The answer to this question is considered one of the biggest secrets in mankind’s history. Who is the mysterious inventor of Bitcoin and why has he gone dark right after his invention came to fruition?
Following the Trail
Bitcoins invention was no accident rather than what followed after a long period of research carried out by different mathematicians, software developers and hackers. Many other people thought about the idea of how to invent a new form of cash.
One notable invention was “bit gold” by Nick Szabo in the year 1998. It was never implemented but was able to address the so-called double-spending problem. One year before Szabo's invention there was another development starting that played an even more significant role for Bitcoin.
With “Hashcash” Adam Back developed a proof-of-work system to prevent email spam. The proposal was made in 1997 and was refined later in 2002. The proof of work algorithm later became the model that was used by Bitcoin.
These are only two inventions that serve as a good example of what has to be set in motion years before Bitcoin was first mentioned in the famous whitepaper.
Needless to say, most people who are suspected to be Satoshi are involved with one or more of these inventions, their prior research and the discussions that took place before the birth of Bitcoin. While all of them denied or are deceased there are many theories that explain how and why one of these candidates could be Satoshi Nakamoto:
- Adam Back, cryptographer and hacker
- Nick Szabo, computer scientist and cryptographer
- Hal Finney, software developer
- Dave Kleiman, computer scientist and cryptographer
- A group of different persons, possibly but not necessarily those on this list
Why did Satoshi vanish?
Aside from the question of who Satoshi really is, there is also a lot of concern about why he all of a sudden took off and was never heard of again. What we do know is that the person or the group behind the moniker was really concerned about his privacy and protected it very efficiently.
One explanation is that it had become clear to Satoshi at some point that Bitcoin would become bigger and bigger. The inventor had to evade any legal claims by governments or authorities who could have hurt his invention by targeting him.
Another explanation is that Satoshi is deceased and therefore no longer amongst us. This could be the case if it is was true that Dave Kleiman or Hal Finney were behind the invention.
Whoever he was and whatever happened to him. It is clear that he or she wrote history.