Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency, a digital asset designed to work as a medium of exchange that uses cryptography to control its creation and management, rather than relying on central authorities, making it a decentralised currency/asset.
Bitcoin was invented in 2008 by an unknown person or group of people using the name Satoshi Nakamoto and started in 2009 when its source code was released as open-source software. Bitcoins are created as a reward for a process known as mining. They can be exchanged for other currencies, products, and services.
The History Of Bitcoin
Who Created Bitcoin: Satoshi Nakamoto
The man, the project, the mystery. There is no figure as iconic in the cryptocurrency field as Satoshi Nakamoto. No persona related to Bitcoin or any other coin is as known and yet as mysterious.
Nakamoto is the creator of the Bitcoin. Satoshi was the one who designed the Bitcoin protocol and launched it.
It is hard to overestimate his impact on the world we live in. Bitcoin is worth billions of USD; it raises questions among economists and even politicians. Miners use more electricity than certain countries (here’s how it works). Other cryptocurrency projects are aiming to change the technological aspects of our lives, starting with IoT and ending with payments.
While there are some facts known about S. Nakamoto, most of the information is pure speculation.
There is not a lot known about Satoshi. Here are some hard facts:
- Satoshi Nakamoto created Bitcoin protocol and sent the first transaction, received by Hal Finney.
- Nakamoto mined the genesis Bitcoin block as well. There was a piece of text embedded in a coinbase transaction of this block:
"The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks."
This is a real headline from The Times that is believed to be used by Satoshi to point out the weaknesses of the existing banking system. Bitcoin, on the other hand, is presented as an alternative to it.
- Satoshi also created BitcoinTalk, the first and largest Bitcoin-related forum on the Internet. He has an account on BitcoinTalk (his nickname is satoshi) and has posted several hundreds of messages. He hasn’t been online since 2010.
- In 2010, Satoshi transferred the network alert key and control of the code repository over to Gavin Andresen. Since then, he hasn’t been officially involved in Bitcoin development.
Does Satoshi even exist?
Given the small amount of verifiable information about Satoshi, it is impossible to tell whether he or she is really a person.
Theoretically, Satoshi Nakamoto could be a group of programmers using the single account to communicate with the people on the Internet.
The Bitcoin protocol and all the documentation and extra software bits that come with it required enormous work to be designed. It would make a lot of sense then, if the work had been split between several developers.
If this is true, then Satoshi Nakamoto doesn’t exist.
How many bitcoins does Satoshi have?
According to various calculations, Satoshi could have up to a million BTC. To give you a better idea of how much it really is – it is almost 5% of all the Bitcoins that will ever exist.
These coins are distributed among many addresses, the majority of them containing 50 BTC each. Most of these bitcoins are mining rewards from the network’s early days, when just a few people, including Satoshi, mined.
Perhaps the most important address is this one: 1A1zP1eP5QGefi2DMPTfTL5SLmv7DivfNa. It is the address that received the very first bitcoins in existence as a reward for a genesis block mined by Nakamoto.
But how wealthy would Satoshi be if he managed to sell all of his bitcoins at a market price? Let’s say 1 BTC costs 10 000 USD. In this case, Satoshi’s net worth would be 10 billion USD after selling all of his coins, making him one of the richest men on the planet.
Of course, it would be impossible due to the limited market size and other factors, but should give you a rough idea of just how much coins the creator of Bitcoin has.
Frequently asked questions
How much is one satoshi?
Named after Bitcoin’s creator, satoshi is the smallest part of Bitcoin. 1 satoshi is equal to 0.00000001 BTC.
Is Satoshi Nakamoto dead?
Satoshi’s identity has not been established for sure. Some of the possible candidates are dead (like Hal Finney or David Kleiman, for example). Given those facts, it is entirely possible that Satoshi is dead.
What is Satoshi Nakamoto’s bitcoin address?
Satoshi most likely had several addresses. There is one address we know that belongs to Satoshi Nakamoto for sure: the genesis address.
Here is it: 1A1zP1eP5QGefi2DMPTfTL5SLmv7DivfNa.
When and where did Satoshi first publish Bitcoin’s whitepaper
Satoshi shared a link to a Bitcoin whitepaper on a cryptography mailing list on October 31, 2008. Here is the up-to-date Bitcoin