Reddit Floats New Theory About True Identity of Bitcoin Creator Satoshi Nakamoto

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  • A new Reddit theory posits that Satoshi Nakamoto represents a group, not an individual.
  • The research links the names Satoshi Hada, Toshiaki Tanaka, and Naohiko Uramoto to the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto, suggesting a composite identity behind Bitcoin's creation.
  • Digital footprints and a linguistic analysis of Bitcoin's white paper and other writings hint at multiple people being involved in the development of Bitcoin.
  • Variations in Nakamoto's writing style and the timestamps of his messages support the theory of a collaborative effort across different time zones.
  • A UK court ruling confirmed Craig Wright is not Satoshi Nakamoto, dismissing his claims with evidence of forged documents supporting his assertion.

A new theory on Reddit suggests a collective identity behind the enigmatic Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous creator of Bitcoin.

In a recent post on Reddit, archived here, user christofooch said that the theory originates from a Crypto ‘98 event. American software developer Hal Finney, along with a certain Satoshi Hada and a Toshiaki Tanaka, attended the event, hinting at a connection that could unravel the mystery surrounding Bitcoin’s origin.

The post starts with a video featuring Hal Finney at the Crypto 98 event. “I found the event program info page and found that there was a man there named Satoshi Hada and Toshiaki Tanaka,” the Reddit user wrote, with both names appearing as authors on ‘On the Existence of 3-Round Zero-Knowledge Protocols’ from the event.

Researching those names also brought a third piece of the puzzle together, an IBM paper from 2007 with the same two authors, along with Naohiko Uramoto, a research paper discussing public and private keys — a foundational concept in blockchain technology.

So, bringing in Hal Finney, one of the first Bitcoin contributors and known to have received the first Bitcoin transaction from Satoshi Nakamoto, and then three academics who were pulling together the strands of the concepts that brought Bitcoin to life.

Whose names combined are Satoshi Hada, Toshiaki Tanaka, and Naohiko Uramoto.

Reddit Satoshi speculation
Another theory emerges on the creation of Bitcoin and the identity of Satoshi Nakamoto. (Archived from Reddit)

Digital Footprints Reveal Further Links to Cryptographic

A deeper look into Satoshi Hada, Toshiaki Tanaka, and Naohiko Uramoto’s digital footprints revealed more connections to the cryptographic and cypherpunk communities, which are closely associated with Bitcoin’s ethos.

As the Reddit user suggests, Satoshi Nakamoto could be a composite identity, possibly inspired by the contributions of three IBM researchers to early blockchain discussions.

“It looks possible that Satoshi Nakamoto is a combination of at least three people that were IBM researchers involved in early blockchain research work that predates Bitcoin.”

The theory diverges from other speculations, including those that prominently feature Hal Finney as a potential sole creator of Bitcoin. Interviews with Fran Finney, Hal’s widow, and analyses of Finney’s involvement in cryptocurrency from its nascent stages provide contrasting views on his connection to the Satoshi Nakamoto identity.

“More plausible than most of the theories I’ve heard”, said one Reddit user. “You probably solved most of the puzzle. One of the best explanations I’ve come across”, said another.

But… We hasten caution, it’s simply a plausible theory, and Reddit was again quick to play Devil’s Advocate:

One Reddit user noted that “Naka” and “Moto” are some of the most common combinations of syllables in Japanese surnames, suggesting that Satoshi Nakamoto  —even if it is a mixture of names — might not necessarily be a mixture of Satoshi Hada, Toshiaki Tanaka, and Naohiko Uramoto.

“It’s not really as big of a coincidence as one might think. Not saying it couldn’t possibly be them, but I don’t think it’s very strong evidence,” the user wrote.

Another user said that if the pseudonymous developers worked at IBM, they were likely located in the US.

“Just because the names are Japanese doesn’t mean they had to be in Japan… And I also heard they were doing things like these deliberately (like switching between different English dialects) to make it harder to find out where they are,” they said.

More Evidence That Satoshi Nakamoto Was a Group

Last year, in an installment of the “Many Facts” Satoshi series, which presents various pieces of evidence pointing to Satoshi Nakamoto’s potential identities, News provided more evidence supporting the argument that the mastermind behind Bitcoin’s creation was a group rather than an individual.

One key piece of evidence lies in the language used in the Bitcoin white paper. Nakamoto alternates between using “we” and “I,” implying the potential involvement of a team operating under a shared pseudonym.

For instance, Nakamoto states, “We propose a solution to the double-spending problem using a peer-to-peer network” in the white paper. “We define an electronic coin as a chain of digital signatures,” he says in another instance.

Linguistic analysis of Nakamoto’s writings further bolsters the idea of a collective. The white paper exhibits impeccable English and a precise use of technical terms. However, Nakamoto’s writing style appears to differ in forum posts and email correspondences, indicating the involvement of multiple individuals.

Another intriguing element arises from the timestamps on Nakamoto’s messages, which suggest the participation of multiple individuals. Theories regarding Nakamoto’s whereabouts have circulated, with some speculating that the Bitcoin creator resided in the UK, while others pinpointed California.

However, a review titled “The Time Zones of Satoshi Nakamoto” analyzed Nakamoto’s hourly activity and proposed that he likely operated in the EST time zone, potentially hinting at the involvement of individuals spanning different geographic locations.

The extensive breadth of knowledge displayed by Nakamoto also supports the idea of a collective effort.

The creator showcases expertise in computer science, mathematics, flawless English, game theory, and the successful preservation of anonymity for over a decade.

Such a diverse skill set possessed by a single individual raises questions, adding weight to the possibility of a group collaboration.

Craig Wright is Not Satoshi

Last month, a UK court ruled against Craig Wright’s longstanding claim of being Satoshi Nakamoto. The judgment was delivered by Judge James Mellor on March 14, 2024, marking the culmination of a legal battle initiated by the Crypto Open Patent Alliance (COPA), a coalition of prominent cryptocurrency entities.

The court’s decision came after a detailed examination of the evidence presented by both sides over a month-long trial. Judge Mellor concluded that Wright failed to provide credible evidence to substantiate his claims of being Nakamoto.

The ruling was unequivocal, declaring that Wright was not the author of the Bitcoin white paper, did not create the Bitcoin system, and was not the individual operating under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto during the critical early years of Bitcoin’s development.

The Bottom Line

Has Reddit cracked it? As ever, the hive mind there is great at putting evidence together, although at the moment, it is just another theory to add to the pile.

It certainly tracks with the well-founded suggestion that Satoshi Nakamoto was a collective rather than an individual, and it is interesting to find dedicated researchers all floating around each other and speculating on cryptographic ideas in the ten years before Bitcoin emerged into the world.

There is something romantic about BTC becoming a valid world currency, and yet the creators remaining anonymous. Perhaps it is a mystery best left unsolved.

But the question will always be asked, and this is certainly one of the more compelling theories out there.

Out of all the billions of people on the planet, all we know for sure is that it is not Craig.

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