Satoshi Nakamoto – The Founder(s) of Bitcoin

Many think he is a man, of Japanese descent and some even think it is not an individual but a group that is part of a government intelligence agency. But it seems that nobody knows the identity of Satoshi Nakamoto, the founder of the Bitcoin digital currency. Obviously there are some people who do know who he is but nobody is saying – at least not just yet.

Despite the mystery around his identity, Nakamoto’s work is being more widely appreciated and supported across the globe. The media hype around Bitcoins coupled with the explosive rise in its value has made Satoshi Nakamoto somewhat of a hero, or even modern day ‘Robin Hood’. While there is some degree of romanticising around the individual or group of individuals, there is no denying that Satoshi Nakamoto may have indelibly changed global monetary systems forever.

Who is Satoshi Nakamoto?

The name Satoshi Nakamoto first surfaced in 2008 on a paper titled Bitcoin Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System, published via a Cryptography mailing list. The author stated that he was working on a new electronic cash system that did not rely on any third party but rather used a peer-to-peer protocol to maintain the system. The intention was to allow for electronic payments to be directly sent from one party to another, independent of financial institutions.

Satoshi Nakamoto

Satoshi Nakamoto subsequently released the first Bitcoin software client as an open source project. There was further input by the community to develop the system that we know of today. However, he was careful never to reveal any personal information about himself and keep his identity a secret through mailing lists.

In his last communiqué in 2011, Satoshi Nakamoto informed the community that he has moved on to other projects and would no longer participate in Bitcoin projects. That is the last anybody ever heard from him. Several people have tried to discover the identity of Satoshi Nakamoto – sometimes by using quite unconventional IT methods. However, the man, woman or group remains a mystery.

What does Satoshi Nakamoto mean?

The meaning of the name of Satoshi Nakamoto is quite interesting, and may further support the belief that it was nothing more than a cleverly penned pseudonym. In Japanese, “Satoshi” means “wise” or “clear thinking” depending on the context it is used in. Nakamoto can be split into two words with “naka” meaning “inside” or “within a relationship” and “moto” meaning “origin” or “foundation”. Collectively, Satoshi Nakamoto could mean “clear thinking inside a foundation”.

However, it is important to also note that Satoshi is not an uncommon Japanese first name just as Nakamoto is a popular Japanese last name. Therefore Satoshi Nakamoto could be the creator’s real name or a pen name which was not adopted with any underlying meaning. Whatever the case, his name has not provided any significant clues in identifying the individual or group behind the Bitcoin concept.

As rumors about Satoshi Nakamoto being linked to drug trading, Pokemon and other controversies continue to surface, there is no doubt that speculation about the founder and his name will continue to dominate headlines for some time to come. The enigma may not be helpful in giving the Bitcoin system the legitimacy it seeks but has infused a degree of mystery that does make the concept more alluring to some.

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