The Search for Satoshi Nakamoto: Who is Bitcoin's Enigmatic Creator?

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Brownian Bitcoin Pile

(image: "Brownian Bitcoin Piles" by fdecomite (CC BY 2.0))

Very little is known about the bitcoin creator or creators, except for the name Satoshi Nakamoto. But no-one knows if this is a person or group name. This lack of information has sparked a lot of interest in the bitcoin origins and the personality or personalities behind this digitally encrypted currency. Some people believe the name is a pseudonym as it can be translated to “thinking clearly inside foundation”, which adds further to the mystery of who is Satoshi Nakamoto?

Journalists have dedicated many hours trying to discover the identity of Satoshi and there are many theories on who might be the person behind this elusive mystery. Journalists from Forbes, New Yorker and The Balance have documented these quests, listed people and interviewed them without getting any firm answers. The quest for Satoshi has generated many articles on who the secretive creator of bitcoin is, which has fueled many discussions and Satoshi creations.

The iGaming industry has not only been early adopters of the bitcoin currency but has been attracted to the mystery of Satoshi. Bitcoin casinos like Vegas Casino have differentiated themselves in the market through utilizing the bitcoin on their website as their currency. Offering classic casino games with a casino 100% bonus like blackjack, roulette and craps, as well as a variety of themed slot machines, which include a Satoshi-inspired game, Satoshi’s Secret.

The most elaborate inspiration has to be the Bitcoin comic The Hunt for Satoshi Nakamoto. Created by three Spanish artists, José Ángel Ares, Alex Preukschat, and Josep Busquet, this is the first comic book dedicated to the story of bitcoin. The comic is set in a high-tech city filled with low-life characters, and you join three people pursuing the identity of Satoshi. These three characters have very different motives, and whilst one is well-intentioned and wants to help keep the secret safe, the other two believe that discovering Satoshi is their route to wealth. This comic has captured the minds of Satoshi followers: it was successfully crowdfunded through, appropriately enough, the Swarm bitcoin platform, to enable it to be mass produced.

The history of Satoshi has also inspired two books which have included the elusive character in their writing. Bitcoin: The Future of Money by Dominic Frisby looks to resolve the mystery behind the bitcoin creator’s identity and explores how bitcoin will change the world. The second book, The Dark Net by Jamie Bartlett, explores the little-known side of the internet that harbours the digital underworld – including the bitcoin programmers.

Interestingly, the creators of The Hunt for Satoshi Nakamoto dedicated the comic to the memory of Hal Finney, a cryptographer that received the first bitcoin transaction. Hal suffered from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis that caused increasing paralysis, which forced him to retire around the time Satoshi stopped communicating. Many believe that Hal was Satoshi or knew who he was, but that information has now been taken to the grave. Whether we will ever know the true identity of the bitcoin creator is unknown but what we do know is that the interest sparked in this character has helped bitcoin become more well-known. Could this just be one of the greatest publicity stunts?