Satoshi Nakamoto: The Man Behind Bitcoin

Bitcoin has garnered widespread recognition. From monumental price appreciation over the past decade to government crackdown and environmental concerns.

But despite the incredible impact this novel technology has had on society very few people know the man behind Bitcoin. But don’t worry.

In this article, we will delve into the mystery that is Satoshi Nakamoto and investigate the theories on his true identity as well as who I think he is. So without further ado, let’s jump right in.

First off, let’s start from the beginning. Birthed from the financial crisis, the creator of Bitcoin published the whitepaper back in 2008 under the name Satoshi Nakamoto.

Promising a peer-to-peer electronic cash system he wanted to revolutionize money and give power back to individuals. In 2009 his vision was realized with the creation of Bitcoin.

A truly decentralized form of money that would remove the power from banks and governments while liberating the people. During this time Satoshi started to become active on various forums communicating with developers and helping the community.

In February of 2009 would mark his first post on the P2P foundation messaging board, advertising his new Bitcoin creation. During this time he left several clues to his identity.

For one, he states in his profile that he was a 37-year-old living in Japan. However, there is some speculation on whether this was a front or not. On one hand, Satoshi’s English was phenomenal suggesting he was a native speaker.

Not to mention, he was last active on the Bitcoin forums between the hours of steep 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Japanese standard time which would suggest an abnormal sleeping pattern for someone supposedly living in Japan.

The next clue is his use of English slang and vernacular. In a post he published in July 2010 he stated “Sorry to be a wet blanket, But, writing a description of Bitcoin for general audiences is bloody hard”. If that doesn’t suggest he is from the UK I don’t know what does.

But this might also be a front to hide his tracks. Unfortunately, Satoshi’s story came to an end in 2011 leaving one last private email to Bitcoin core developer Mile Hearn stating that he was moving on to other things.

Satoshi and his 1 million Bitcoin stack have remained inactive ever since.

Possible identities of Satoshi

Hal Finney

One of the most promising candidates is the computer programmer and cryptographer Hal Finney who received the first ever Bitcoin transaction from Satoshi in 2009.

Other than Satoshi he was the first person to write code for Bitcoin and solve bugs. He certainly had the technical expertise. Not to mention, like Satoshi he wrote in British English and left a double space after each sentence.

He also lived in the same street as another possible candidate “Dorian Nakamoto” suggesting he took his last name for his pseudo-anonymous identity.

Unfortunately, Hal got immobile from Lou Gehrig’s Disease around the same time Satoshi went offline and sadly passed away in 2014. We also haven’t heard from Satoshi since.

That being said, Hal had his own bitcoin forum profile and repeatedly communicated with Satoshi. He also, refuted the claim several times, however, this could be him playing the long con in this respect.

Dorian Nakamoto

Now as mentioned previously we have Dorian Nakamoto. To state the obvious he has the same last name. A Japanese man living in Temple City, California who was described as libertarian and worked as a systems engineer on classified defense projects

He certainly fits the profile. However, in my opinion, this is not likely as it is too obvious. Moreover, Dorian could not write or speak English very well. Other than his last name and technical expertise there is little to suggest he was Satoshi.

Adam Back

Next, we have, Adam back. Back had a Ph.D. in distributed computing systems and created hash cash. Hash cash was a proof work email system that limited spam.

This is important, as this technology also formed the basis for Bitcoin’s mining algorithm. He also coincidentally stopped publishing academic papers around the times Satoshi became active and resumed when Satoshi became inactive.

Back is English and writes double space after periods which lines up with Satoshi’s writing style. However, since he is still alive I question his motives as he could have cashed out Bitcoin by now.

Len Sassaman

Lastly, we have Len Sassaman, a Belgian computer scientist, and cryptographer. The first indication he might be Satoshi is that he worked at Network Associates alongside Hal Finney.

Sassaman also developed the remailer technology that was a precursor to Bitcoin and worked on public key cryptography. He also moved in with the founder of the peer-to-peer protocol Bittorent which like Bitcoin utilized a digital currency known as Mojo tokens.

This certainly indicates he had the technical knowledge to create Bitcoin. Like Finney and Back, he also wrote in British English. Sadly, Sassaman suffered health problems and killed himself in 2011 around the time Satoshi went offline.

So who do I think Satoshi is? 

Well, the strongest candidates are Hal Finney and Len Sassaman, or perhaps a combination of those two. Both had the technical knowledge to create Bitcoin and wrote in British English.

However, I think Finney is slightly more likely due to his close relationship with Bitcoin, writing the core code and receiving the first transaction. Also, I don’t think it is a coincidence that he lived on the same street as Dorian Nakamoto.

If you want to view this article in a more visual format then please check out my youtube video below:


At the end of the day, although we will never know the true identity of Satoshi, in my opinion, this is a good thing. After all, Bitcoin is a technology of the people therefore having a true leader would go against its very ethos.

I believe that anyone who participates in the Bitcoin network is Satoshi. Thank you for reading.

Want to learn about the rise and fall of Mt.Gox? Click here to read my previous article.