Satoshi Nakamoto - The financial genius changing how we spend
November 1, 2008. 1 BITCOIN = $0.00
“I’ve been working on a new, electronic cash system that’s fully peer-to-peer.” That’s the message members of an obscure cryptography mailing list received one morning. The man who sent it was Satoshi Nakamoto, a mysterious software designer about whom not much is known. He described a new type of currency based on a computer network and a sophisticated encryption system. Nakamoto called it Bitcoin. “Try it out,” Nakamoto wrote. In the following years, millions of people would do just that.
May 18, 2010. 1 BITCOIN < $0.004
Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer online payment network and currency launched in 2008. As trust in the digital currency increased, its ‘real’ money value did too.
Bitcoin was used as a method of payment for the first time when a member of the bitcointalk.org forum ordered two pizzas for another member for the sum of 10,000 Bitcoins. (At today’s exchange rate that would be in excess of $2.3 million.) But Nakamoto became an increasingly rare online presence and stopped answering emails. The myth of the Bitcoin inventor took on a life of its own.
October 10, 2011. 1 BITCOIN = $4.51
An article published in The New Yorker, written by American journalist Joshua Davis, sought to uncover the real Nakamoto. His research lead him to Michael Clear, a 23-year-old cryptography student from Ireland, who was quick to refute the allegation, saying, “I’m not Satoshi, and even if I was I wouldn’t tell you.” Speculation as to Nakamoto’s identity – or identities – was rife. “Either a team of experts worked on this,” said IT security researcher Dan Kaminsky, “or this guy is a genius.”
November 30, 2013. 1 BITCOIN = $1,119.52
A researcher and blogger who goes by the name Skye Grey carried out a detailed analysis of Nakamoto’s writing style and concluded that he must be Nick Szabo, an American professor who researched crypto-currencies in the 1990s. He’d even given his concept the name ‘bit gold’. “Not Satoshi, but thank you,” wrote Szabo on Twitter.
March 6, 2014. 1 BITCOIN = $669.57
A Newsweek reporter claimed to have found out Satoshi Nakamoto’s real name: Dorian Satoshi Nakamoto, an engineer of Japanese origin living in California. But he too dismissed the connection. A day later, Nakamoto’s account on a Bitcoin forum suddenly comes back to life, having been dormant for almost four years. He wrote just five words. “I am not Dorian Nakamoto,” before disappearing again.
April 5, 2015. 1 BITCOIN = $260.54
In an online profile, Nakamoto once gave his date of birth as April 5, 1975. As a result, the Bitcoin community celebrates Satoshi Nakamoto Day on that date each year. Whoever it is behind the name, they still have about a million Bitcoins, currently equivalent to approximately $250 million. But Bitcoin enthusiasts have less and less to do with such speculation, and most would rather that the mystery surrounding Nakamoto was never cleared up. After all, what better figurehead could there be for a cash system with no central bank than a nameless inventor who has nothing more to do with his own creation?