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Who is Satoshi Nakamoto?

Satoshi Nakamoto is the creator of the bitcoin currency and the bitcoin network. It is not clear who the person is. Some people believe that Satoshi Nakamoto is one person. Nakamoto claimed to live in Japan. Others think that it is a group of people, mostly cryptography and computer science experts, and Satoshi Nakamoto is an alias that they are using.

Nakamoto listed his birth date as April 5, 1975. At the first glance, there is nothing significant about this date. However, research shows that April 5 was the date on which President of the United States Franklin D. Roosevelt signed an executive order in 1933 “forbidding the hoarding of gold coin, gold bullion and gold certificates within the continental United States.” 1975 is the year when the United States legalized the ownership of gold for its citizens.

Some people believe that in the name Satoshi Nakamoto “Sa” comes from Samsung, “Toshi” from Toshiba, “Naka” from Nakayama, a town in Japan, and “Moto” from Motorola.

Satoshi Nakamoto has first released his work to a mailing list in October of 2008. It was a paper called “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System.” Analysis of the work shows that it is unlikely that Nakamoto is a programmer. Rather, the person has a strong academic background in cryptography and cybersecurity. Nakamoto has released the version 0.1 of bitcoin software on January 9, 2009.

Nakamoto said that he began writing the code for the software in 2007. He registered the website bitcoin.org and continued working together with other developers of bitcoin software and applications until about mid-2010. Around that time, he handed the control over the source code to Gavin Andresen, a software engineer who lives in Massachusetts and who became involved with the bitcoin community in 2010. Andresen is a graduate of Princeton University. Prior to getting involved with bitcoin, Andresen worked as a 3D graphics software engineer.

Andresen founded the Bitcoin Foundation in 2012. The goal of the foundation is to provide support to bitcoin currency and help develop the currency.

As of May 2017, Nakamoto was believed to own about 1 million bitcoins. At the value of about USD $7,000 per coin, the coins that belong to Nakamoto are worth seven billion dollars.

 

As a part of the implementation of the bitcoin network, Nakamoto has solved the issue of double spending. He left a message in the first block of the bitcoin blockchain that reads “The Times 3 January 2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks.” This is a direct quote from the Times newspaper from that date, which means that the first block of the blockchain was created on or after this date. This corresponds to the timestamp of January 3, 2009, on the first block. The block is known as the genesis block. It is different from all the other blocks on the blockchain because it does not have a preceding block. Nakamoto mined the first block using software with custom code. Timestamps and information about subsequent blocks of the blockchain show that Nakamoto did not mine them himself.

Because bitcoin is a transparent currency, the information about all the blocks is available online for free at blockchain.info. For example, here is all the info about the Genesis Block: https://blockchain.info/block/00000000839a8e6886ab5951d76f411475428afc90947ee320161bbf18eb6048

 

Using the website, you can look up any block of the blockchain. The page for a block will contain a timestamp, a total value of transactions in the block and a list of all the transactions among other data.

When discussing bitcoin and technical matters of the blockchain technology online, Nakamoto did not provide any details about himself. While he did claim that he was Japanese, many people believe that it is highly unlikely due to his perfect English and absence of the Japanese comments in the software that he created. In the forums, Nakamoto often used spelling and idioms that a person born and raised in the British Commonwealth would use.

Stefan Thomas is a Swiss software engineer who analyzed public Nakamoto’s posts. He noticed that Nakamoto almost never posted anything between 5 am and 11 am Greenwich time. If Nakamoto is one person and this is the time when he was sleeping, it likely means that Nakamoto lived in the Eastern Time Zone or Central Time Zone in the United States or somewhere in Central or South America.

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