On May 20th the crypto community was shaken by the news that someone moved 50 BTC from an address that hasn’t been active for 11 years. These coins were mined back in February 2009 and have never left the original address until now.
The Mysterious Transaction
Only a small group of pioneers was engaged in crypto mining at that time, which gave some people reason to believe that the owner of these mysterious coins was the great creator, Satoshi Nakamoto himself (although Satoshi could be a woman or a group of people, let’s just refer to him as a male for now).
All the major crypto news outlets quickly picked up the news and shared some analysis as well as their own theories on who could have moved those 50 BTC. Cointelegraph dropped a few names including Craig Wright, Hal Finney’s widow, and Martti Malmi, but all of them denied their involvement later on.
Bitcoin.com gathered all the reasonable hypotheses together and published an investigational article on Satoshi and Bitcoin block 3645 where the recently transferred coins originated from. The article mentions Sergio Demián Lerner, chief scientist at RSK Labs, also known for his interest in Satoshi’s work. Lerner put together Patoshi Pattern (Patoshi is believed to be Satoshi’s miner), which raises doubts about whether those much-talked-about coins were mined by Nakamoto.
In fact, the assumption that those 50 BTC belong to Bitcoin’s creator is a shot in the dark. It could be anyone who had access to his software and, according to some evidence, Satoshi did share it with a few people in 2008.
However, despite numerous investigations and theories, it is not yet possible to identify the owner of the coins, as well as the real identity of the creator of Bitcoin. But the internet loves a mystery, and Satoshi’s mystery is a striking one.
One day, the father of Bitcoin vanished just as cryptically as he appeared. In December 2010 he posted his last message on the bitcointalk forum and since then has never made a public appearance again. And then the Satoshi hunt started.
The crypto community grew bigger and wanted answers. Who is this untraceable creator? Is he Japanese? How many Bitcoin does he own and what is he going to do with? Is he even real?
Some people thought that one person could not possibly be that genius. Others, like Dan Kaminsky, one of the most reputed security researchers to this day, doubted whether Satoshi’s code is that flawless at all. He made nine attempts to attack Bitcoin’s code but failed each time. Eventually, Kaminsky admitted that either Satoshi had an outstanding knowledge of C++, cryptography, and economics, or it was more than one man who wrote the code.
Dorian Nakamoto, who accidentally became a face of Satoshi against his will, was wrongly ‘accused’ of being Bitcoin’s creator by Newsweek Magazine. He was chased near his home and interrogated by the reporter accompanied by two police officers which caused a lot of distress for him and his family.
Fun fact: after Dorian Nakamoto was exposed in Newsweek’s article, Satoshi’s profile on P2P Foundation suddenly came to life and published one short message: “I’m not Dorian Nakamoto.” A similar thing happened when Craig Wright started with his I-am-Satoshi nonsense. The Bitcoin’s developers received a message from Satoshi’s email that said, “I am not Craig Wright. We are all Satoshi.”
All this drama with Japanese-American Dorian happened just because of his last name, prior involvement in some classified government projects, and the media’s thirst for sensations. Later on, when things had settled down, the crypto community sent the man Bitcoin donations, and eventually, he came to terms with being Satoshi’s mascot. And he even did a YouTube video with Andreas Antonopoulos thanking the community.
During the past ten years, people have come up with all kinds of theories trying to track down the identity of Bitcoin’s creator. From the cryptographer who invented smart contracts, Nick Szabo, to Elon Musk and the National Security Agency – we can speculate all we want but it will hardly get us closer to the answer. All we know for sure is that Satoshi preferred British English, never worked on weekends, and was slightly eccentric.
Not only the identity of Bitcoin’s creator occupies the minds of the crypto community, but also how many coins he owns. And why hasn’t he ever moved them?
As for the quantity, Sergio Lerner studied this matter too. He came to the conclusion that a single miner – the above-mentioned Patoshi – is responsible for delivering the majority of the Bitcoins that have been mined in the early days. After a few years of research, he estimated that over a million BTC were mined by Patoshi. Other researchers suggest that the amount is probably lower and accounts for about 700,000 BTC.
Either way, Satoshi owns quite a few coins and the fact that 99.9% of them have never been moved raises a lot of questions. Is Satoshi dead? Or maybe he doesn’t really care about the wealth and materialistic side of things? And if he does, what will happen when he decides to move his treasures?
When people thought it was Satoshi who moved those 50 BTC, the market reacted immediately and the price of Bitcoin dropped $400. When panic eventually settled, the price recovered. Now try to imagine what would happen if 700,000 coins move.
The Bottom Line
Most likely, Satoshi Nakamoto never intended to be the leader. Too often leaders start to abuse their power, even if they initially meant well. Satoshi was a libertarian and was trying to figure out a way to escape being ruled by authorities. It is only fair that he walked away.
After all, Bitcoin was meant for something greater. It gave birth to the blockchain industry and despite the skepticism, it has a good chance of changing how the human world works and bringing more transparency into our daily lives.