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Definition: Satoshi Nakamoto

The pseudonymous name of the inventor of Bitcoin. Although clearly a Japanese name, articles by Nakamoto are written in flawless English indicating that Nakamoto is not a native of Japan. Coincidentally, there are several people living in America with the name Satoshi Nakamoto. See pseudonymous. For the current court case, see Bitcoin authorship.

Any of These People?
Australian computer scientist Dr. Craig Wright claims that he and business partner Dave Kleiman are the Bitcoin inventors, although this is disputed. Cryptography pioneer Nick Szabo, who designed a decentralized digital currency in the 1990s has also been hailed as Nakamoto (NS initials reversed?), but he denies it. Software engineer Hal Finney was the first person to receive a Bitcoin transaction, and his writing style has been deemed close to that of Nakamoto. Finney died in 2014, and his body was cryogenically frozen. Coincidentally, the name of Finney's Los Angeles neighbor was Dorian Satoshi Nakamoto.

In 2011, software developer Gavin Andresen took over the project from Nakamoto, and Andresen's writing style is also similar.

No matter who Satoshi Nakamoto is or was, within a little more than a decade, the market cap of Bitcoin briefly topped one trillion dollars in 2021. See Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto Institute, Satoshi and Hashcash.

A Halloween Email
On October 31, 2008, an email with the following explanation was sent to a cryptographer's mailing list:

"I've been working on a new electronic cash system that's fully peer-to-peer, with no trusted third party. A purely peer-to-peer version of electronic cash would allow online payments to be sent from one party to another without going through a financial institution. Digital signatures provide part of the solution, but the main benefits are lost if a trusted third party is still required to prevent double-spending. We propose a solution to the double-spending problem using a peer-to-peer network. The network timestamps transactions by hashing them into an ongoing chain of hash-based proof-of-work. The longest chain not only serves as proof of the sequence of events witnessed, but proof that it came from the largest pool of CPU power. As long as a majority of CPU power is controlled by nodes that are not cooperating to attack the network, they'll generate the longest chain and outpace attackers. The network itself requires minimal structure. Messages are broadcast on a best effort basis, and nodes can leave and rejoin the network at will, accepting the longest proof-of-work chain as proof of what happened while they were gone." See double spending.