Satoshi Nakamoto is the pseudonym of the creator of Bitcoin and the author of the original Bitcoin whitepaper and code.
Nakamoto introduced Bitcoin on November 1, 2008, in an email message to "The Cryptography Mailing List." In that message, Nakamoto wrote that he was working on a new electronic cash system that was entirely peer-to-peer (P2P) with no trusted third party. The system, he noted, solves the double-spending problem using a P2P network, which timestamps transactions by hashing them into an "ongoing chain of hash-based proof-of-work," the blockchain.
He called it "Bitcoin P2P e-cash", and gave the abstract of the whitepaper as well as a link to the full PDF on bitcoin.org, a domain he had already register himself. This is the famous email by Nakamoto:
Bitcoin P2P e-cash paper
Satoshi Nakamoto Sat, 01 Nov 2008 16:16:33 -0700
I've been working on a new electronic cash system that's fully
peer-to-peer, with no trusted third party.
The paper is available at:
The main properties:
Double-spending is prevented with a peer-to-peer network.
No mint or other trusted parties.
Participants can be anonymous.
New coins are made from Hashcash style proof-of-work.
The proof-of-work for new coin generation also powers the
network to prevent double-spending.
Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System
Abstract. A purely peer-to-peer version of electronic cash would
allow online payments to be sent directly from one party to another
without the burdens of going through a financial institution.
Digital signatures provide part of the solution, but the main
benefits are lost if a trusted party is still required to prevent
double-spending. We propose a solution to the double-spending
problem using a peer-to-peer network. The network timestamps
transactions by hashing them into an ongoing chain of hash-based
proof-of-work, forming a record that cannot be changed without
redoing the proof-of-work. The longest chain not only serves as
proof of the sequence of events witnessed, but proof that it came
from the largest pool of CPU power. As long as honest nodes control
the most CPU power on the network, they can generate the longest
chain and outpace any attackers. The network itself requires
minimal structure. Messages are broadcasted on a best effort basis,
and nodes can leave and rejoin the network at will, accepting the
longest proof-of-work chain as proof of what happened while they
Full paper at:
Nakamoto left the Bitcoin project in late 2010 without revealing anything about himself.
The mysterious identity of Satoshi Nakamoto left room for a great deal of speculation. At least eleven individuals have been "named" as Satoshi Nakamoto until now:
- Dorian S Nakamoto
- Vili Lehdonvirta
- Michael Clea
- Shinichi Mochizuki
- Gavin Andresen
- Nick Szabo
- Jed McCaleb
- Dustin D Trammel
- Hal Finney
- Wei Dai
- Neal King
- Vladimir Oksman
- Charles Bry
- Craig Steven Wright
Except for Wright, all the others have denied being Nakamoto. In December 2015, Wired and Gizmodo published separate articles which suggested Australian computer scientist and businessman Craig Stephen Wright as Nakamoto. In 2016, Craig Wright himself claimed to be the person behind the Satoshi Nakamoto persona. Initially, his claim was supported by some prominent Bitcoin figures such as Bitcoin Core developer, Gavin Andresen, but subsequently, the Bitcoin community strongly disputed him and concluded it is a scam.
The real identity of Satoshi Nakamoto remains unknown to the world.