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Satoshi Nakamoto is the name used by the unknown person or persons who developed bitcoin, authored the bitcoin white paper, created and deployed bitcoin’s original reference implementation. On a P2P Foundation profile, Nakamoto claimed to be a man living in Japan, born on 5 April 1975. In October 2008, Nakamoto published a paper on the cryptography mailing list at metzdowd. It was titled “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System”. Nakamoto claimed that work on the writing of the code began in 2007. Nakamoto knew that due to its nature, the core design would have to be able to support a broad range of transaction types.
Nakamoto created a website with the domain name bitcoin. 2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks. The text refers to a headline in The Times published on 3 January 2009. This note has been interpreted as both a timestamp of the genesis date and a derisive comment on the instability caused by fractional-reserve banking. It is a strong indication that the first block was mined no earlier than this date. The genesis block has a timestamp of 18:15:05 GMT on 3 January 2009. This block is unlike all other blocks in that it doesn’t have a previous block to reference.
This required the use of custom code to mine it. As initially the sole and subsequently the predominant miner, Nakamoto was awarded bitcoin at genesis and for 10 days afterwards. Except for test transactions these remain unspent since mid January 2009. The public bitcoin transaction log shows that Nakamoto’s known addresses contain roughly one million bitcoins. Nakamoto has not disclosed any personal information when discussing technical matters. He provided some commentary on banking and fractional-reserve banking. Nakamoto, or at least one individual in the consortium claiming to be him, was of Commonwealth origin.
3 October 2008 or a bit over a month later, which is consistent with the local date mentioned in the Cypherpunk mailing list email. This is an earlier draft than the final draft on bitcoin. Gavin Andresen has said of Nakamoto’s code: “He was a brilliant coder, but it was quirky”. There is still doubt about the real identity of Satoshi Nakamoto.
In December 2013, a blogger named Skye Grey linked Nick Szabo to the bitcoin whitepaper using a stylometric analysis. Detailed research by financial author Dominic Frisby provides much circumstantial evidence but, as he admits, no proof that Satoshi is Szabo. On 8 December 2015, Wired wrote that Craig Steven Wright, an Australian academic, “either invented bitcoin or is a brilliant hoaxer who very badly wants us to believe he did”. Craig Wright took down his Twitter account and neither he nor his ex-wife responded to press inquiries. On 9 December, only hours after Wired claimed Wright was Nakamoto, Wright’s home in Gordon, New South Wales was raided by at least ten police officers. His business premises in Ryde, New South Wales were also searched by police.
On 2 May 2016, Craig Wright posted on his blog publicly claiming to be Satoshi Nakamoto. In articles released on the same day, journalists from the BBC and The Economist stated that they saw Wright signing a message using the private key associated with the first bitcoin transaction. Some people will believe, some people won’t, and to tell you the truth, I don’t really care. People decided this matter for me.
And they’re making life difficult not for me but my friends, my family, my staff. They don’t want all of this to affect them. And I don’t want any of them to be impacted by this. There are lots of stories out there that have been made up. Gavin Andresen, both of whom met Wright and witnessed a similar signing demonstration. However, bitcoin developer Peter Todd said that Wright’s blog post, which appeared to contain cryptographic proof, actually contained nothing of the sort. On 4 May 2016, Wright made another post on his blog intimating his intentions to publish “a series of pieces that will lay the foundations for this extraordinary claim”.
I believed that I could put the years of anonymity and hiding behind me. But, as the events of this week unfolded and I prepared to publish the proof of access to the earliest keys, I broke. I do not have the courage. At least a fraud is able to see his family.