Do we need to know the identity of Satoshi Nakamoto?
I’ve been thinking about this question over the last few weeks. I was prompted to do this by Craig Steven Wright and the battle between him and others, such as Hodlonaut, on Twitter. Then there was the announcement that Binance was delisting Bitcoin SV (BSV), a cryptocurrency that is connected to nChain, a Wright-affiliated blockchain and Coingeek run by Calvin Ayre.
The problem people have with Wright is that he claims to be Satoshi Nakamoto, or one of the people behind Satoshi and the creation of Bitcoin. Wright’s dramatic claim was backed by Gavin Andresen, former Bitcoin Core Lead Maintainer and executive director of the Bitcoin Foundation. However, Wright has never provided he is Satoshi, or one part of ‘him’, but that hasn’t stopped the claim.
Last week John McAfee also claimed to know the identity of Satoshi and boasted that it had been extremely easy to work out. But, for personal reasons, McAfee declined to reveal who it is. I use the present tense because McAfee claims to correspond with Satoshi, unless he talks to him via the services of a psychic medium. He certainly didn’t suggest it was Wright, but on the other hand he didn’t mention him at all, so perhaps, perhaps, perhaps?
Wright, like McAfee, is known for making big claims, and he has been called out on quite a few of them by big hitters in the crypto world, including Vitalik Buterin of Ethereum, Grag Maxwel of Blockstream and Changpeng Zhao, the CEO of Binance. Even Charles Sturt University (Wright’s alma mater) informed Forbes that Wright had never received a PhD from the university, although Wright claimed he had.
Wright, like McAfee, lives for publicity; It is his oxygen. And by hitting back when he claims he is Satoshi, the crypto community is feeding his addiction by talking about him and sending Google Search trends soaring with searches about him and BSV.
If we want the crypto industry to be taken seriously, we need to focus less on personalities like Wright and McAfee, who potentially discredit it with fiction, and ask ourselves, do we really need to know the identity of Satoshi Nakamoto. Is it not possible to admire the Bitocin network without knowing the identity of the person/s behind it? Does not knowing for sure the identity of the creator/s give the technology less legitimacy? Perhaps one of the Gods can give us an answer to that question.
Do we need to know the identity of Satoshi Nakamoto? was originally published in Hacker Noon on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.