Satoshi Nakamoto is the author of the Bitcoin whitepaper and is credited with being the creator of Bitcoin. It is unknown exactly who Satoshi is and may not be even a single person. His username was used to communicate in online forums during the early days of Bitcoin development.
The Bitcoin wallet belonging to Nakamoto has never made a transaction and currently holds 980,000 Bitcoins.
Although his identity is a mystery, there are a few men who have been attributed as the creator, in one way or another:
- Hal Finney was a computer scientist and the 2nd ever user of Bitcoin. He received the 1st Bitcoin transaction sent by Satoshi and is a member of the cypherpunk movement, a group advocating for the use of cryptography. Finney died in 2014, right around the time that Satoshi stopped communicating in chat groups and email exchanges, but Finney never claimed to be the creator.
- In 2014, Newsweek published an article that they had found Satoshi Nakamoto, a man living in California, going by the name of Dorian Nakamoto. A physicist, systems engineer for government projects, and a “cypherpunk” in his own right, Dorian claims that he misunderstood the question that lead Newsweek journalist, Leah McGrath Goodman, to believe that he was the elusive creator. Another interesting item that points to his involvement in some way with Hal Finney is that the two men lived in the same neighborhood.
- Nick Szabo is another early Bitcoin user and even published a paper on another digital currency, Bit gold, prior to the Bitcoin whitepaper being published. The two papers have been compared to each other and similarities in the writings have been found (certain words, phrases, styles). However, Szabo vehemently denies being Satoshi and will often respond to posts on Twitter of how he is not Satoshi Nakamoto.
- In late 2015, Wired wrote an article that they believed Craig Wright to be the creator of Bitcoin. By spring 2016, Wright had written a blog post claiming that the assertion was true. On that same day, journalists from the BBC and The Economist claim that they witnessed Wright using the same private key that was used in the first Bitcoin transaction. However, when that proof was never released to the public, others in the Bitcoin community disputed his claim. He is now one of the major figures working on the Bitcoin Cash project, rather than Bitcoin.
Whether it is one of the men above or another suspect, Satoshi likely does not want the spotlight on him and would rather have it on the technology. It is unlikely that he would reveal himself at this point so he can avoid both unwanted fame and unwanted attention from governments and financial investigators.