In 2002, a person identified as “x” wrote a post to the Usenet newsgroups alt.internet.p2p and uk.finance, titled “Virtual peer to peer banking .” The post describes a system with interesting similarities to Bitcoin:
“I have this idea of a future with virtual peer to peer banking. A kind of decentralized and secured system. Gone would be the times that governments and banks can track and interfere with our money transfers. Or even interfere with the total amount of money on earth. My envisioned sytem would have a fixed total amount of money. But each money unit (say virtual coin) is divisable indefinitely. So a kind of deflation would replace inflation. The total value of the money in the world would be a fixed number. It poses no problem for liquidity, because the currency can be divided anytime. However maybe people will not spend their money much, because it’s value will increase often. Other problems raise in the areas of security, malicious use, and how to come towards such system from current systems? These are just ideas, I like to hear comments or about net resources on this subject.”
Some posters on Reddit and Bitcointalk are speculating on the possibility that “x” is Satoshi Nakamoto, seven years before the announcement of Bitcoin on the Cryptography mailing list.
If “x” has no name, then we are back to square one. But some posters, based on the IP address in the Netherlands, think that “x” is the notable Dutch mathematician and cryptographer Hendrik Lenstra . Lenstra has worked principally in computational number theory and is well known as the discoverer of the elliptic curve factorization method. Elliptic Curve Cryptography (ECC) methods are used in Bitcoin.
Of course, this isn’t the first and won’t be the last speculation on the identity of Satoshi Nakamoto. Previous speculations are either unproven or proven unfounded.
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