As popular as Bitcoin has become, there’s one mystery behind it that’s never been fully put together: Who is the inventor of the project, Satoshi Nakamoto? Newsweek, returning to print, has claimed to have found out.
There are a few things worth noting about Satoshi Nakamoto, the most basic being that most people believe it’s an alias. Newsweek, however, claims that this is, in fact, his real name, which is part of the reason the Internet’s been freaking out about this.
Nakamoto is a mysterious figure largely by choice. He released the initial paper about Bitcoin in 2008, and launched the software in 2009. He was instrumental in getting the digital currency set up and laying the groundwork for its foundations… and then he simply faded away, handing off the Bitcoin community to others. He’s believed to own one million Bitcoin.
There’s reason to be skeptical: Nakamoto has been notoriously hard to find, to the point where many believe he might be an alias for a group of people. The Nakamoto Newsweek found, though, is very real, and the story is credible. Here’s a fairly telling excerpt from their story:
“My brother is an @$$hole. What you don’t know about him is that he’s worked on classified stuff. His life was a complete blank for a while. You’re not going to be able to get to him. He’ll deny everything. He’ll never admit to starting Bitcoin.”
And with that, Nakamoto’s brother hung up.
If this is the right Nakamoto, and he admits he was the man who started Bitcoin, that puts a lot of pieces into place. Bitcoin is, among other things, an admirably complex piece of cryptographic code. If he was working on highly classified material, it makes sense he wouldn’t have a public resume.
Nakamoto obviously values his privacy, and it’s telling that he began to step away from the community right around the time the most stereotypical elements of it began to manifest on Reddit and across the Internet. But he may also be tired of hiding, or has simply realized that one way or the other, he’s going to have to talk to somebody. Either way, the piece is a fascinating read on a fascinating topic; check it out.