The biggest crypto mystery still revolves around Satoshi’s identity


Jul 2, 2019
It’s October 2008, and anonymous figure Satoshi Nakamoto has just released his/her/their whitepaper outlining an incredible new cash and payment system, Bitcoin. 11 years on, the biggest crypto mystery still revolves around Satoshi’s identity. Obviously they want to stay anonymous for a variety of reasons, but speculation will not end until Satoshi reveals themselves (if they ever do).

Who is Satoshi Nakamoto?

Satoshi Nakamoto is the pseudonym used by the anonymous Bitcoin creator, who released the Bitcoin whitepaper all the way back in October 2008. Many people have stepped forward claiming to be Satoshi, although so far none of them have been the real deal. Nick Szabo and Craig Wright, are among those who have been doxed as potential Bitcoin creators. Nick Szabo has explicitly denied any involvement, while Craig Wright continues to claim that he is the real Satoshi.

Satoshi Nakamoto stepped down from their role in the development of Bitcoin in December 2010, although they still remain the faceless figurehead for the coin, as well as the wider cryptocurrency community. Afterall, without Satoshi we would never have the $201 billion industry that is thriving today.

What we know so far

There has been endless speculation about the true identity of Satoshi Nakamoto, basically since the founding of Bitcoin. While Nick Szabo and Craig Wright seem to be among the more popular options, investigations were conducted on the matter by The New Yorker and and Fast Company. The New Yorker reported that they had discovered at least two potential candidates: Michael Clear, a Trinity College graduate student, and Vili Lehdonvirta, a Finnish economic sociologist at the Oxford Internet Institute. Clear denied any involvement in the creation of Bitcoin, saying:

“I thought I might feature in one paragraph as a possible candidate who was quickly eliminated,” he says, bemused by the whole thing. He has spent the week since the article was published denying he is Satoshi, writing on his website: “Although I am flattered that Josh had reason to think I could be Satoshi, I am certainly the wrong person . . . It seems that even limited searches yield candidates who fit the profile far better than I think I do.”

Fast Company’s investigation highlighted circumstantial evidence that linked an encryption patent application for the domain name to Neal King, Vladimir Oksman, and Charles Bry. The patent application was filed on 15 August 2008, and the domain name was registered just 72 hours later. The application contained technologies similar to Bitcoin, and textual analysis discovered the phrase “...computationally impractical to reverse” in both the patent and the Bitcoin whitepaper. All three have vehemently denied being Satoshi Nakamoto.


Stefan Thomas, a Swiss coder and Bitcoin community member, mapped out the time stamps for each of Satoshi’s 500+ Bitcoin forum posts. The resulting graph showed a steep decline in activity between the hours of 5am and 11am Greenwich Mean Time. The pattern remained the same over the weekend, indicating that Satoshi would likely be asleep at this time. The hours of 5am to 11am GMT are 12am to 6am Eastern Standard Time. So, according to these charts, Satoshi would be living in the United States.

However, other clues also point to Satoshi being British, or at least living in the UK (like Craig Wright). The headline coded into the Bitcoin genesis block came from The Times, a UK newspaper, and many of Satoshi’s comments on the Bitcoin source code includes British English spellings, like “optimise” and “colour”.

So, the biggest crypto mystery still revolves around Satoshi’s identity, and it’s unlikely that’ll change anytime soon. Satoshi would want to keep their identity secret for an endless number of reasons, and that’s their prerogative.

With that being said, we have Satoshi to thank for the booming crypto asset industry that we see today. You can trade Bitcoin, as well as other cryptoassets, on hundreds of different platforms. From exchanges, to social trading platforms like eToro, crypto is more accessible than ever.

Hiding Satoshi

This biggest crypto mystery still revolves around Satoshi’s identity, and that’s okay. Humans are nosey - it’s not a bad thing, but it’s definitely inherent in our natures. We’re always looking to solve the mystery, but sometimes it shouldn’t be solved. In the case of Satoshi’s true identity, we’ll probably never get the facts completely straight. The biggest mystery in crypto involves the person (or group) who started it all, and that somehow just feels so right.