The truth can sometimes be stranger than fiction. At least that’s the case when it comes to unraveling the identity of bitcoin’s fabled founder, Satoshi Nakamoto.
Bitcoin’s creator used that name when he released bitcoin’s code to the public, though it’s widely considered a pseudonym.
But soon after, he vanished without a trace never to be heard from again.
Ever since the anonymous creation of bitcoin, numerous people have come forward jockeying to be the real man. Journalistic investigations and conspiracy theories have fingered one Satoshi after another. In 2015, WIRED reported that Australian academic Craig Wright was either the real Satoshi or a hoax. Wright himself appeared happy with his newfound role as Satoshi’s doppelgänger and has continued to push that he’s the real deal.
But perhaps one of the more ignominious was this 2014 NewsWeek article that pointed at Dorian Satoshi Nakamoto, a Japanese-American man living in California with a strikingly similar name. The claim was easily debunked though and the then 65-year old retired engineer went on to sue NewsWeek.
Then there’s the mysterious cryptographer, Nick Szabo. But so far, nobody has been able to prove that he’s the real Satoshi to the full satisfaction of the bitcoin community either.
It’s been years since Satoshi Nakamoto has made any public writings. But all of sudden, he’s back—or at least many think he is.
On June 29, someone claiming to be Satoshi Nakamoto posted a 21-page excerpt from what he claims to be a literary work. In the excerpt, he promises to reveal his full identity soon:
...the truth is too special to give away, requires a long answer, which will be in the book.
Many bitcoin experts have dismissed the story as just another wild goose chase.
And guess what? None other than Craig Wright himself has disapproved the writings in a tweet saying the dates quoted in nakamotofamilyfoundation.orgwebsite are wrong. The imperious Wright even promises to soon prove that he’s the real Satoshi .
Chances are, the cryptographic community will probably be none the wiser.
The “Satoshi” excerpt is a beefy 7,600-word teaser so digging through it requires some elbow grease.
It also appears to leave more questions unanswered than it claims to reveal. First off, you really don’t need a long answer to reveal yourself. Why not just reveal your identity cryptographically instead of taking time to painstakingly write a lengthy soporific book that might not do full justice to your prodigious talents?
After all, this is the inventor of bitcoin, a man that has been heralded as one of the greatest geniuses of our time (in absentia no less). What the man needs to do is to move the 980,000 or so genesis bitcoins that are associated with him and everybody will forever hold their peace.
That stash has remained unmoved for nearly a decade in the deepest cold storage in the space. The true Satoshi Nakamoto ought to have access to the cryptographic keys to that giant vault.
Maybe we will just have to wait for that book. Or simply believe that Satoshi is an alien, which incidentally would also solve Fermi’s Paradox.
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Book Excerpt below: