Arthur Hayes, the CEO of BitMEX, the most widely utilized BTC margin trading platform, has opined Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of bitcoin, is likely dead.
“I think they’re already dead,” said Hayes about Satoshi, adding that he does not believe the identity behind the creator of bitcoin will ever be revealed.
Satoshi is said to have 980,000 BTC, worth $9.716 billion based on the current value of bitcoin at $9,913.
Earlier this year, when the bitcoin price peaked to $14,000, the net worth of Satoshi spiked to $13.72 billion. Since then, the bitcoin price has retraced by more than 29 percent within a two-month span.
When Satoshi initially launched bitcoin in 2009 with key figures like Hal Finney during the early development stage of the cryptocurrency, Satoshi envisioned a currency that does not depend on the presence of third-party service providers and financial institutions, processing payments in a purely peer-to-peer manner.
The whitepaper of bitcoin reads:
“Commerce on the Internet has come to rely almost exclusively on financial institutions serving as trusted third parties to process electronic payments. While the system works well enough for most transactions, it still suffers from the inherent weaknesses of the trust based model. Completely non-reversible transactions are not really possible, since financial institutions cannot avoid mediating disputes.”
Bitcoin was created to operate as an alternative currency system to transfer value between individuals that could render most of the existing financial services and currencies in existence useless over the long term, that may potentially placing a target on the back of the creator of bitcoin.
Although it remains unclear whether Satoshi deliberately decided to hide his identity prior to and after the launch of bitcoin at will, it will be challenging to definitively prove the real identity of Satoshi.
Even if an individual can mathematically and cryptographically prove to be Satoshi by signing the wallet Satoshi owns, there is always a possibility that the wallet could be stolen or the keys may have been in jeopardy.
There is also a possibility that Satoshi is not an individual but rather a group of cryptographers that contributed to the launch of bitcoin, in which case it would be even more difficult to prove the identity of the creator of bitcoin.
If the intent of Satoshi was to never spend the coins in the wallet that contains billions of dollars in bitcoin and maintain the identity behind the moniker private, it would be in the interest of both bitcoin and investors in the asset class that the identity of Satoshi remains private.
The CEO of BitMEX foresees the bitcoin price achieving $100,000 in the next three years, which would place the “net worth” of Satoshi at $98 billion, making Satoshi the second richest individual in the world behind Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos.
The bitcoin price could reach $100,000, securing a market capitalization of $2.1 trillion if a growing number of investors, particularly institutions, begin to consider and use the cryptocurrency as a safe haven asset and a store of value.
So far, based on the performance of BTC throughout 2019 amidst intensifying geopolitical risks, BTC has not shown strong signs of a safe haven asset when compared to traditional safe havens like gold.
However, as its value increases and the infrastructure supporting the asset class improves with the emergence of more regulated trading venues, the perception of bitcoin could change, allowing it to appeal to a bigger market of investors.