Photo Courtesy; www.ap.org

This is a question that, to the day of this writing, is still embroiled in controversy. On February 11th, 2009, someone using the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto posted this:

I’ve developed a new open source P2P e-cash system called Bitcoin. It’s completely decentralized, with no central server or trusted parties, because everything is based on crypto proof instead of trust. Give it a try[…].

In some ways the birth of Bitcoin to the public can be traced back to that post and the Bitcoin design paper, sometimes called the ‘Bitcoin White Paper‘. Satoshi Nakamoto, from the release of the post and the Bitcoin design paper, was involved with the development until mid-2010. We know he/she was the first person to ‘mine’ any Bitcoin and we know he/she was the first person to send a transaction through Bitcoin to a man by the name of Hal Finney. In mid-2010 he/she handed over control of the source code to a man named Gavin Anderson. He/she, whoever Satoshi Nakamoto was, for all intents and purposes, disappeared after that. Those are the simplest of facts that we have about who created Bitcoin.

We do know the names of many of the people who helped usher Bitcoin from Satoshi’s vision and code to the robust and worldwide system it has become today, but the question remains, ‘Who was Satoshi Nakamoto?’. It has created a deep mystery for many people and has led to hours of speculations, publications, and theories on just who Satoshi Nakamoto was. People have applied his posts to stylometric analysis, have done extensive research into the times of his postings to try to figure out when he was most likely asleep, to analysing the Bitcoin network itself and known Satoshi addresses. Most of the sleuthing, though promising at times and entertaining to read, has consistently led to dead ends.

So, Bitcoin exists and functions without anyone knowing it’s creator. Does that affect Bitcoin? Some people think that he/she’s unkown status could be a danger to Bitcoin. Other’s argue that it doesn’t matter. The truth is, it probably lies somewhere in between. Satoshi has around a million Bitcoin and if they were to one day release that onto the market, it could have devastating effects, and this is a real danger. On the other hand, Bitcoin, by its nature, is a trustless autonomous system. For years it has been programmed and refined by people who are well known to the public and, again by the nature of the Bitcoin system, everything is open source and heavily scrutinized by the Bitcoin user base. We hope there’s very little Satoshi could do now, besides giving his input, to alter the course or change the future of Bitcoin in any drastic fashion. So far, he/she hasn’t given any indication of their future plans and many speculate that they may no longer be alive.

Other’s take comfort in the trustless, proof based, design of Satoshi’s work and Satoshi’s own words:

The root problem with conventional currency is all the trust that’s required to make it work. The central bank must be trusted not to debase the currency, but the history of fiat currencies is full of breaches of that trust.

Bitcoin doesn’t need its creator at this point, and has continued chugging along profitably despite this mystery. How about we just not worry about it for a time, and instead spend our Bitcoin in some great btc online casinos!