The mystery of Satoshi Nakamoto is by far the greatest in the crypto space. Many theorists have attempted to name the mysterious creator of Bitcoin, but no concrete answer as ever been reached, since Satoshi has never officially come out in the limelight. However, analyzing the available resources left by Satoshi can lead us to the likeliest candidate. After I conducted over a year of research on the subject, I reached the conclusion that Satoshi Nakamoto is computer scientist Nick Szabo.
Mr. Szabo is the inventor of smart contracts, a crucial coding concept for Bitcoin scripts, as well as numerous altcoins like Ethereum. Additionally, he came up with Bit Gold in 1998, his first attempt at a decentralized cryptocurrency. The design was so close to Bitcoin that it used public key cryptography utilizing a title registry (Szabo's early version of a blockchain), and Adam Back's Hash Cash POW algorithm. Szabo even used the terms "bit gold miners," and "chain of digital signatures." These are Satoshi terms used by Szabo years before Bitcoin existed.
A 2018 Bitcoin Magazine piece described Bit Gold:
"Indeed, it’s not difficult to see Bit Gold as an early draft of Bitcoin. Apart from the shared database of ownership records based on public key cryptography, the chain of proof-of-work hashes has an eerie resemblance to Bitcoin’s blockchain. And, of course, the names Bit Gold and Bitcoin are not too far apart either."
Szabo's nearly identical writing style with Satoshi, and being the only candidate to show the same coding quirks as Satoshi, leaves little doubt that he was behind the writings and code. Based on further analysis I did, a good case can be made that Szabo's former good friend, Hal Finney, the second user of Bitcoin, helped Szabo with the creation of Bitcoin.
6 months before the Bitcoin whitepaper, Szabo asked for help coding a live version of Bit Gold on his blog Unenumerated. It's crucial to remember that Satoshi Nakamoto didn't cite Bit Gold in the whitepaper.
Despite some public denials, Nick Szabo has made numerous hints that he is Satoshi Nakamoto. Today, I will break down all of these hints to better understand how Satoshi Nakamoto has reacted over the years.
"Bit Gold II"
When a Twitter follower asked Nick Szabo what his new cryptocurrency design was after Bit Gold, Szabo responded with "Bit Gold II" and a smiley face. This is an obvious hint that his "new design" was the second, more improved version of Bit Gold, which is Bitcoin. The other Twitter user noted as much in the thread.
There are no references to Bit Gold in the whitepaper whatsoever, for good reason. Not citing Bit Gold was a crucial step in making the audience believe that Satoshi had no idea that Bit Gold existed. Szabo obviously could not call the project Bit Gold in reality, as people would shred through his pseudonym faster than you can read this sentence.
"It's much easier to run actual software than a design for software"
When a Twitter user asked Szabo why Bit Gold failed, Szabo curiously responded by saying:
"It's much easier to run actual software than a design for software."
He could have said something along the lines of, "it never came to fruition and Satoshi Nakamoto improved my design by making Bitcoin," but instead, the response implied that he ran some kind of version of the software. In fact, in another stunning tweet, Szabo referred to Bit Gold as Bitcoin's predecessor. A predecessor is a previous version of something.
Szabo's Twitter bio
Satoshi Nakamoto invented the first cryptocurrency and blockchain. The only person to claim this has been Craig Wright, who is a proven fraud. But in Nick Szabo's Twitter bio, he lists himself as a "blockchain, cryptocurrency, and smart contracts pioneer." Well, it is public knowledge that he's a pioneer of smart contracts, but not public knowledge that he's pioneer of the first cryptocurrency and blockchain. This is important that he included all three concepts together because Bit Gold was never implemented, meaning that he wouldn't be the pioneer of an invention that never was officially executed.
Szabo did invent the blockchain before they even were known as that. In the late 90s, Szabo invented the concept of public title registries, which essentially were a database that stored the public/private key pairs of individuals in the Bit Gold network. The similarities with Bitcoin are simply uncanny.
"Only Finney and Nakamoto were motivated enough to implement Bitcoin"
In a blog post written exactly a month after Satoshi sent his last emails to core developers, Szabo explained that very few people could've been Satoshi. He said:
"Nearly everybody who heard the general idea thought it was a very bad idea. Myself, Wei Dai, and Hal Finney were the only people I know of who liked the idea (or in Dai's case his related idea) enough to pursue it to any significant extent until Nakamoto (assuming Nakamoto is not really Finney or Dai). Only Finney (RPOW) and Nakamoto were motivated enough to actually implement such a scheme."
RPOW, the world's first implemented cryptocurrency, is a variant of Bit Gold, and Szabo stated that only Finney and Satoshi were motivated enough to create a decentralized cryptocurrency. This is a nod to the audience that he would be the only other person besides Hal Finney motivated enough to create Bitcoin.
He further explains that few people had read his Bit Gold ideas and basically equates the early Bitcoin ideas to Bit Gold ideas.
"When I designed Bitcoi.... gold"
In a 2017 interview on the Tim Ferris show, Szabo makes a famous Freudian slip by saying, "When I designed Bitcoi... gold." Bitcoin and Bit Gold are just so similar that Szabo finds it hard talking about both concepts without overlapping them in various interviews.
Bitcoin is an invention that is revolutionizing the world for the better. We should all thank Satoshi Nakamoto for the gift he brought to this world.