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Who Is Satoshi Nakamoto, The Creator Of Bitcoin?


Mother Lode Found
Mother Lode
Sr Site Supporter
Mar 31, 2010
*Ran across this on another forum and thought it was pretty interesting. I'm posting it as "food for thought." Nothing more.

Who Is Satoshi Nakamoto, the Creator of Bitcoin?

By Alec Liu

Left to right, top to bottom: Gavin Andresen, Jed McCaleb, Shinichi Mochizuki, Zorro, "Satoshi," and Uncle Sam

For all of Bitcoin’s fabled transparency, a key piece of this bubblicious puzzle remains elusively opaque. Who the hell is Satoshi Nakamoto?

Like a frustrating episode of Lost, there’s one too many clues and few if any answers. Satoshi, of course, is the one who started it all, unleashing his concept of a cryptographic, self-regulating digital currency to the world in his now infamous whitepaper in 2008.

Three years later, he was gone.

Today, Bitcoin is a billion dollar idea being adopted across the globe, and yet little is known about its enigmatic creator. The result has been wild speculation. Ted Nelson, the American pioneer of information technology who coined the term “hypertext,” last week proposed that Satoshi was a well-known, reclusive Japanese mathematician. The New Yorker and Fast Company have conducted their own investigations. Various theories circulate on the web.

Given Satoshi’s paranoid preservation of his privacy, there are no conclusions, only educated guesses. But who doesn’t love a good conspiracy theory, especially when the topic is a disruptive technology that many believe has the potential to truly shakregistere things up?

What we know

Satoshi appeared seemingly out of nowhere in 2008 when he released a research paper on the Cryptography Mailing List, which laid the foundation for the Bitcoin protocol. He claimed to have been working on the idea for about two years, which, given the robustness of what was produced, implied an exhaustive amount of effort dedicated toward his work.

In January of 2009, he started mining, creating what is known as the “genesis block.” Bitcoin v0.1 was released six days later. By year-end, over 32,000 blocks had been added to this original block, producing a total of 1,624,250 bitcoins. Since all transactions are public on the blockchain, we know that only a quarter of those bitcoins have ever changed hands, leading some to speculate that Satoshi could be sitting on a stash of roughly one million bitcoins, worth ~$120 million at today’s exchange rate.

In the early days, Satoshi was active on the Bitcoin Forum and regularly responded to emails. Though Bitcoin is an open source project, most modifications to the source code were made by Satoshi himself in the first year, but his activity soon began to peter out.

His final programming contribution was made in mid-2010, after he had passed on the reins to Gavin Andresen, Bitcoin’s current lead developer. In April of 2011, when asked of his dwindling activity, Satoshi explained to one Bitcoin developer that he had “moved on to other things.” At some point, he stopped replying to emails altogether, including those of Andresen. The creator had disappeared.

An internet representation of Satoshi Nakamoto

The name Satoshi Nakamoto is believed to be a pseudonym for a person, a group, or even a larger, possibly governmental organization. In Japanese, Satoshi means “clear-thinking” or “wise.” Naka can mean “inside” or “relationship” and moto is used to describe “the origin” or “the foundation.” Put it all together and you get “thinking clearly inside the foundation.” There’s scant evidence that Nakamoto existed outside the context of Bitcoin.

According to his P2P foundation account details, Satoshi claimed to be a 37-year-old male living in Japan. His language of choice was English, but he would alternate between British and American spellings and colloquialisms, which could mean that he was trying to mask his nationality or that Satoshi is actually more than one person. He would post on the forums and respond to emails at random times with no discernible patterns that might indicate a primary time zone.

Based on his limited body of work, we know that Satoshi is highly intelligent and economically competent. He’s a brilliant mathematician, well-versed in cryptography, and a capable programmer, though his code indicates that he most likely wasn’t a professional.

While theoretically sound, his style belied his experience (or lack thereof), leading some, including Andresen, to believe that Satoshi is an academic. A prominent fear in the early days was that some exploitable flaw in the Bitcoin system would eventually surface, undermining the movement. Four years later, the protocol remains bulletproof, a testament to Satoshi’s genius, foresight, and thoroughness. It also suggests that, if he really is a single entity, Satoshi is a hell of a proofreader.

Though it appeared that Satoshi understood that the Bitcoin movement might attract its fair share of ideologues, such as anti-government libertarians, it’s unclear whether or not Satoshi was politically motivated himself. If at times he seemed eager to recruit such groups to the cause, his intent could be interpreted as pragmatic. Keenly aware of the potential social implications of his idea, he left the politicizing to others.

"[Bitcoin is] very attractive to the libertarian viewpoint if we can explain it properly,” he wrote. “I'm better with code than with words though.” We know, based on his writings, that he had qualms with the banking system and saw Bitcoin as a technological solution:

The root problem with conventional currency is all the trust that's required to make it work. The central bank must be trusted not to debase the currency, but the history of fiat currencies is full of breaches of that trust. Banks must be trusted to hold our money and transfer it electronically, but they lend it out in waves of credit bubbles with barely a fraction in reserve. We have to trust them with our privacy, trust them not to let identity thieves drain our accounts. Their massive overhead costs make micropayments impossible.

A generation ago, multi-user time-sharing computer systems had a similar problem. Before strong encryption, users had to rely on password protection to secure their files, placing trust in the system administrator to keep their information private.

Privacy could always be overridden by the admin based on his judgment call weighing the principle of privacy against other concerns, or at the behest of his superiors. Then strong encryption became available to the masses, and trust was no longer required. Data could be secured in a way that was physically impossible for others to access, no matter for what reason, no matter how good the excuse, no matter what. Its time we had the same thing for money. With e-currency based on cryptographic proof, without the need to trust a third party middleman, money can be secure and transactions effortless."

The prime suspects

Analysis of Satoshi’s coding and writing style have been inconclusive. But with the facts available, a few prominent suspects have emerged, some more widely accepted than others.

Gavin Andresen: As the Bitcoin project’s lead developer, he is an obvious choice (though perhaps too obvious by Satoshi’s standards).

Andresen serves as chief scientist on the board of the Bitcoin Foundation and equivalent of the Linux’s Linus Torvalds. Outside of Satoshi, Andresen has the most influence on Bitcoin’s direction. The mild-mannered programmer’s technical savvy and work ethic is universally admired within the community.

He has sometimes been referred to as Bitcoin’s “Batman” for his altruism and the nature of his often unrewarding role. One Bitcoin developer who has frequently corresponded with Andresen but wished to remain anonymous, claims conversational similarities between the two, though this has been disputed. Could Satoshi be hiding in plain sight?

Andresen denied being Satoshi when we broached the question over the weekend at the 2013 Bitcoin conference in San Jose, saying he has a different coding style than Satoshi does.

Michael Clear, Donal O’Mahony, Hitesh Tewari and Michael Peirce of Trinity College, Dublin: An investigation by Joshua Davis of the New Yorker ultimately led to Michael Clear, a then 23-year-old graduate student in cryptography at Trinity College. Despite his age, Clear appeared to check enough boxes to fit the bill. Named Trinity’s top computer science student in 2008, Clear had co-authored a paper on peer-to-peer cryptography. He was also British. Davis tracked Clear down at the Crytpo 2011 conference in Santa Barbara where Clear denied the allegations. “I'm not Satoshi,” he said. “But even if I was I wouldn't tell you.” (That refrain is common in the Satoshi search.)

Davis’s report prompted further digging among the community, which led to Donal O’Mahony, a professor at the university; Hitesh Tewari, a research assistant; and Michael Peirce, a student, because of various published materials connecting the four including this paper and this book. Along with Clear, the group has been called the Crypto Mano Group (mano is Irish for coin) or CMG. Perhaps coincidentally, none have publicly discussed Bitcoin in spite of their relevant body of work.

Neal J. King, Charles Bry, and Vladamir Oksman: The New Yorker piece prompted Adam L. Penenberg of Fast Company to conduct his own search for Bitcoin’s mysterious creator. A textual analysis of Satoshi’s whitepaper led Penenberg to a patent application, which shared the term "computationally impractical to reverse." To Penenberg’s surprise, the patent had been filed just three days before the domain Bitcoin.org was registered.

All three have filed patent applications that have to do with encryption, communication, networks, and nodes. All three have also denied being Satoshi, with King going as far as shooting down the concept. “It’s not a very good idea,” King told Penenberg. “Nakamoto’s algorithm is a solution in search of a problem.”

King has been consistent with his skepticism. His latest comment at the Economist continues his argument as to why Bitcoin won’t work: “It never makes contact with the physical world, except through the concepts of credulous dreamers that have not quite woken up.” Knowing Satoshi, however, it could be a ploy to cover his tracks.

Jed McCaleb: McCaleb’s name is often brought up during discussions of Satoshi’s identity. The UC Berkeley dropout co-founded Mt. Gox, which is based in Tokyo—a questionable decision given Japan’s high corporate tax rate and regulatory red tape. This has led some to cite this as evidence of a tenuous affinity for the country without McCaleb actually being Japanese. McCaleb also founded eDonkey in 2000, one of the largest (and technically revered) peer-to-peer file-sharing networks at the time.

He would later sell the highly profitable Mt. Gox, the largest Bitcoin exchange, saying that while the service was “cool and needed to exist,” it was no longer “technically interesting.” Once an enthusiastic Bitcoin supporter, McCaleb had also become disillusioned by the protocol’s system of mining “because it wastes so much energy.” He would go on to develop Ripple, what he believes to be an improved iteration of the Bitcoin concept that addresses some of these flaws. Could this have been what Satoshi meant when he said he had “moved on”?

Shinichi Mochizuki: A recent feature on the Japanese mathematician has prompted Nelson, among others, to speculate that the eccentric genius had, while solving the famed ABC Conjecture, one of math world’s most complex problems, created Bitcoin in his spare time. It’s tough to question Mochizuki’s abilities and the patterns seem to fit.

Like Satoshi, Mochizuki released his ABC Conjecture proof on the internet (instead of established academic channels) and simply walked away, refusing to explain his potentially historic work to the great frustration of mathematicians everywhere. Mochizuki is also a native English speaker, though it’s unclear if he can code or is knowledgeable in cryptography. But given Mochizuki’s mathematics acumen and incredible smarts, it’s not impossible to believe he taught himself along the way.



A conspiracy theorist’s wet dream, another idea that gets tossed around is that Bitcoin is the product of some government or governmental agency. From that vantage point, resources are no longer an issue. But why? The answer is more of an intellectual exercise than actual theory.

Bitcoin could be used as a weapon against the US dollar. It could be used to fund black ops, sort of like a currency version of onion routing, which was first developed by the Naval Research Laboratory. It could be used to strategically trim the overweight financial sector.

If governments believed a widely used digital currency was inevitable, Bitcoin could be a preemptive strike against a potentially malevolent iteration. From the US perspective, it could have been created as a hedge against the waning international power of the dollar, though given the Fed’s policies of quantitative easing, this seems unlikely. The same could be said about the EU and the flailing euro. Along these lines, some have pointed to EU directives on digital currencies that were implemented and voted for well before Bitcoin became widely known as a possible clue.

Perhaps the scariest theory of all is that Bitcoin is actually an Orwellian vehicle that would allow governments to monitor all financial transactions. Bitcoin is often touted for its anonymity, but the transparent nature of the blockchain means every transaction is potentially traceable. Even if each transaction is only associated with a key, armed with enough information, certain organizations would eventually be able to connect the dots. In theory, anyway. In reality, government involvement isn't likely, though by no means an impossibility.

What we don’t know

In the end, we’re right back where we started: a few theories, some circumstantial evidence, and nothing remotely conclusive. It takes only brief examination of his essentially perfect execution of the Bitcoin protocol to realize that Satoshi Nakamoto would treat his quest for privacy with the same level of comprehension. He is a master of the long game.

And no wonder. The creators of e-gold were charged with "conspiracy to engage in money laundering" and the "operation of an unlicensed money transmitting business" in July of 2008, just months before Satoshi unveiled Bitcoin. Given the treatment of guys like Julian Assange and Kim Dotcom, there’s little upside to being an internet hero when your platform has the potential to disrupt governments and big business.

"His word is pretty much bond, especially if he were to come out from reclusiveness after all those years."

There is the possibility that Satoshi could make a comeback at some point. Some within the community assume he is keeping an eye on things, but could re-emerge, if necessary, to right the ship.

“He could kind of step in and say, ‘This is bad.’ It could happen,” a Bitcoin developer told me. “And he would absolutely have enough sway. His word is pretty much bond, especially if he were to come out from reclusiveness after all those years.”
Satoshi could then verify it was him by signing a message to one of his keys from his genesis block. Until then, it’s clear he’s quite content keeping his identity a secret.


More on Bitcoin:
Feds Seize Funds of Largest Bitcoin Exchange
Who's Building Bitcoin? An Inside Look at Bitcoin's Open Source Development
A Guide to Bitcoin Mining: Why Someone Bought a $1,500 Bitcoin Miner on eBay for $20,600



Mother Lode Found
Mother Lode
Sr Site Supporter
Mar 31, 2010
*Here's another article from the same forum as the article in post #1. And, as in the original post........it's simply "food for thought." Nothing more.


Posted on 29th November 2013 by Zarathustra in Economy

AWD, You can’t say you weren’t warned.

The Number of Fools is Limited

By Gary North

I hereby make a prediction: Bitcoins will go down in history as the most spectacular private Ponzi scheme in history. It will dwarf anything dreamed of by Bernard Madoff. (It will never rival Social Security, however.)

To explain my position, I must do two things. First, I will describe the economics of every Ponzi scheme. Second, I will explain the Austrian school of economics’ theory of the origin of money. My analysis is strictly economic. As far as I know, it is a legal scheme — and should be.


First, someone who no one has ever heard of before announces that he has discovered a way to make money. In the case of Bitcoins, the claim claim is literal. The creator literally made what he says is money, or will be money. He made this money out of digits. He made it out of nothing. Think “Federal Reserve wanna-be.”

Second, the individual claims that a particular market provides unexploited arbitrage opportunities. Something is selling too low. If you buy into the program now, the person running the scheme will be able to sell it high on your behalf. So, you will take advantage of the arbitrage opportunity.

Today, with high-speed trading, arbitrage opportunities last only for a few milliseconds seconds in widely traded markets. Arbitrage opportunities in the commodity futures market last for very short periods. But in the most leveraged and sophisticated of all the futures markets, namely, the currency futures markets, arbitrage opportunities last for so brief a period of time that only high-speed computer programs can take advantage of them.

The individual who sells the Ponzi scheme makes money by siphoning off a large share of the money coming in. In other words, he does not make the investment. But Bitcoins are unique. The money was siphoned off from the beginning. Somebody owned a good percentage of the original digits. Then, by telling his story, this individual created demand for all of the digits. The dollar-value of his share of the Bitcoins appreciates with the other digits.

This strategy was described a generation ago by George Goodman, who wrote under the pseudonym of Adam Smith. You can find it in his book, Supermoney. This is done with financial corporations when individuals create a new business, retain a large share of the shares, and then sell the stock to the public. In this sense, Bitcoins is not a Ponzi scheme. It is simply a supermoney scheme.

The Ponzi aspect of it comes when we look at the justification for Bitcoins. They were sold on the basis that Bitcoins will be an alternative currency. In other words, this will be the money of the future.

The coins will never be the money of the future. This is my main argument.


The best definition of money was first offered by Austrian economist Carl Menger in 1892. He said that money is the most marketable commodity. This definition was picked up by his disciple, Ludwig von Mises, who presented it in his book, The Theory of Money and Credit, published in 1912.

In that book, Mises argued, as Menger had before him, that money arises out of market transactions. That which did not function as money before, now functions as money. Something that was valuable for its own sake, most likely gold or silver, becomes valuable for another purpose, namely, the facilitation of exchange. People move from barter to a monetary economy. This increases the division of labor. As more and more people use the money commodity in order to facilitate exchanges, the division of labor extends, and as a result, people’s productivity increases. They can specialize. This specialization produces increased output per person, and therefore increased income per person.

In this scenario, something that had independent value becomes the focus of traders, who find that their ability to buy and sell increases as a result of the use of this commodity. Money develops out of market exchanges. Money was not used for its own sake initially, but it becomes widely used as money as a result of innumerable transactions within the economy. (I discuss this in my chapter in Theory of Money and Fiduciary Media, published by the Mises Institute in 2012.)

Here is the central fact of money. Money is the product of the market process. It arises out of anunplanned, decentralized process. This takes time. It takes a lot of time. It spreads slowly, as new people discover it as a tool of production, because it increases the size of the market for all goods and services. No one says, “I think I’ll invent a new form of money.”

Note: any time you see a proposal of a new form of money, hold on to your old form of money.

The central benefit of money is its predictable purchasing power. A monetary commodity is not easy to produce. The cost of mining is high. Money is slowly adopted by a large number of participants. These participants use money as a means of exchange. Why? Because it was valuable the day before. They therefore expect it to be valuable the next day. Money has continuity of value. This is not intrinsic value. It is historic value. So, a person can buy money by the sale of goods or services, set this money aside, and re-enter the markets in a different location or in a different time, in the confidence that he will probably be able to buy a similar quantity of goods and services.

Money is not accumulated for its own sake. It is accumulated to buy future goods and services. It is useful in the facilitation of exchange precisely because its market value varies little over time. It is the predictability of money’s market exchange rate that makes it money.


Now let us look at bitcoins. The market value of one bitcoin has gone from about $2 to $1,000 in a year. This is not money. This commodity is not being bought for its services as money. It is unpredictable to a fault.

Admittedly, those who got in early on this Ponzi scheme are doing very well. They will probably continue to do well for a time. As more people hear about this investment, which is justified in terms of its future potential as money, more people will buy it. Late-comers are not buying it because they understand its potential as future money, any more than the late investors in Charles Ponzi’s scheme thought they were buying into the arbitrage potential of foreign postage stamps. They are buying Bitcoins because we are in the midst of a Ponzi scheme mania. They will continue to buy because they think this time it’s different.

This digital so-called money will not be used to facilitate exchange. Nobody is going to be getting rid of an asset that has moved from $2 to $1,000 in one year in order to buy pizzas. People want to hang onto it, refusing to sell, in the hopes that it will go to $2,000. This is the classic mark of Ponzi scheme psychology.People do not buy the investment for the benefits that the investment provides as an investment, in other words, because it is a capital asset. They buy it only because it has gone up in price. They expect this to continue.

Here is the Austrian school’s theory of money. People buy money because it has not fallen in price. But it has also not gone up in price much, either. It is predictable. Why? Because it is held in reserve by a large number of people over a large geographical area. It has become money through tradition, through experience, and through endless numbers of exchanges on a voluntary basis. It has proven itself in the marketplace as a means of facilitating exchange, and thereby as a means of preserving value over time. This is not the characteristic feature of a Bitcoin. People are not buying it to serve as money; they are buying it because they are in the midst of a mania, and they are gambling that the number of buyers will continue upward forever.

Here is an economic fact: the number of fools is limited. They are a scarce economic resource. As the price of bitcoins rises, more fools will be lured into the market. But this is a finite market.

In other words, bitcoins cannot possibly fulfill their supposed purpose: to serve as an unregulated currency unit. Bitcoins are not an alternative currency. They are something you buy in the midst of a mania, and you will sell at some point in order to get back your money. You are thinking of buying Bitcoins, not because Bitcoins will serve as a means of exchange, as originally argued, but because you want to get back lots more money than you paid for them. In other words, Bitcoins are not money; dollars are money. There has been no challenge from Bitcoins to the reign of the dollar.


When you see an offer of an investment which inherently cannot possibly exist on its own merit, and yet lots of people are coming into the market to buy the item, you know, without any question, that this is a Ponzi scheme. In other words, people are buying into the program, not because of an arbitrage opportunity, and not because of a capital breakthrough in terms of technology, but because somebody else bought it cheaper yesterday. You buy it today, not because you think it is going to offer a stable value, but because you think you’re going to make a bundle of money when more people come into the market. Again, this is the classic mark of a Ponzi scheme.

In order for Bitcoins to become an alternative currency, there will have to be millions of users of the currency. There will have to be tens of millions of users of the currency. They will have to develop in a market on their merit as money, not as an investment of dollars in order to get more dollars back. It would have to develop through exchange, not bought as an investment. In other words, the free market will have to adopt Bitcoins as a means of increasing the division of labor.

Bitcoins are not increasing the division of labor. They are bought on the basis that somebody can get into a game of musical chairs.

Instead of running out of chairs, leaving one person the great winter, the promoters started with a given number of chairs, and then they hoped that lots would come and bid on the chairs. “If we issue it, they will come.” This took place. The promoters creators are now very rich, as measured in dollars.

The fact of the matter is this: Bitcoins will not increase the division of labor by serving as an alternative currency. Inherently, Bitcoins have made their mark, not on the basis of their stable value in exchange, that is, their value in increasing the division of labor in alternative markets that do not use the dollar. On the contrary, Bitcoins are being purchased for one reason only: to get in on the deal. Buy low; sell high. Buy with what? Dollars. Sell for what? Dollars.

The mania has destroyed Bitcoins’ use as money. Bitcoins are too volatile in price ever to serve as a currency.

Which is money: dollars or Bitcoins? The answer is obvious: dollars.

This is a Ponzi scheme.


This will lead to the ruination of more people than any private Ponzi scheme in history. There will be the poor schnooks to get in at the end, paying perhaps thousands of dollars per Bitcoin. Then the market will unravel. It will unravel for the same reason that all Ponzi schemes have unraveled: not enough new buyers. When the new buyers do not show up in great numbers, the holders will start to dump them. What went up in price, as measured in dollars, the real money, will come down in price.

This mania is going to be the stuff of best-selling books. This is going to be this stuff of Ph.D. dissertations in economics and psychology. This is going to be the equivalent of Mackay’s book, Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds.

The interesting thing is the mania started among the most technologically sophisticated people on earth: computer techies. The techies who got in early are going to be fabulously wealthy . . . if they sell. But the poor schnooks who come in at the and are going to lose money. Collectively, this will be the greatest single scheme for lots of people losing money that we have ever seen. This Ponzi scheme is not illegal . . . yet. It will spread. It has gone viral.

The price will soon be too high for most people to buy one Bitcoin. What I think is going to happen next is that somebody is going to start a Bitcoin mutual fund. You will be able to buy fractional shares of a Bitcoins. Maybe you can get in for $250.

Anytime you buy an investment, you had better have an exit strategy. There is no exit strategy for Bitcoins.

You must get out at the top, or you lose your shirt.


Anytime that anybody tries to sell you an investment, you have to look at it on this basis: “What are the future benefits that this investment will give final consumers?” In other words, how does it serve the final consumer? If it does not serve the final consumer, then it is a Ponzi scheme.

Bitcoins cannot serve the consumer. There is nothing to consume. The only way that Bitcoins can work to the advantage of the consumer is that they provides the consumer with increased opportunities, based on Bitcoins’ function as money. But the fundamental characteristic of money is its relatively stable purchasing power.

Bitcoins will never achieve this. It is a mania going up. It will be a mania coming down. It will not increase the division of labor, because people will recognize it as having been a Ponzi scheme, and they will not again buy it. They will not use it in exchange. Companies will not sell goods and services based on Bitcoins. Bitcoins have to have stable purchasing power if they are to serve as money, and they will never, ever achieve stable purchasing power.

Whenever somebody tries to sell you an investment that is based on the economic analysis of a market — an analysis that cannot possibly be true — do not buy the investment. This is a simple rule. I adhere to this rule.

There has to be an economic justification for a capital investment, and there is no economic justification of buying Bitcoins as an alternative currency. That was how Bitcoins were initially sold, and it was impossible as an economic concept from the beginning. The Austrian theory of money shows why.

I do not invest in capital that has no economic justification other than the greater fool theory. There are too few fools to keep the scheme going.

Bitcoins are not illegal. They should not be made illegal. They should merely be avoided.

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Gold Member
Gold Chaser
Apr 2, 2011
I don't know who he is but I want to know what he scored on that confounded mensa sample test.
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