Satoshi Nakamoto

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Satoshi Nakamoto (Pseudonym; real name unknown)
Occupation Creator of Bitcoin
Employer Unknown
Website The Nakamoto Institute

Satoshi Nakamoto is the pseudonym of bitcoin's creator. Satoshi's true identity has never been confirmed, though some have claimed to be Satoshi. Others have been accused of being the "real" Satoshi. Neither Satoshi's gender, nor whether he or she is a single person or a group of people, has ever been conclusively established.[1]


Until 2010, Satoshi collaborated with an initially small community via mailing lists. Though the team was open-sourced, Satoshi took care never to reveal anything personal, cementing the ambiguity surrounding Satoshi's identity. Satoshi did once state that his/her birth date was April 5, 1975, though some theorize that this was meant to be deliberately misleading, or possibly symbolic (April 5 was the date in 1933 that President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed an executive order forbidding the hoarding of precious commodities like gold, while 1975 was the year in which ownership of gold by U.S. citizens was made legal again).[2] Eventually, Satoshi faded from the community.[3]

It is widely accepted that "Satoshi Nakamoto" is a pseudonym.[4] Nakamoto's paper on bitcoin appears to refer to the author as "we" a number of times.[5]

Though the bitcoin and blockchain development team was open-sourced, Satoshi took care never to reveal anything personal, adding to the ambiguity surrounding his identity.

On April 23 2011, Satoshi sent one final communication to the team stating simply that Satoshi had "moved on to other things."[6]

Gavin Andresen, a professor at the University of Massachusetts who worked closely with Satoshi, remarked that he had a constant sense that Satoshi was wary of giving out even the subtlest details about his personal identity in the 2014 documentary, "The Rise and Rise of Bitcoin." In the documentary, he said of Satoshi, “He was so worried about people finding out who he was...I don’t know why. My last email to him was telling him I’d agreed to go visit the folks over at the CIA [laughs]. Whether that had something to do with him deciding to cut off...he had been pulling away before then.”[7]

Popular Theories

Although many have been accused of being the true Satoshi Nakamoto, none of those accusations has ever been confirmed. Some popular theories posit that Satoshi's true identity is either Hal Finney, Nick Szabo or Wei Dai - the latter two of whom are credited with inventing concepts that served as precursors to bitcoin.[8][9] Hal Finney is the first-ever recipient of a bitcoin transaction, which he allegedly received from Satoshi himself. He had also met with both Szabo and Wei Dai during the development of bitcoin.[10]

An article in Newsweek in 2014 alleged that a Southern California man named Dorian Satoshi Nakamoto was bitcoin's mysterious founder, but he denied having anything to do with bitcoin, claiming he hadn't even heard of it until about three weeks before the allegations began.[11] In the midst of the resulting media frenzy, Satoshi Nakamoto's long-dormant bitcoin foundation account briefly returned to life to publicly post the sentence, "I am not Dorian Nakamoto." This was met with mixed reception, some saying that it proved Dorian Nakamoto's lack of affiliation with bitcoin, while one man tweeted, "Then again...isn't that what Dorian Nakamoto WOULD say (if he was the real Satoshi Nakamoto)?"[12]

In May of 2016, an Australian entrepreneur named Craig Wright publicly identified himself as the bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto. As proof, he showed fellow bitcoin developer Gavin Andresen that he had digitally signed messages using cryptographic keys created during the early days of bitcoin's development and linked to blocks of bitcoins known to have been mined by Nakamoto.[13] However, The Economist and others were skeptical.[14]

Some believe that David Kleiman, a computer expert with known affiliations with Hal Finney, may have been Nakamoto, or one of the people using the Satoshi Nakamoto persona. Kleiman passed away in 2013.[15] In 2018 Wright was sued for $10 billion by the family of Kleiman, his deceased former colleague, for wrongfully obtaining a massive amount of bitcoin from Kleiman following his death in 2013.[16][17]


On June 29, 2018, an individual claiming to be Satoshi Nakamoto made a post on a website called about a book he had begun writing.[18][19][20] In one of the excerpts on the site, the author asserted that Satoshi Nakamoto is not a "real" name: "specifically," he wrote, "not a legal name." The author said that the name is "primarily the essence of thoughts and reason." The author also said he chose "Satoshi Nakamoto" because the commonality of the name in Japanese is similar to a name like "John Smith" in English.[21] The excerpts also include nearly a full page dedicated to Hal Finney.[22]


On November 29th, 2018, Nakamoto's original profile on the website made a post with a single word, "nour." No further explanation or follow-up was posted to the profile, though some speculated that since the word means "light" in Arabic, Hebrew, and Aramaic, this had something to do with Nakamoto's intended, cryptic message. Others speculated that Nakamoto's account had been hacked, and the post was simply nonsense made by an unauthorized user. Earlier that day, Nakamoto's activity feed indicated that the profile had accepted a new friend account for the first time in years. The account that was added by Nakamoto belonged to Brazilian citizen Wagner Tamanaha, who tweeted in Portuguese after these posts were made that he was "under investigation."[23][24][25]

Craig Wright attempts to copyright Nakamoto's Whitepaper

In April 2019, Craig Wright applied for registrations with the United States Copyright Office, claiming authorship of bitcoin's original whitepaper, “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System.” On May 22, 2019, a day after the news broke, the U.S. Copyright Office published a statement: “As a general rule, when the Copyright Office receives an application for registration, the claimant certifies as to the truth of the statements made in the submitted materials. The Copyright Office does not investigate the truth of any statement made...In a case in which a work is registered under a pseudonym, the Copyright Office does not investigate whether there is a provable connection between the claimant and the pseudonymous author.”[26][27]

On May 24, 2019, the CEO of a Chinese cryptocurrency market research firm, Wei Liu, registered a copyright for bitcoin's whitepaper, making him the second person to do so. Although he did not confirm whether or not he was Satoshi Nakamoto, he told Coindesk, "I filed it just to let people know anyone can register a copyright. Everyone can be Satoshi Nakamoto. Wright responded over Twitter with the message, "Now we can both show our credentials and see who ends up wearing an orange suit!"[28][29]


  1. Who is Satoshi Nakamoto?.
  2. Who is Satoshi Nakamoto?. Diginomics.
  3. Who is Satoshi Nakamoto?.
  4. Who is Satoshi Nakamoto?. The Economist.
  5. Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System.
  6. Who is Satoshi Nakamoto?.
  7. The Rise and Rise of Bitcoin.
  8. "Wei Dai:" B-Money.
  9. One Does Not Simply Find Satoshi Nakamoto.
  10. Hal Finney received the first Bitcoin transaction. Here’s how he describes it.. The Washington Post.
  11. The Face of Bitcoin. Newsweek.
  12. Bitcoin Creator Returns To Internet To Say, 'I Am Not Dorian Nakamoto'. Forbes.
  13. Craig Wright revealed as Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto. BBC News.
  14. Craig Wright’s claims to be Satoshi Nakamoto come under fire. The Economist.
  15. How Two Disabled Men Changed the Financial World. CCN.
  16. Australian 'bitcoin founder' Craig Wright Sued over claimed theft of bitcoins worth millions. Business Insider AU.
  17. Self-proclaimed Satoshi Craig Wright is being sued for stealing his partner’s bitcoin. The Verge.
  18. Bitcoin Creator, Whoever It Is, Hints at Telling All in Book. Bloomberg.
  19. Self-Proclaimed Satoshi Says Bitcoin Book in the Works. Coindesk.
  20. Nakamoto Family Foundation. Nakamoto Family Foundation.
  21. Duality: An excerpt. Nakamoto Family Foundation.
  23. ‘Nour’ and a New Friend: Satoshi Nakamoto's P2P Profile Makes New Post, Befriends User. Cointelegraph.
  24. Satoshi Nakamoto's Page. P2PFoundation.
  25. Parece que o Satoshi reapareceu e estou sendo investigado :-). Twitter.
  26. Craig Wright Attempts to Copyright the Satoshi White Paper and Bitcoin Code. Coindesk.
  27. US Copyright Office Says It Does Not ‘Recognize’ Craig Wright as Satoshi. Coindesk.
  28. US Copyright Office Says It Does Not ‘Recognize’ Craig Wright as Satoshi. Coindesk.
  29. Who Is Wei Liu? Second Copyright Filing Appears for Bitcoin White Paper. Coindesk.