It would be presumptuous to say we know who Mr. Nakamoto is, but we give you the best clues.
Satoshi Nakamoto is the name used by the unknown person or persons who designed bitcoin and created its original reference implementation. As part of the implementation, they also came up with the first blockchain database. In the process, Nakamoto was the first to solve the problem of double spending of digital currency using a peer-to-peer network. He was active in bitcoin development until December 2010.
Nakamoto is believed to be a pseudonym and to date it is not known whether the name represents an individual or a group. The bitcoin protocol and software are openly published and any developer in the world can review the code or make their own modified version of the bitcoin software. Nakamoto’s involvement in bitcoin does not appear to go beyond bitcoin’s core code. He has said in a P2P foundation profile that he is “interested in many things, including distributed systems, cryptography, programming and economics.”
Prior to his involvement with bitcoin, Nakamoto does not appear to have had any known involvement with cryptography. He has said he had been working on an electronic money system that was entirely peer-to-peer, with no trusted third parties. His motivation for creating bitcoin, as he explained in the bitcoin white paper, was to create “an electronic transaction system without relying on trust.”
Nakamoto has not disclosed any personal information when discussing technical issues. When Newsweek contacted him in 2014 to discuss his claim that he was the creator of bitcoin, he denied it and said he had “moved on to other things.” In a May 2011 post on a cryptocurrency mailing list, Nakamoto detailed his design for bitcoin, and claimed to have been working on the project for two years. Nakamoto has made all of his code publicly available for examination.
In January 2009, Nakamoto released the first bitcoin software that launched the network and the first units of the bitcoin cryptocurrency, called bitcoins. Satoshi Nakamoto released version 0.1 of the bitcoin software on Sourceforge on January 9, 2009. In the first few days, Nakamoto is estimated to have mined 1 million bitcoins.
Nakamoto has not been active in bitcoin development since 2010. His last known communication with the bitcoin community was on April 12, 2011, when he posted a message on the bitcoin forum stating that he had “moved on to other things.” In his last message on the bitcoin forum, Nakamoto said he had “worked on this project for about two years.”
In October 2008, Nakamoto posted a document on the metzdowd.com cryptocurrency mailing list describing a digital asset called “bitcoin” that he intended to be used as a payment system. In the paper, Nakamoto described a peer-to-peer electronic money system that would allow online payments to be sent directly from one party to another without the need for a financial institution.
Nakamoto released the first version of the bitcoin software client in early 2009. The first transaction on the bitcoin blockchain was a transaction that sent 10 bitcoins to Hal Finney, a developer working on the bitcoin project. Nakamoto is believed to have mined approximately one million bitcoins before his involvement in the project ended in 2010.
In 2014, Newsweek claimed that Satoshi Nakamoto was Dorian Satoshi Nakamoto, a Japanese-American living in California. Dorian Nakamoto denied the claim and said he had never heard of bitcoin.
In March 2018, Craig Wright, an Australian computer scientist, claimed to be Satoshi Nakamoto. Wright provided some evidence to support his claim, but many in the bitcoin community remain skeptical.
Nakamoto’s involvement in bitcoin does not appear to extend beyond bitcoin’s core code. He has said in a P2P foundation profile that he is “interested in many things, including distributed systems, cryptography, programming and economics.”
After Nakamoto’s departure, the bitcoin project was left in the hands of a few developers, including Gavin Andresen, who became lead developer of the Bitcoin Foundation, and Jeff Garzik, who became lead developer of the bitcoin software.