Satoshi Nakamoto

Satoshi Nakamoto is the creator of bitcoin and is presumed to be a pseudonym. Translated from Japanese, Satoshi means ‘clear thinking; quick witted; wise’. Naka translates as ‘inside’ or ‘relationship’; and ‘Moto’ as ‘the origin; the cause; the foundation’. In creating bitcoin, Satoshi also devised the first blockchain.

Bitcoin Mask

Satoshi published his white paper Bitcoin: A Peer to Peer Electronic Cash System in November 2008 via The Cryptography Mailing List, which drew on a number of previous attempts at creating digital cash. What Satoshi did was solve the double spending problem without trusted third party intermediaries, where the same digital token is spent more than once. As with counterfeit money, double spending devalues and diminishes trust in a currency and can lead to inflation. According to Satoshi, work on bitcoin coding began in 2007.

The true identity of Satoshi is a question which has surrounded bitcoin since the beginning. This is more a question of historical curiosity than necessity due to bitcoin’s use of cryptographic proof and open source implementation. Some have also speculated that the code is too well designed to be the work of just one person. One of the benefits of not knowing Satoshi’s true identity is it causes focus on the technology and not a figurehead or personality. Satoshi registered the domain bitcoin.org on August 18 2008. The bitcoin system was thought out thoroughly, according to those involved in early development (even if the coding has been described as ‘quirky’). Collaborations between Satoshi and other software developers continued until mid-2010, where the source code repository and network alert key were handed to Gavin Andresen. Satoshi is thought to own approximately one million bitcoin from mining early blocks.

In one of the last communications from Satoshi in April 2011 (to a bitcoin software developer), Satoshi said: ‘I’ve moved on to other things. It’s in good hands with Gavin and everyone.’ Satoshi soon after disappeared from the scene, having left behind one of the most important milestones in technology and finance: the creation of cryptocurrency and blockchain.

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