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It’s one of the enduring mysteries of modern times, a riddle for the digital age, who created
the cryptocurrency known as Bitcoin?
After its release in 2009 hardly anyone had heard of it, and when people started to hear
the word Bitcoin not many of them gave it a second’s thought.
Now millions of folks use it and some have made a virtual fortune from selling it.
We guess you’ve all heard the story of Laszlo Hanyecz, who paid for two large Papa John’s
pizzas for 10,000 bitcoins in 2010, worth then a measly $30.
If that guy would have held on to them he could have made at one point as much as $100,000,000.
Recently he said, “I don't regret it.
I think that it's great that I got to be part of the early history of Bitcoin.”
The question is, though, who did this history begin with?
The story starts with a name, and that name is Satoshi Nakamoto.
Behind this name is a shadow, a ghost; it’s a name that conjures up conspiracy theories,
that piques and stirs our imaginations.
He’s real and not real, a kind of Keyser Söze of the digital era.
We say this because he’s the guy, the specter, that put his name to the domain “bitcoin.org”
on 18 August 2008.
He’s also the person that following that wrote a paper called, “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer
Electronic Cash System.”
He hung around for a couple more years, and then like that, he was gone.
What we want to know is where is he now and who are we really talking about, because the
experts out there are fairly certain there is no person called Satoshi Nakamoto who created
In 2012 this extremely wise guy claiming to be Mr. Nakamoto said he was a 37-year old
dude from Japan.
Back then before he went missing no one really believed that and these days no one believes
In the early days people knew something was amiss when they saw he wrote in impeccable
But so what, lots of Japanese people do.
But then he used British phrases and British spelling when he wrote.
Lots of things just didn’t seem right.
The famous and sometimes infamous tech entrepreneur John McAfee says he actually knows who the
Bitcoin wizard is, but he’s not telling.
Still, McAfee has been known to say some outlandish things at times.
Let’s now look at some possibilities regarding who Nakamoto is.
Back when not many people really cared about Bitcoin some people did do a bit of investigating
about this so-called Japanese creator.
One of the first people to try and unmask Nakamoto was an Internet-security researcher
called Dan Kaminsky.
He told the New Yorker in 2011 he knew one thing for sure, and that was, “He’s a
world-class programmer, with a deep understanding of the C++ programming language.
He understands economics, cryptography, and peer-to-peer networking.”
He also said, if this guy isn’t actually a team of guys, then he’s an absolute genius.
Many others have said no way could one man alone have done this, unless…unless he was
So, we are looking for a genius.
There can’t be too many of those hiding out underground surely.
They tend to float to the top of society, or at least cause ripples in the rivers of
That investigator went looking for other cryptography experts, because hey, it’s very likely the
best knew the best.
But he came up with nothing in the end.
Was it the Finnish tech researcher and programmer Vili Lehdonvirta?
That’s highly unlikely.
His name was put forward, but he didn’t even know cryptography that well and surely
he would have given up his day job at the university where he worked.
What about Gavin Andresen.
He was the guy that took over Bitcoin after Nakamoto did his disappearing act.
But no, no one really believes that.
What’s interesting, though, is that Andresen once said that he did know who Nakamoto was,
and he gave the name Craig Wright.
But that’s only because Wright, an Australian computer scientist, said he was.
He was investigated, and a lot about his life and work and activity suggested that either
he was the creator or he was really good at lying.
It’s also said that he wrote some messages using cryptographic keys that were inextricably
linked to blocks of Bitcoin created by the great Nakamoto.
Wright even registered a US copyright for Bitcoin 0.1 in April 2019, but the US Copyright
office said it doesn’t look into what it said was “a provable connection between
the claimant and the pseudonymous author.”
In other words, that copyright doesn’t mean much.
Wright’s claim, though, was supported by others.
There were further investigations, with Wired once writing that Wright “either invented
bitcoin or is a brilliant hoaxer who very badly wants us to believe he did.”
He has even threatened to sue people for libel who say it wasn’t him, so he takes the matter
Then in 2019, he came out with a bombshell, but something not totally unexpected.
He said Nakamoto wasn’t just him, but he led a team of people.
He said he was kind of the principal actor.
The other people involved he said were Dave Kleiman and Hal Finney.
So, let’s have a look at these guys.
Kleinman, called an avid cryptographer, isn’t alive any longer.
He passed away in 2013.
He was on the mailing list of this Nakamoto character, and he was skilled in the arts
of building encryption-focused software.
The problem is, according to the experts, the only evidence he was part of this team
Wright talks about is Wright’s word.
Wright has been accused of making things up by some investigators.
And listen to what was written about Kleinman after he died in apparent poverty.
“His body was found decomposing and surrounded by empty alcohol bottles and a loaded handgun…
a bullet hole was found in his mattress, though no spent shell casings were found on the scene.”
The story now turns to a darker shade of grey.
It’s gets weirder, though, because allegedly Kleinman died with a massive stack of Bitcoin.
People have even said it was Kleinman, and Kleinman alone, that was Nakamoto.
From we what we can see, though, is that his brother hasn’t released his hard drives,
and they could hold some valuable information.
Should we trust what this man Wright says, that’s the question.
This is what Bitcoin.com says about Wright, “There is some evidence that Wright was
lurking in the shadows not long after Bitcoin got off the ground, but all that proves is
that Faketoshi is a chancer who’s built a career out of riding in the slipstream of
That said, he was working on Bitcoin from the beginning, or something like it.
In an interview his wife said he was working on something he called “digital money”,
and that was way back.
He worked on that with his friend, and his friend was Dave Kleiman.
There are many things pointing to Wright telling the truth, such as a hacked PDF of a legal
contract between Wright and Kleiman.
That contract is for a trust in the Seychelles, and that trust would hold a fortune of Bitcoin
similar to that which Nakamoto had.
Still, investigator’s have said this is bogus, and neither Wright nor Nakamoto had
the amount of Bitcoin in that contract.
That researcher we just mentioned called Dan Kaminsky has looked into the claim and he
concluded that it is “intentional scammery.”
If this is confusing to you, don’t worry, because the story of who Nakamoto is or was
has been causing migraines and sometimes vicious debates for a long time.
Now let’s have a look at this man called Hal Finney.
Of all the people thought to be Nakamoto, he is certainly a big suspect.
This guy Finney was said to be a pre-bitcoin cryptographic pioneer.
He was a genius, and if he wasn’t Nakamoto then the two could be said to be endowed with
similar intellectual properties.
As Bitcoin.com writes, “Hal Finney epitomizes Bitcoin more than any other known person.”
Writing analysis experts have also said that he and Nakamoto have very similar handwriting,
but they said that about Andresen, too.
Some people have suggested that he was a ghostwriter for Nakamoto, not that he was the man himself.
But Finney denied being Nakamoto and allowed investigators into his house.
Those investigators concluded that he was indeed telling the truth, but there is no
doubt Finney and Nakamoto were in contact via email a lot.
Others have said that if Nakamoto was trying to hide, why would Finney have been openly
That’s if he was Nakamoto in disguise.
It makes no sense, because obviously the trail leads back to Finney.
Or was it some crazy double bluff.
By the way, Finney was the first ever guy to receive a bitcoin transaction from Nakamoto.
Unfortunately, Finney got ALS, known as Lou Gehrig's disease, and became paralyzed and
then died in 2014.
Rest in peace the second genius of this tale.
So, if these three guys weren’t all together Nakamoto, then they were all there at the
beginning of Bitcoin.
But the story doesn’t stop there.
It gets even stranger.
That’s because a man living down the street from Finney was called Dorian Nakamoto.
Hmm, that’s some coincidence eh.
He was also a computer whizz, and like most of those that embrace cryptocurrencies, a
He was actually investigated by a Newsweek journalist in 2014, and get this, he told
the journo, “I am no longer involved in that and I cannot discuss it.
It's been turned over to other people.
They are in charge of it now.
I no longer have any connection.”
So, is that confirmation?
It gets weird again, because Dorian then backtracked, saying he misunderstood the question and thought
the journalist was talking about his military work, which was classified.
Then something strange happened.
The real Nakamoto’s P2P Foundation account came alive for the first time in five years,
and a message read, “I am not Dorian Nakamoto.”
Some people, though, think it was hacked.
Others have said that while he might have been a systems engineer on classified government
defense projects, and also a computer engineer for technology and financial information services
companies, he certainly didn’t have the brains to be the real Nakamoto, not unless
he hid his superior intelligence very well.
Another name that pops up a lot is Nick Szabo.
That’s because he certainly did have the brainpower to create something like Bitcoin,
and the reason we say that is because he published a paper on something called "bit gold", which
was a theoretical decentralized digital currency.
It didn’t ever really get off the ground, but it was certainly a precursor to Bitcoin.
He envisioned and laid out a plan like Bitcoin before Bitcoin came out.
He was a certified genius no doubt, and people investigating the riddle have said it was
him, only because he’s the only one who would know how to create something like Bitcoin.
One investigator wrote, “I've concluded there is only one person in the whole world
that has the sheer breadth but also the specificity of knowledge and it is this chap.”
There is also evidence on one of his blogs that he wrote about intending to invent a
real life version of his Bit Gold.
But Szabo vehemently denies he is Nakamoto, even though he has at least admitted that
if anyone in the world that he knew of could have created Bitcoin and want to create Bitcoin
it would have been him, or Finney or a guy called Wei Dai.
The latter isn’t in the list of usual suspects.
As for Szabo, he certainly dreamed of something like Bitcoin and has said so in interviews,
so he only has the greatest respect for Nakamoto.
Still, there is not enough evidence pointing to him actually being Nakamoto.
In one interview he said of his Bit Gold, “Satoshi came along and improved a number
of aspects of it, made it even more trust-minimized, and actually wrote software, so that brings
the story to where we are today.”
He claims he has no idea who Satoshi is, though.
Others have been accused of being the ghost of Bitcoin, including Elon Musk, or a Japanese
mathematician called Shinichi Mochizuki, or even the creator of the dark web’s Silk
Road, Ross Ulbricht, but the latter is highly unlikely and the other two have denied it.
A denial doesn’t mean they didn’t do it, but there’s no convincing evidence it was
You’ll also find conspiracy theories pointing to the US government creating Bitcoin as a
black ops thing, perhaps to send untraceable funds for its various operations, but there
is no proof of that, either.
Right now, the man known as Satoshi Nakamoto is still a missing person, the Keyser Söze
Our story has all the suspects lined up against the wall, but perhaps there really is another
Satoshi Nakamoto, that he’s not a myth, but one man, a genius of a man, who has managed
to keep his identity completely hidden.
Because you know what they say, “The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing
the world he didn't exist.”
Regardless of who is behind Bitcoin, it’s unfortunately been used for some nefarious
purposes like being used as payment for ransomware after hacks.
And it’s not just big businesses and governments that are targeted, but regular people like
you and me.
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Who do you think Satoshi Nakamoto was?
Tell us in the comments.
Also, be sure to check out our other video What Horrific Things Can Be Found on The Dark
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