Satoshi Nakamoto is the pseudonym of bitcoin's creator. There have been no 100% confirmed cases of successfully identifying Satoshi, though some have claimed to be him (if Satoshi is, in fact, a "he"), and others have been accused of being the "real" Satoshi. In addition to the gender of Satoshi, it is unclear whether Satoshi is even a single person, or a group of people.
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. Eventually, Satoshi faded from the community.
It is widely accepted that "Satoshi Nakamoto" is a pseudonym; not only has the gender or face of the true Satoshi Nakamoto never been successfully confirmed, but it is unclear whether Satoshi Nakamoto is a single person, or more than one. Furthermore, Nakamoto's paper on bitcoin appears to refer to the author as "we" a number of times.
Though the bitcoin and blockchain development team was open-sourced, Satoshi took care never to reveal anything personal, cementing the ambiguity surrounding their identity. On April 23 2011, Satoshi sent one final communication to the team, stating simply that Satoshi had "moved on to other things."
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 their 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.”
Although many have been accused of being the true Satoshi Nakamoto, none of such accusations have 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. The former, Hal Finney, is the first-ever recipient of a bitcoin transaction, which he allegedly received from Satoshi personally. He had also met with both Szabo and Wei Dai during the development of bitcoin.
One Southern California man named Dorian Satoshi Nakamoto was alleged by an article in Newsweek to be the true identity of bitcoin's mysterious founder in 2014, but he denied having anything to do with bitcoin, claiming he hadn't even heard of bitcoin until about 3 weeks before the allegations began. 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 others, such as David Chen, pointed out, "isn't that what Dorian Nakamoto WOULD say (if he was the real Satoshi Nakamoto)?"
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. However, The Economist and others were skeptical.
In 2018 Wright was sued for $10 billion by the family of his deceased former colleague, David Klieman, for wrongfully obtaining a massive amount of bitcoin from Klieman following his death in 2013.
On June 29, 2018, an individual claiming to be Satoshi Nakamoto made a post on a website called nakamotofamilyfoundation.org about a book they had begun writing. Among the excerpts given on the site, the author asserts that Satoshi Nakamoto is not their "real" name: "specifically," they wrote, "not a legal name;" the author says that the name is "primarily the essence of thoughts and reason." The author also says they chose "Satoshi Nakamoto" because the commonality of the name in Japanese is similar to a name like "John Smith" in English. The exerpts also include long passages dedicated to Hal Finney, more so than Nick Szabo or Wei Dei.
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