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Why Satoshi’s Identity Matters & Why It’s Irrelevant for Bitcoin

Last Updated March 4, 2021 4:48 PM
Justin OConnell
Last Updated March 4, 2021 4:48 PM

There is one credible argument about why it is important to know Satoshi Nakamoto’s identity. His public wallets will account for about 5.5 % of the total number of bitcoins which will be in circulation after the 21 millionth – the last- bitcoin has been mined in approximately the year 2140.

That theoretically could undermine the decentralization which has played a major role in why people have gravitated towards the cryptocurrency. It could easily be argued that Satoshi Nakamoto controls a number of bitcoins that could enable him to create price volatility if he so chose. The argument is that he would not undermine his fortune, but not all economic actors are rational. 

“Almost all are owned by a single entity, and that entity began mining right from block one, and with the same performance as the genesis block,” Sergio Demian Lerner said of Satoshi’s fortune. “It can be identified by constant slope segments that occasionally restart. Also, this entity is the only entity that has shown complete trust in Bitcoin, since it hasn’t spent any coins (as last as the eye can see). I estimate at eyesight that Satoshi fortune is around 1M Bitcoin.”

It’s known Satoshi owns more than one wallet. They are no longer mining. Nobody knows what will come of the Satoshi funds. Will he ever move them?

Satoshi once said: “Lost coins only make everyone else’s coins worth slightly more.  Think of it as a donation to everyone.” Perhaps that is his final intention? Bitcoiners could only hope as this would promote deflation in the system.

The other side of the argument lays out that, since Bitcoin is an open-source technology, it doesn’t matter who designed it. Regarding the infrastructure underlying the Bitcoin network, it doesn’t matter who Satoshi is.  

There have been many events, such as when Newsweek launched its print edition claiming to reveal Dorian Nakamoto as the creator of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto. By that time, Bitcoin was a functioning online creation community that had caught the world’s attention.

In that Newsweek piece, then lead Bitcoin developer Gavin Andresen, who played a key part in the recent Craig Steven Wright drama, said that no developers concerned themselves with Satoshi’s identity. He ultimately regretted speaking with Leah.

Throughout its existence, decentralization has been a point of pride for the Bitcoin community. Most are totally content not knowing who he is. He doesn’t have any control over the Bitcoin protocol, after all.

That’s because the code is open source on GitHub . Security expert after security expert has verified the legitimacy of the protocol. By now, most of Satoshi’s original code has been rewritten to a more efficient language.

Bitcoin is audited and provable. Satoshi Nakamoto – whether it’s an individual or a group of individuals – is today mostly irrelevant in the day to day operation of the Bitcoin technology. He’s even further removed from the private, public and consortium blockchains as presented by R3, Ethereum and others.

Andreas Antonopolous believes that if the world learns who Satoshi Nakamoto is, Nakamoto will be punished for creating such a great technology. He believes the media would, also, paint him as a villain.

Bitcoin is not Nakamoto’s, nor what Nakamoto wants it to be. That’s the nature of what Jeff Garzik calls the world’s first “decentralized autonomous organism.”

Featured image from Shutterstock.