, or de Vere—they were all geniuses and all possessed the playwriting, historical, and cultural bona fides to have ghost written some or all of the Bard’s work. The same goes for all the men who have been fingered as the real Satoshi Nakamoto—all except Keyser Söze, who was a character in the 1995 neo-noir film, The Usual Suspects. And like Söze, Nakamoto is a ghost, having acquired a legendary, even mythical, status. If he was born on April 5th, 1975, then he really can’t be the 65-year-old Dorian Nakamoto, though even my least clever friends like to fake out the biographic information requested, especially when they want to be anonymous.
No matter how clever the analysis might become or how smart the stylometry algorithm or analysis, without verifiable proof, no-one can claim to be Satoshi.
No matter who or what brought the big pot, some water, and a large stone to the village, resulting in the Stone Soup now known as Bitcoin, that person, team, or entity was more interested in creating a leaderless, decentralized, peer-to-peer payment system that was autonomous, transparent, open, and trustworthy than he, they, it wanted credit. It seems he wanted the trust to be based on the distributed ledger instead of the trustworthiness of the man, woman, team, company, or shadowy entity behind it. In that way, it’s less likely to be
If there’s one thing you can be sure of, post-2007 economic collapse, is that Satoshi Nakamoto does not trust fiat currency or the Federal Reserve. The immense power that Fed Chairs Alan Greenspan and Ben Bernanke wielded before and during the great recession was immense. People endlessly scrutinize every word and gesture made by whomever the Chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System currently is—currently Jerome Powell, appointed by Donald Trump since February 5, 2018.
It also seems obvious from the trail of breadcrumbs that “Satoshi Nakamoto” left behind for us that he was inspired by the cypherpunk movement which advocates widespread use of strong cryptography and privacy-enhancing technologies as a route to social and political change. This countercultural movement of privacy über alles is also a response to the USA PATRIOT Act and to Carnivore, PRISM, DCS-3000, ECHELON, MYSTIC, DCSN, PINWALE, BULLRUN, SORM, RAMPART-A, and everything else out there sucking and sniffing we don’t even know about. It’s often boiled down to Libertarianism.
If the MIA Satoshi ever resurfaces, it’s believed that he holds more than five percent of all Bitcoin in current circulation, making him a very rich man no matter what the current trading price on the exchanges. Enough coins that if he were to liquidate, he would shake the market, possibly crashing it and all the little altcoins, too. At the peak of his wealth when his HODL of 900,000 bitcoins was worth $19,783.06-per-coin, he was worth $17,804,754,000—almost $18 billion US dollars (or 32 miles of border wall).
While he ultimately turned out to be a deadbeat dad, Satoshi hung around long enough to make sure his baby would be healthy and well taken care of. On August 18, 2008, the domain name bitcoin.org was registered; on October 31, 2008, Satoshi Nakamoto shared Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System; then, on January 3, 2009, the bitcoin network came into existence. And uncles Hal Finney, Wei Dai, and Nick Szabo—three men and a Bitcoin—were like the first three disciples of Jesus, Peter, Andrew, and John. Or the Paul, George, Ringo to John. All three of these disciples of Bitcoin have been accused of being Satoshi Nakamoto himself, though none of it has panned out. And of the three, Hal Finney passed away of ALS on August 28, 2014, amidst lawsuits worth billions of dollars.
We’re in the decade-later year, 2008-2018. Last month, ten years ago, bitcoin.org was registered; on Halloween of this year, ten years ago, Satoshi Nakamoto released the Bitcoin Manifesto with the world. After ten years, we aren’t any closer. And if Shakespeare bears any witness, the truth behind the greatest writer in the English language is been eluding us for over 400 years. Do we really need to know? Do we really want to know?
Takeaway: In the real world, origin stories mean a lot less than they do in the Marvel Universe. The Internet originated as a US Defense Department DARPA project and now it’s the most disruptive, international, global, decentralized, and empowering invention in the world (thanks, Al Gore); so, too, no matter who or what developed Bitcoin and Blockchain, it, too, is one of the most disruptive, international, global, decentralized, and empowering invention in the financial world (thank you “Satoshi Nakamoto”).Leave a comment