The Latest Theory Is That The Creator Of Bitcoin Is A Blogger

It may surprise you to learn that despite the massive attention bitcoin has received this year, no one knows the true identity of its creator.

In 2008, a person or group of people named Satoshi Nakamoto published the digital currency’s original spec paper. After lingering around cryptocurrency forums for a year or two, “Satoshi” dropped off the map.

There have since been numerous attempts — comprehensively tracked by Hilary Sargent, aka Chart Girl — to determine Satoshi’s identity, but nothing conclusive has yet emerged.

The latest stab comes from an equally unknown blogger, who on a WordPress site called “Like In A Mirror” apparently created just for the post explains how he used analysed speech patterns used in the Satoshi paper to determine that a blogger and former economics George Washington University economics professor named Nick Szabo “is probably Satoshi.”

“…reverse-searching for content similar to the Bitcoin whitepaper led me to Nick’s blog, completely independently of any knowledge of the official Bitcoin story. I must stress this: an open, unbiased search of texts similar in writing to the Bitcoin whitepaper over the entire Internet, identifies Nick’s bit gold articles as the best candidates.”

Among the similarities “Mirror” found:

  • “Repeated use of ‘of course’ without isolating commas, contrary to convention (‘the problem of course is’)”
  • “Starting sentences with ‘It should be noted’ (found in 5.25% of [all] crypto papers)”
  • “Use of ‘preclude’ (found in 1.5% of [all] crypto papers)”
  • “Expression ‘timestamp server’, central in the Bitcoin paper, used in Nick’s blog as early as January 2006
  • “Repeated use of expression ‘trusted third party’ ”
  • “Repeated use of ‘timestamp’ as a verb”

Szabo has denied to Wired that he is Satoshi. If he’s lying, he’d have been more or less hiding in plain sight. An active writer at a blog called Enumerator, Szabo has written extensively on a mind-boggling amount of topics including hermeneutics, deep-sea resource exploitation…and cryptographic security.

“Mirror” admits that the matches could just be coincidences, arguing there were only a handful of people using these types of expressions in the context of cryptocurrency in 2008 and earlier — although this would seem to suggest a pool of potential candidates, not just Szabo.

And “Mirror” explains away Satoshi’s use of Britishism like “favour” by arguing Satoshi may have had co-authors, but does not state who these might be.

Still, the similarities seem interesting. We’ve sent an email to Szabo to comment.

For more on all the theories of who created Bitcoin, check out this guide at Chartgirl >

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