Who is Mr. Satoshi Nakamoto?

Many people may wonder who Satoshi Nakamoto is. Probably the pseudonym belongs to more than one person. Whoever she or he is, the developer must be rich. He has mined several early blocks of bitcoin, by now he has about one million bitcoins. Bitcoin users have calculated the profitability of the digital currency in his wallet. His estimated net worth is about $400 million, there were speculations that it might be over one billion dollar. According to the most recent analysis in June, 2015, it is worth $250 million.

Satoshi Nakamoto, the person or persons behind the name, has invented the bitcoin protocol, he published it in the Cryptography Mailing List in November 2008.

One or more unidentified persons have registered bitcoin on August 18th 2008 through an anonymous registration service from Japan, from a Japanese ISP. They transferred the registration to Finland on May 18th 2011.  

The first bitcoin software client hit the market in 2009. Nakamoto cooperated with others on the project, using mailing lists. He was part of open-source teams, but he was always obscure and nobody knew who he was. Early in 2011, he announced that he “moved on to other things” and disappeared without a trace.

His invention, bitcoin, is an obvious success story. It is the most popular cryptocurrency.

Satoshi Nakamoto is a Japanese name. Satoshi means bright, clever in Japanese. Naka means inside or relationship, while moto means origin or foundation. Satoshi Nakamoto himself has mentioned that he lives in Japan, but he has a perfect grasp on English.

People have come up with various speculations and assumptions about his identity.

Supposed Satoshis:

  • Michael Clear who studied cryptography at the Trinity College of Dublin
  • Vili Lehdonvirta, a Finnish economic sociologist
  • Some say there are three persons behind the name: Neal King, Vladimir Oksman and Charles Bry
  • Martii Malmi, a Finnish expert who developed the user interface of bitcoin
  • Gavin Andresen, a Bitcoin Foundation scientist
  • Jed McCaleb, the founder of Stellar, an American entrepreneur who lives in Japan and worked on bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox
  • Donal O’Mahony and Michael Peirce who wrote a paper on digital payments
  • Hitesh Tewari, an assistant professor of computer science
  • Shinichi Mochizuki, a mathematician from Japan
  • Michael Weber, Wei Dai and Hal Finney, developers
  • Nick Szabo, the creator of BitGold, a Canadian payments service that lets customers do their transactions using gold (metal)

NB! Each of them denied that they were Satoshi Nakamoto.