Satoshi Nakamoto – the mystery behind a Bitcoin inventor

Maja Mazur
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Satoshi Nakamoto is definitely the most mysterious figure of the whole cryptocurrency world. 10 years have passed since his Manifesto, along with the first Bitcoin whitepaper, was published online. But who is Satoshi Nakamoto himself?


The mystery man – Satoshi Nakamoto

For the last 10 years, multiple theories have emerged on the Internet about who Satoshi Nakamoto really is. Some think that he is just a very talented programmist, who came up with the revolutionary idea of Bitcoin. Others claim that the Bitcoin code is way too complicated and detailed to have been created by one person. Scientists, entrepreneurs, the whole brands – they all have been suspected of hiding behind the name of this mysterious inventor. One thing we know for sure, Satoshi Nakamoto has become the modern world enigma, just like King Arthur was for the past centuries.

10 theories about Satoshi Nakamoto’s identity for the 10th anniversary of his Manifesto


  1. Dorian Satoshi Nakamoto. He was obviously the first one to suspect, because of the name. He was an American with Japanese roots, and also a programmer. What’s more, he lived nearby Hal Finney, the first man to ever make a Bitcoin transaction. This theory fell apart after a statement denying that Dorian is the real Satoshi was posted on Satoshi’s foundation website.
  2. Hal Finney. He was the second guess. The first Bitcoin transaction was made by him. And after all, he might’ve just used his neighbour name to stay anonymous. Finney was denying all of that, but we will never know for sure, because he died in 2014.
  3. Craig Wright. The next name in this online investigation appeared in 2015, due to a lead encountered by the Wired magazine and Gizmodo. Wright, an Australian scientist, confirmed that he was the one to invent Bitcoin. But later it turned out he was actually lying to cover tracks of his earlier financial crimes.
  4. Nick Szabo. Then there was an American IT specialist from Hungary. He not only was known for a cryptocurrency-related research, but he also came up with an idea of creating a decentralized digital currency named bitgold. He repeatedly denied the fact that he is Satoshi though.
  5. Elon Musk. One of the biggest names in the technology world, the lead designer for SpaceX and co-founder of Tesla and PayPal. Considering his skills and connections, he easily could’ve been the inventor of Bitcoin. But he officially turned down the rumors on his Twitter page.
  6. Shinichi Mochizuki. A Japanese mathematician, the author of numerous scientific theories. That candidature was put forward by an American pioneer in information technology, Theodore Nelson. Later, The Age undermined that theory claiming that Mochizuki denied being the inventor of the first cryptocurrency.
  7. Ross William Ulbricht. The first person on this list that actually is connected with the criminal underworld. A convicted drug dealer and darknet operator. It was assumed that he was somehow connected with Satoshi Nakamoto, or even being him, based on his Bitcoin transactions. The theory was constructed by two Israeli mathematicians, who analysed his cryptocurrency payments and online activities. Later though, they withdrew their suspicions.
  8. Michael Clear. An Irish student at the time. He was claimed to be Satoshi mostly due to his education – he graduated in cryptography at Trinity College Dublin. He might’ve been a good candidate for being Satoshi, because he definitely knew a lot about communication and information security, he also was named the top computer-science undergraduate at Trinity. He wouldn’t have had any problems with the technological side of the Bitcoin project. Clear was described as a suspect in this investigation in The New Yorker article by Joshua Davis but he denied it.
  9. Neal King, Vladimir Oksman and Charles Bry. A group of people, who jointly filed a patent application containing a phrase “computationally impractical to reverse” in 2008. The same phrase was used in the bitcoin whitepaper by Nakamoto. Three days after their application, the domain was registered. All of them deny any connotations to Nakamoto.
  10. Samsung, Toshiba, Nakamichi, Motorola. And last but not least, we have a theory of four massive companies working together behind the name of Satoshi Nakamoto. Some claim that the code was too well designed and just too detailed for one person to create. Moreover, the initial syllables of those four brand names brought together – Sa Toshi Naka Moto – form the whole nickname.  

Satoshi Nakamoto – the mystery behind a Bitcoin inventor

Facts we know for sure

Satoshi Nakamoto is a nickname for the creator(s) of Bitcoin. Satoshi’s been active in the Internet space before actually announcing his new cryptocurrency, but the name firstly appeared in a mailing list from 31st of October (or 1st of November, depends on the time zone). Along with a short message from Satoshi, we got a 9-page script explaining what exactly Bitcoin is and how it works. It was the first Bitcoin whitepaper. This message is now known as Satoshi Nakamoto’s Manifesto.

On 3rd January 2009, Satoshi Nakamoto mined the first Bitcoin block. It was the genesis of the first decentralized cryptocurrency.

Then, on February 11th, 2009. Satoshi created himself a profile on P2P Foundation’s website. Thanks to that profile, we know Satoshi is Japanese and 43 years old (that would mean he was 33 when he created Bitcoin). His involvement in the Bitcoin project supposedly ended in 2010, as we have not received any information from him since.


The father of Bitcoin

The mysterious person or people hiding behind the name Satoshi Nakamoto have undoubtedly changed the economy and technology forever. Although we still can’t clearly establish his/their real name, one thing we know for sure. Whoever Satoshi is, he’s a very powerful figure right now. He supposedly owns up to 1 million bitcoins (BTC). Such a sum would cause havoc on the market if dumped suddenly. It’s also a huge part of the whole bitcoin market.

Satoshi is not only the founder of Bitcoin, but also an important investor. Currently, there are no signs of any transactions made by him. He’s not been active since 2010, so the supposed holdings of his could just be a fairytale tailored by the internet users to keep the mystery alive.

Ten years ago Satoshi Nakamoto created an innovation that would change the world, and now we know that it already has. The cryptocurrency was a response for the global crisis that took place in 2007, which was emphasised by Satoshi himself. Bitcoin was a revolution in many ways. Not only has it lead to creating other cryptocurrencies (known as altcoins) but it also made the blockchain technology very popular. Now it’s used in multiple industries and it helps many companies around the globe keep the security and transparency on the highest level. Satoshi Nakamoto may not be even a real person, but he definitely is the hero of modern technology.

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