Who Created Bitcoin? Early Developer Jeff Garzik Gives His Best Guess

Posted in: Archive
November 9, 2018 10:57 PM UTC

Jeff Garzik, historically one of the major early contributors to the Bitcoin codebase and later a lead developer at BitPay, doesn’t know who created the flagship cryptocurrency. However, he has an educated guess.

Speaking in an interview with Bloomberg, he spoke to his suspicions of the actual creator of Bitcoin. He has one of the less popular theories — the major contenders for the title of Satoshi Nakamoto are Nick Szabo, Adam Back, and/or a group of people likely involving one or both of these people. The hunt for Satoshi Nakamoto is still very much on, despite the possible negative impact it could have on the Bitcoin ecosystem.

A limited and dwindling number of people have bought into the belief that Australian outlier Craig S. Wright, who is spearheading the Bitcoin SV (“Satoshi Vision”) hard fork in 6 days, is actually the person behind the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto. The upcoming fork has even pushed Wright and early Bitcoin adopter and evangelist Roger Ver apart. Ver now says that even solid proof of Wright’s identity as Satoshi wouldn’t heal the division.

Jeff Garzik: Dave Kleiman Was [Likely] Satoshi

Garzik told Bloomberg that his “personal theory” places Dave Kleiman, a Florida man who passed away in 2013 and whose estate is currently engaged in a lawsuit against Craig S. Wright, as the man behind the $110 billion currency.

Wright, per the suit, had worked with Kleiman — a computer security expert — as a CCN.com contributing editor wrote at the time the lawsuit was filed:

“Kleiman and Wright had allegedly acquired these coins by mining them through W&K Info Defense Research LLC. The ownership structure of W&K is in dispute, though Kleiman’s estate claims that he was either the sole owner or held it in partnership with Wright. Either way, they claim that Wright stole at least 550,000 BTC, or 1.1 million if W&K was wholly owned by Kleiman.”

Garzik says that, for him, the dots connect and paint a picture of Kleiman as Satoshi. Kleiman was a self-taught coder who had previously worked for the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office. Garzik says:

“It matches his coding style, this gentleman was self taught. And the Bitcoin coder was someone who was very, very smart, but not a classically trained software engineer.”

Craig Wright has previously claimed that Kleiman helped him create Bitcoin. He did not come forward with his assertion that he was Satoshi Nakamoto until after Kleiman’s death. There are several factors that do weigh heavily in the column of Kleiman as being Satoshi, but the world may never know the truth.

Featured Image from Chamber of Digital Commerce/YouTube

Last modified: May 20, 2020 2:26 PM UTC

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P. H. Madore @bitillionaire

P. H. Madore has written for CCN since 2014. Please send breaking news tips or requests for investigation to bitillionaire+phm@gmail.com. He lives in Maine, USA. A single father of four young children, he does not discourage financial donations, provided they do not come with strings attached.