Bitcoin’s anonymous creator, Satoshi Nakamoto, might be writing a book. That’s what some members of the crypto community believe after a cryptic message was posted on the internet on Friday.
Satoshi’s post consists of a 21 page explanation of the early days of bitcoin, including new details behind the mysterious figure. According to the post, the 21 page document is just the “first excerpt to a literary work consisting of two parts.” That literary work is described as “a short story if you will, with some of the most brought up questions and answers.”
“I wanted the people and the facts to be known,” the person claiming to be Satoshi goes on to explain. The post appeared on NakamotoFamilyFoundation.org. Although the post is just an excerpt, it consists of 21 pages of detailed text –twice as long as the bitcoin whitepaper. Clearly, Satoshi has a lot to say. The post was explained in detail by Bloomberg.
In true Nakamoto style, the post also includes a cryptogram. That cryptogram apparently reveals the names related to the title of the book. The solution to that cryptogram appears to be “hone and tatamae” or “tatamae”, a Japanese expression referring to the contrast between one’s true feelings and desires and the behaviors and opinions one displays in public.
The post also references key figures in the crypto community, including Hal Finney, the cryptographer who received the first bitcoin transaction. It also references David Chaum, who published a paper called “Untraceable Electronic Cash” twenty years before the bitcoin whitepaper. Adam Back and Wei Dai are also mentioned. All four of these people have been proposed as possible Satoshi Nakamoto identities. If the post is to be believed, then Satoshi is none of these individuals.
Satoshi was a Cypherpunk at 14 Years Old
Obviously, the mystery of Satoshi Nakamoto continues to lurk over the bitcoin community. Although numerous attempts have been made to identify Satoshi Nakamoto, we still have no idea who he, she or they may be.
This latest post, however, is important because of the recent actions of Craig Wright. Australian programmer and businessman Craig Wright is one of the few people in the world who has claimed to be Satoshi Nakamoto.
Although Craig provided proof that he was Satoshi to a few select people, his status as Satoshi continues to be debated. On Friday, after a dispute with bitcoin supporters, Craig tweeted that he might soon provide additional Satoshi proof. Later on Friday, the post about the bitcoin book appeared online.
The 21 page text is packed with new information about Satoshi Nakamoto. It explains that Satoshi got involved in the cypherpunk movement when he was 14 years old, for example, and this hobby later led to the creation of bitcoin.
Cypherpunk is an activist movement advocating the widespread use of cryptography and privacy-enhancing techniques, particularly related to social and political change.
The movement became particularly prominent in the mid to late 1980s. If Satoshi Nakamoto was 14 years old when cypherpunk emerged, then that would suggest Satoshi’s year of birth is in the early 1970s.
“The principles for bitcoin originated from the cypherpunks, a community I naturally gravitated to as a fourteen year old, a place where anonymity was as fundamental as breathing,” explains Satoshi in his post.
Craig Wright, who is now 47 years old, was born in 1970.
Satoshi References Bitcoin’s Scaling Problem
Satoshi also references one of the biggest criticisms about bitcoin: its scaling problem. The person claiming to be Satoshi says that they anticipated computing power would be 100 times faster ten years after the launch of bitcoin due to Moore’s Law. However, this is not the case, and bitcoin is struggling to scale because of it.
“In referring back to Moore’s Law, I really did believe that computers would be equipped with hardware that by the time I write this, would be 100 times faster than it was ten years ago. I was wrong. In truth, hardware did not advance as quickly as I had anticipated and actually did me a disservice. I learned then to not speculate about the future. Because you usually get it wrong.”
The Post Confirms that Satoshi Nakamoto is a Pseudonym
Satoshi makes another interesting point in his post, confirming for the first time that Satoshi Nakamoto is a pseudonym:
“I’m going to take a moment here to explain something. I know that some of you might be reading this or hearing about it for the first time, might not know, so I should state it publicly, although by now it is assumed, but has never been publicly stated before, so I will make it official. Satoshi Nakamoto is not a real name. Specifically, not a legal name. It is primarily the essence of thoughts and reason.”
Satoshi Claims He Was “The Sole and Active Participant” in the Early Days of Bitcoin
Another interesting part of the post is the section where Satoshi – or the person claiming to be Satoshi – reveals that he was mostly alone during the early days of bitcoin, and that bitcoin wasn’t made by a group of people.
“People may forget about this fact now but for the first year, it really was mostly myself who was the sole and active participant in the network. I was both maintaining it, using it, making changes to the code, fixing bugs, and promoting its use. Most people in the beginning were in fact just installing bitcoin once and never using it again, circumventing its intended use. The only person that really chugged away and stayed with it that first year, was Hal Finney.”
Obviously, a book about the early days of bitcoin written by Satoshi Nakamoto would be devoured by fans across the crypto community. It’s possible that Satoshi could write a book without revealing his true identity. This latest excerpt, however, provides a fascinating look into the identity of Satoshi Nakamoto and reveals new information about bitcoin’s anonymous creator.
Top 5 Takeaways from Nakamoto Family Foundation Book Excerpt
The principles for bitcoin originated from the cypherpunks, a community I naturally gravitated to as a fourteen year old, a place where anonymity was as fundamental as breathing, where in order for genuine freedom of speech to exist in an open society one had to be able to fully and anonymously express themselves. (I’m going to take a moment here to explain something. I know that some of you might be reading this or hearing about it for the first time, might not know, so I should state it publicly, although by now it is assumed, but has never been publicly stated before, so I will make it official.) Satoshi Nakamoto is not a real name. Specifically, not a legal name. It is primarily the essence of thoughts and reason.
In April of 2009 is when Mike Hearn first emailed asking about the project. For all intents and purposes, Mike appeared to me as someone who knew what he was talking about but nonetheless was eager to learn new things. His curiosity piqued me as someone inquisitive, asking me whether bitcoin was based on one “global chain” or many, which now most would refer to as the “blockchain.” I pointed out how it was all part of one global chain, with all blocks forming part of that chain. I don’t think anyone knows this, but the word blockchain did not come into play until after the fact. Prebitcoin, it was referred to as, the timechain. That is because it wasn’t about the blocks in the beginning, but rather about time, specifically the precise intervals of time upon which the blocks were released.
Bitcoin is able to supplant centralized networks in various ways. This is why some incumbents feared bitcoin, is not because of the wow factor, but because of its network advantages. In terms of speed and security, bitcoin was superior. Here was, for the first time, a distributed network of nodes that validated one immutable record (the blockchain), which in this case happened to be a form of currency. Even if one of these nodes came down, the chain would still continue as it was … In referring back to Moore’s Law, I really did believe that computers would be equipped with hardware that by the time I write this, would be 100 times faster than it was ten years ago. I was wrong. In truth, hardware did not advance as quickly as I had anticipated and actually did me a disservice. I learned then to not speculate about the future. Because you usually get it wrong.
People may forget about this fact now but for the first year, it really was mostly myself who was the sole and active participant in the network. I was both maintaining it, using it, making changes to the code, fixing bugs, and promoting its use. Most people in the beginning were in fact just installing bitcoin once and never using it again, circumventing its intended use. The only person that really chugged away and stayed with it that first year, was Hal Finney. …. What didn’t come up (at the time), which I found odd, was the question of whether Satoshi Nakamoto was just one, or a group of us. Here is where I will stop. But the truth is one that people will not come to expect. Because the truth is too special to give away, requires a long answer, which will be in the book.
I will say this though, consider for a moment the distinction; as to whether I had help or was part of that help in creation, and then separate that from the person who followed, which for the most part, was very consistent.
There are questions that always seem to come up, either about me or about the way bitcoin was designed. Questions around the choice of encryption, the block size, the supply, the programming language of choice. I’ll start with the most obvious question and then try to answer the others throughout these pages …. For starters, many may wonder what the reasoning behind the fixed supply is. Why 21 million? The truth is, it was an educated guess. The math worked out, or as close to it as I had wanted it to. Before settling on 21 million however, I had considered making 100 BTC as the reward, and 42 — the answer to life, the universe, and everything. But afraid that others would consider my reference to Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy a quip and at the expense of not being taken seriously, I changed it to 21 million …. I know it is easy to imagine that bitcoin came out of thin air but in reality, that was not the case. It arose out of the many failed attempts by many groups, and the only reason it succeeded was because it was at the right place, at the right time. And although I did not exactly time it for the beginning of a financial crisis — who could predict that (curious the answer though — wait for the rest), it did serve as an impetus and I think had it not been for that, adoption would not have taken off as it did.
What a read huh fellow Bitcoiners? We are sure this won't be the last of this story or the last excerpt posted to the Satoshi Nakamoto Family Foundation website.