To this day, little is known about the creator of Bitcoin—Satoshi Nakamoto. In 2009, Satoshi brought upon us the catalyst of all cryptocurrencies, as well as its underlying revolutionary technology: blockchain. For that, Satoshi is revered in the cryptocurrency community. Yet, Satoshi remains an enigma—no one knows his/her real identity.
Behind closed doors
So, who is Satoshi Nakamoto? Despite the anonymity, that hasn’t stopped the community from compiling all the facts. Here are some of the more interesting details we do know about this person:
Satoshi Nakamoto is a pseudonym
Like many authors who have written under pen names, Satoshi Nakamoto was the pseudonym that was used to author Bitcoin’s white paper. Some have deciphered the name and found out that “Satoshi” means “quick-witted” or “wise.” In regards to the surname, “Naka” means “medium” or “relationship,” while “moto” means “origin” or “foundation.”
And ever since the release of Satoshi’s white paper, that name has been associated with Bitcoin and will continue to be until someone figures out Satoshi’s real identity. At this point, Satoshi could be a man, a woman, a computer, or…
Satoshi Nakamoto may be more than one person
It has been established that no one knows the true identity of Satoshi Nakamoto—despite people coming forward and “admitting.” The truth is, there’s no evidence that Satoshi Nakamoto is a singular person—the name could refer to a company or group of people. In the white paper, there are instances where Satoshi addresses him or herself as both “we” and “I.” And although the pseudonym is Japanese, the whitepaper is written in flawless English. Although no one is sure of how many people are behind this name, at this point, anything is possible.
Why Satoshi Nakamoto remains anonymous
In an extremely digital world, it gets harder and harder every day to stay anonymous. Yet, here is Satoshi, who has remained so for more than a decade now. But why does he do it?
From the very beginning, Satoshi understood the importance of anonymity, especially when creating a new type of digital currency. Satoshi knew that if Bitcoin got big, he wouldn’t want to be labeled as the head of something that could be considered illegal by governments. He even saw its importance in the digital currency he was creating:
“The possibility of being anonymous or pseudonymous relies on you not revealing any identifying information about yourself in connection with the bitcoin addresses you use. If you post your bitcoin address on the web, then you’re associating that address and any transactions with it with the name you posted under. If you posted under a handle that you haven’t associated with your real identity, then you’re still pseudonymous.”
To stay anonymous, he created several emails and an alias. He never left any trails of his work and interacted with developers separately—no full developer saw the whole picture, hence, never revealing too much to a single person.
Why Satoshi Nakamoto created Bitcoin
There are several reasons why Satoshi created bitcoin. First, there was an event that led him to experience hardship with the current financial system—he was denied a personal bank account. In 2005, Satoshi was denied a bank account due to his lack of a permanent address in the United Kingdom. As we all know, banks require a lot from people who wish to open an account—a minimum opening deposit, minimum balance, direct deposit, identification, proof of address, phone number, etc.
This event led to Satoshi’s general distrust of central banks and government. The main problem with traditional systems is how much trust is required. Due to their centralized nature, banks need to be trusted with our money and transferring operations.
With all of that being said, bitcoin, the first decentralized digital currency, was created in the hopes of decentralizing the entire process—eliminating the trust required. Satoshi wanted to empower the average person. He wanted to create an accessible currency—one that didn’t have any nationality, boundaries, or discrimination.
Satoshi Nakamoto’s net worth
With Satoshi being the creator, a lot of people wonder how much bitcoin he actually has and what it’s worth. According to several sources, Satoshi owns over a million bitcoins—which puts his estimated net worth at just under 5 billion USD at the time of writing (even after the recent dip).
How much bitcoin has Satoshi spent?
With over 1,000,000 bitcoins in his arsenal, how much has Satoshi Nakamoto actually spent? Does Satoshi have the wildly-coveted Lambo many crypto-enthusiasts wish for?
According to a programmer named Sergio Demian Lerner, he has examined the blockchain and saw an address which is likely to be Satoshi’s. According to that examination, Satoshi Nakamoto has spent 500 bitcoins. Though 500 bitcoins is still a lot of money, it’s only a fraction of what Satoshi has.
The great unknown
At this point, there are a handful of people who are suspected to be Satoshi Nakamoto. Examples that come to mind are people like Dorian Nakamoto, Craig Wright, Hal Finney, and Nick Szabo. Even with that in mind, which among them is the most compelling case?
The point is, there’s really no way to find out for sure—and maybe we’ll never know. To us, Satoshi Nakamoto will always be an enigma, an angel hiding in the darkness—we’ll just have to accept that.