Who is Satoshi Nakamoto?


Satoshi Nakamoto is the mysterious inventor of Bitcoins: a digital currency that is regulated by an online encryption protocol, and not by a central authority.


Nov 08: He posted his original research paper online, that explained the basic principles of Bitcoin.


Apri 09: The original Bitcoin network appeared, with help from numerous online volunteers. <— Actually Jan 2009 & not April.


Mid 2010: Nakamoto stopped having as much of an input into the Bitcoin network.


Apr 2011: Once contacted online, Nakamoto replied saying he had ‘moved onto other things’, and then stopped replying altogether


Introdution cont:

His contact email was from a free German website, and his name a pseudonym: Nakamoto knew what he was doing, and covered his tracks well.

His real identity has since been one of the Bitcoin’s communities’ most enduring mysteries, and they have responded with a number of ideas.


Here are the most popular ones:


Guess Who Options:

Shinichi Mochizuki:

–         Mathematical genius specialising in number theory

–         Based in Japan

–         Grew up in the US, so is fluent in English

–         When he has made mathematical discoveries in the past, he has a tendency to release it publicly on the internet, not through academic channels, just like Nakamoto did


Michael Clear:

–         Top Computer Science student at Trinity College, Dublin

–         One of only a few UK based candidates, and Nakamoto referenced a Times newspaper article in the coding of the first collection of Bitcoins, his online comments were normally made after working hours in the UK, and he used British spelling

–         The New Yorker newspaper did some research into Nakamoto, and decided it was most likely to be Clear


Vili Lehdonvirta:

–         Economic Sociologist, who used to be a video game programmer

–         Based in Finland

–         Has done a lot of well documented research into virtual currencies


Neal King, Vladimir Oksman & Charles Bry:

–         A group of Computer Scientists

–         Based in the UK, but Bry travelled to Finland a couple of months before the domain name was registered there.

–         Released a patent application using very similar phrasing to Nakamoto’s original Bitcoin paper, 72 hours after the Bitcoin domain name was established, and all three have filed other patents in similar areas

–         Those who were in email contact with Nakamoto before he disappeared said that his replies were infrequent, almost as if a group of people were checking the email only intermittently.


Martti Malmi:

–         Computer Scientist

–         Based in Finland, where the Bitcoin website was first registered

–         Made the first ever Bitcoin transaction, created the user interface, and is a well-known developer from early on in the project

–         Was removed from the list of project developers on the Bitcoin website, around the same time Nakamoto stopped replying to emails


Jed McCaleb:

–         Creator of Mt Gox, the largest Bitcoin marketplace, and Ripple, a similar digital currency

–         American, but has a love of Japanese culture, so it would make sense for him to adopt a Japanese pseudonym


Crypto Mano Group:

–         Consists of Donal O’Mahony, Hitesh Tewari, Michael Peirce and previously mentioned, Michael Clear

–         A group of Computer Scientists, all with connections to Trinity College, Dublin

–         Based in Ireland

–         Published a book entitled ‘Electronic Payment Systems of E-Commerce’ in 2009, and numerous other paper on Computer Science


Samsung, Toshiba, Nakamichi & Motorola:

–         Four technology companies

–         All based in Japan

–         The four companies would definitely have enough knowledgable people working for them to create such a concept, and cover their tracks well


The CIA:

–         As with most mysteries, there is always the belief that the CIA is somehow involved.

–         Japanese names are presented with the surname first, this would make it Nakamoto Satoshi.

–        In Japanese, Nakamoto means ‘central origin’, while Satoshi means ‘clear thinking, quick witted, wise’ i.e intelligent. The name can therefore be translated to mean ‘Central Intelligent’.

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Satoshi Nakamoto History

Read some of the initial discussion on the Cryptography Mailing List.

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