What is a Faketoshi?
Given Satoshi Nakamoto's mythic status as Bitcoin's creator, it's no surprise that there are individuals out there who seek to gain by claiming Satoshi's identity. These people are fittingly given the title "Faketoshi." Notice how I said individuals. Yes, there have been numerous people throughout the years claiming to be Satoshi. All of them have fallen flat in their attempts at proving it.
When a person claiming to be Satoshi doesn't have the necessary skills like economic theory, C++ coding, etc. you can be sure they are a faketoshi. Today, we're taking a dive into the most prominent faketoshis throughout the years.
He is the CEO of IOHK and the main architect of Cardano, a proof of Stake L1 Smart Contract blockchain in the Top 10. Despite talking about programming conceptually in many of his YouTube videos, he hasn't contributed code to Cardano or any other project. When he worked at Ethereum, he often butted heads with Vitalik Buterin and other co-founders due to his belligerent personality. According to Ethereum Co-founder Joe Lubin, Hoskinson claimed he was Satoshi and could even provide the emails!
Given his public reputation, it's no shock that Hoskinson has since had a change of mind - saying that he thinks Satoshi is Adam Back in June, 2021.
4. James Bilal Khalid Caan
Caan thought he could fool the world by filing a false news report claiming he was Satoshi Nakamoto. Along with this, he created a website where he posted his fake evidence, which unsurprisingly has been taken down. Like another person on this list, his goal was to create a new cryptocurrency he titled "Bitcoin V1." It failed miserably.
3. Jörg Molt
Known in Germany as "DJ Sun Love", he is the first (and only) person on this list who used their physical charm to convince others of being the inventor of Bitcoin. With his long flowing hair, he uses social media to his advantage by frequently posting selfies and videos of his life, coaxing people into believing his faketoshi story. Putting in much more effort than our previous person, he even posted a selfie with famous Bitcoin advocate Andreas Antonopoulos to try to convince people that they were friends, which did not go over well. In an attempt to defraud unsuspecting crypto enthusiasts with fake education, he started a website called Satoshi School, which is now abandoned. Molt then started a Bitcoin pension fund Ponzi scheme in 2020, which resulted in his arrest.
2. Jurgen Debo
Not much is known about Debo other than he's a European Faketoshi with a Twitter persona using fake PGP keys as proof. While he's been pulling these shenanigans for years, his fraudulent nature came to light recently, when an early Bitcoin pioneer who had correspondence with the real Satoshi, proved that his Satoshi PGP key was a complete fake, backdated and forged by Debo himself. It is important to point out that you can use this same method to debunk the next person on this list as Satoshi too. Also, when reading his tweets, it becomes quickly apparent that his English is not even remotely similar to the real Satoshi's eloquent speech.
9/18 Update: An investigative story was written in June showing how Debo scams people.
1. Craig Wright
This may be the only thing that Craig Wright has ever been #1 at in life, and we certainly can't deny him it. Out of anyone on this list, Dr. Wright is the only person to be essentially synonymous with the term Faketoshi.
It all started when he was the first person in 2015 to make a big media splash about being Satoshi. He appeared in a BBC interview, where he vaguely described his fabricated history as the leader of the "Satoshi group," which supposedly involved a computer forensics expert named Dave Kleiman. Mr. Kleiman sadly passed away in 2013 and as a result, Wright began to use his past business relationships with him as proof that they were Satoshi together.
Wright actually gained international attention as Satoshi when he duped former Bitcoin programmer Gavin Andresen in London, England. Wright used a tampered laptop to sign a message with Satoshi's private key, and it all turned out to be completely fake.
Over time, though, Wright's fraudulent past began to make waves in the media. It was discovered that he forged all of his Satoshi evidence and plagiarized the vast majority of his academic papers. It was also revealed that he fled Australia after federal agents raided his house in connection to fraud where he faked supercomputer research in exchange for free tax credits. As it turns out, his "Tulip Supercomputer" didn't exist.
In 2020, Dave Kleiman's brother Ira sued Craig Wright on the grounds that Wright committed fraud and stole the entire Satoshi Bitcoin stash from his late brother. After years of court, Wright was found not guilty on all but one count, resulting in him having to pay Ira Kleiman's company $143 million. Unsurprisingly, Wright has not paid a single cent. Credible Satoshi candidate Nick Szabo correctly pointed out that the lawsuit is a complete waste of time since neither person is Satoshi.
However, most important of all, Wright started a Bitcoin Cash fork called BSV, which stands for "Bitcoin Satoshi Vision." He claims that BSV is the real Bitcoin, while BTC is fraudulent. The thing is, Wright actually can't code. There a small group of developers working for Craig's new company Nchain, which are responsible for BSV.
In reality, BSV is a complex pyramid scheme, with only Wright and his cronies at the top to benefit. You see, Wright has lost money over the years, and he needed a rich guy to fund his fraudulent activities: enter billionaire Calvin Ayre. A shady online casino businessman, Ayre funds Craig's fraud and quickly started his own media cult called CoinGeek that only releases pro-BSV material. The key though is his mining company TAAL, which is responsible for the majority of the BSV mining hash-rate. Definitely no centralization there!
One of Wright's famous strategies is suing people in defamation lawsuits that have no basis whatsoever. He even fraudulently filed a patent for Bitcoin's invention!
Furthermore, A researcher unearthed that the companies behind BSV's development can even declare any block they choose invalid, meaning that BSV is a private blockchain fraudulently marketing itself as permissionless.
It's incredibly frightening how Craig Wright has convinced thousands of investors that he's Satoshi Nakamoto. No other Faketoshi on this list even comes close to Wright's level of fraud. It is no surprise that BSV is at an all-time low.