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 notorious fraudsters are fittingly given the title "Faketoshi." Notice how I said individuals. Indeed, there have been numerous scammers throughout the years claiming to be Satoshi without any evidence.
When a person claiming to be Satoshi doesn't have the necessary skills like strong 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. It is vital to note that Charles Hoskinson is not a fraudster, unlike the others on this list. He may have dishonestly conveyed that he was Satoshi in the past, but he has since corrected himself publicly.
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 since been deleted. 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 far 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 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 broken 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 misleads people.
1. Craig Wright
This may be the only thing that Craig Wright has ever been #1 at in life, and no one can deny him that. Out of anyone on this list, 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 supposedly 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 Kleiman as "proof" 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 supposed 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. One of Wright's famous strategies is suing people in defamation lawsuits that have no basis. He even fraudulently filed a patent for Bitcoin's invention!
Furthermore, A researcher unearthed that the organization behind BSV's development can even declare any block invalid, a scary precedent for a well known blockchain.
It's incredibly frightening how Craig Wright has even convinced some investors that he's Satoshi Nakamoto. No other Faketoshi on this list even comes close to Wright's level. It is no surprise that BSV is at an all-time low.
Article Disclaimer: The information in this article is based on research and represents the author's opinion, not established fact. Readers should evaluate independently.