Who Is Satoshi Nakamoto?

And does the identity of Bitcoin's creator really matter for the future of this 'fatherless' cryptocurrency?


This week, both Wired and Gizmodo published detailed investigations into the identity of Bitcoin's mysterious creator, Satoshi Nakamoto. Both posited that an eccentric Australian entrepreneur and bitcoin expert named Craig Steven Wright is the real Nakamoto.

After releasing the cryptocurrency's code in 2009, Nakamoto disappeared, allegedly resurfacing only briefly in 2014 to deny the validity of a previous investigative report by Newsweek. The most recent investigations were also almost immediately cast into doubt by Vice Motherboard in a technical breakdown of Nakamoto's alleged cryptographic keys.

Whatever the true identity of Bitcoin's founder, and despite occasional entreaties by developers and users for the creator to return and give guidance as to how the cryptocurrency should evolve, Bitcoin is now controlled in an entirely distributed manner—it is "fatherless" by design. The increasingly vitriolic internal debates among the Bitcoin crowd about block size and the future of the currency will have to be resolved by consensus, not by appealing to an individual who went to great lengths to prevent it from having any centralized authority.

Watch Reason TV's interview with Xapo's Wences Casares below, in which he clarifies the current debate over Bitcoin's future and discusses why he believes that the cryptocurrency "may change the world more than the Internet did."