Should we ‘out’ Bitcoin creator, Satoshi?

Everyone likes a good mystery. After all, who isn’t fascinated with Sherlock Holmes or the Hardy Boys? The thirst to explore a mystery led us to the New World, to the ocean depths and into space.

One of the great mysteries of the past decade is the identity of Satoshi Nakamoto, the inventor of Bitcoin and the blockchain. Some have even stepped forward in an effort to usurp his identity for fame, infamy or fortune. But in this case, we have a mystery in which the subject does not wish to be fingered. He prefers anonymity.

This raises an interesting question. What could be achieved by discovering or revealing the identity of the illusive Satoshi Nakamoto?…

The blockchain and Bitcoin present radically transformative methodologies with far ranging, beneficial impact on business, transparency and social order.

How so? — The blockchain demonstrates that we can crowd-source trust, while Bitcoin is much more than a payment mechanism or even a reserve currency. It decouples governments from monetary policy. Ultimately, this will benefit consumers, businesses and even the governments that lose that control.

Why Has Satoshi Remained Anonymous?

I believe that Satoshi remains anonymous, because his identity, history, interests and politics would be a distraction to the fundamental gift that his research has bestowed. The world is still grappling with the challenge of education, adoption, scaling, governance, regulation and volatility.

Some people are still skeptical of Bitcoin’s potential or they fail to accept that it carries intrinsic value (far more than fiat currency, despite the absence of a redemption guaranty). Additionally, we are still witnessing hacks, failing exchanges and ICO scams. Ignorance is rampant. Some individuals wonder if Satoshi is an anarchist—or if his invention is criminal. (Of course, it is not!).

Outing him now is pointless. He is a bright inventor, but he is not the story. The concepts and coin that he gave us are still in their infancy. Our focus now must be to understand, scale and smooth out the kinks, so that adoption and utility can serve mankind.

Related Ruminations:

Ellery Davies co-chairs CRYPSA, publishes A Wild Duck, hosts the New York Bitcoin Event and kicked off the Cryptocurrency Expo in Dubai. Click Here to inquire about a live presentation or consulting engagement.

Newsweek relaunches to finger Satoshi

Last year, Newsweek magazine retired the print edition. As with most publishers, it is very difficult to fight the Internet. Not only have eyeballs moved to tablets and smartphones, but web sites are quicker to publish. Even if the audience exists, there are no dollars to pay reporters, editors and layout staff. That’s because advertisers have shifted their budgets to online venues such as the wildly profitable Google Adwords.

Unmasked? Not so fast!

Newsweek-coverBut today, Newsweek made the decision to relaunch their print edition with a jaw-dropping exclusive. Investigative reporter Leah McGrath Goodman and forensic analyst, Sharon Sergeant, claim that they have identified the mythical creator of Bitcoin. Even more peculiar, Goodman says that he is a 64 year old Californian whose real name has always been Satoshi Nakomoto. (Whaaht?!)

According to Newsweek this is a coup of epic proportion. But Wild Ducks reserve judgement for a future update… Newsweek has been a great American institution for almost 100 years. But I am confident that this story is just beginning to unfold and the facts as presented bu Ms. Goodman have an odd finish.

Satoshi Nakamoto-01s

March 7 update:  I did not create Bitcoin

In an exclusive, two-hour interview with Associated Press, a very private programmer, Dorian Prentice Satoshi Nakamoto, 64, denied he had anything to do with Bitcoin. In fact, he claims that he never heard of Bitcoin prior to the Newsweek investigation.. For Wild Ducks, The jury is out, but this is certainly one very interesting interview!

Fascinating Facts:

  • Mr. Nakamoto claims that he had never heard of Bitcoin until his son was contacted by reporters three weeks ago.
  • Researching the cover story, Newsweek writer, Leah McGrath Goodman, had an exchange with Mr. Nakamoto on his doorstep, in front of two police officers. When questioned about Bitcoin involvement, she claims that Nakamoto said “I am no longer involved in that and I cannot discuss it.”  But, in a two hour interview with The Associated Press, Nakamoto states that he was misunderstood—that the words “no longer involved” referred to a past career in programming and not to Bitcoin.
  • Today, The Wall Street Journal reports that the email account and credentials of the original Satoshi was revived to issue a single statement. The real Bitcoin creator also denies being the Californian fingered by Newsweek.

In the 24 hours since the story broke, you might think that a community of crypto currency enthusiasts is combing the web for every salacious detail of the possible unveiling. But, you would be wrong!

Most Bitcoin enthusiasts (including the editor of AWildDuck) are also privacy pundits. We have no problem if the identity of the elusive Satoshi Nakamoto remains a mystery. As an active member of several Bitcoin forums, I sense that most participants don’t want this man to be harassed—and don’t really care if he is or is not the brains behind Bitcoin.

Moreover, the person being sought did not commit a crime and clearly wants to remain anonymous. Therefore, serious attempts to uncover his identity using methods of forensics, pattern analysis or even chasing down every clue amount to invasion of privacy.

From the Wild Duck Archives…

  • Ted Nelson coined the term ‘Hypertext’. He suspects that Shinichi Mochizuki is the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto. Check out the last section of our April 2013 article.
  • Find all of our Bitcoin posts here.