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Published Thursday, December 10th, 2015 in

The Many Faces of Satoshi Nakamoto

Since the mainstream rise of bitcoin in 2012 the media has been fascinated in identifying the anonymous ‘creator’ of bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto. Satoshi has been speculated to be a number of different characters, from a Canadian programming geek to an Australian tech entrepreneur or Chinese crypto-prodigy. The pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto has also been theorised to apply to an organisation or group of individuals responsible for creating the globally renowned cryptocurrency. This mystery has been fueled by fairly obscure and fumbling attempts at revealing the identity of Satoshi Nakamoto in hopes of making the ‘ultimate reveal’. Here we take a look at some of the most high-profile, and since ruled-out, identities of Satoshi Nakamoto.

Nick Szabo

December 2013
Source: Skye Grey (blogger)

Nick Szabo mistaken identity for Satoshi Nakamoto

In 1988 Szabo designed a decentralized digital currency, much like bitcoin, called ‘bit gold’. The similarity of his 1988 approach and the 2008 bitcoin crypto-currency was hard to ignore. Speculation over Szabo’s link to Satoshi Nakamoto was fuelled when British financial author Dominic Frisby said on RT’s Kieser Report:

I’ve concluded there is only one person in the whole world that has the sheer breadth but also the specificity of knowledge and it is this chap…

Like other individuals accused of being Satoshi Nakamoto, Nick Szabo has repeatedly denied the accusation that he was indeed the anonymous creator of bitcoin, and in July 2014 wrote to Frisby to say that he had “got it wrong”.

Dorian Nakamoto

March 6th, 2014
Source: Newsweek

alleged identity of Satoshi Nakamoto - Dorian Nakamoto

The most high profile of accusations was in the form of Dorian Nakamoto, a Japanese-American living the U.S. who had the birth name of ‘Satoshi Nakamoto’. Dorian was persuaded by a Newsweek journalist to speak with her outside his home in March 2014 – a number of Nakamoto’s comments were then taken out of context and published in the Newsweek article which quickly circulated online and gained traction on the popular bitcoin sub-Reddit.

Dorian Nakamoto has since come out in public to explain his confusion during the interview and how his comments were misrepresented; it has now widely been accepted that Dorian Nakamoto was a victim of poor journalism, and while interested in bitcoin, had nothing to do with the creation of it.

Hal Finney

March 2014
Source: Anonymous

Hal Finney was the first ever recipient of bitcoin and thus has been a key candidate in the search for Satoshi Nakamoto’s true identity. After Dorian Nakamoto was called out by Newsweek, an anonymous writer emailed Andy Greenberg, a journalist for Forbes Magazine, with speculation that the physical proximity (only 1.6 miles) of Finney and Nakamoto was too unlikely to ignore. Andy Greenberg then asked an external agency to compare the writings of Finney to Satoshi Nakamoto’s which were then described as “the closest resemblance they had yet come across”.

Finney was adamant in his defence, and following further investigation Greenberg stated that he believed Finney to be telling the truth.

Hal Finney sadly passed away in August 2014.

Craig Steven Wright

December 2015
Source: Wired
Craig Steven Wright accused of being Satoshi Nakamoto
Australian tech entrepreneur Craig Steven Wright was called out in December 2015 in an article by Wired stating:

[Craig Wright] either invented bitcoin or is a brilliant hoaxer who very badly wants us to believe he did.

Shortly after the article was published, Craig Wright’s home was raided by police who reportedly stated that their action was unrelated to the recent bitcoin speculation. Craig Wright’s link to Satoshi has not yet been confirmed but friends and colleagues close to him have doubted such claims.

The hunt for Satoshi Nakamoto’s true identity continues…

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