The elusive Satoshi Nakamoto is writing a book, at least according to a blog post on a website reportedly owned by the creator of Bitcoin. The writer included the first of two excerpts in the blog post, describing it as a brief glimpse of history. The excerpt was the supposed Satoshi’s reply to some of the most popular questions, and while it addresses some of the basic concepts, the one thing the crypto community was dying to know wasn’t one of them: the true identity of the enigma that is Nakamoto. And if you would like to know the name of the book in advance, the author included a cryptogram which you’ll have to solve first.
Straight From Nakamoto’s Mouth?
The purported Nakamoto began by stating what many have already known for long.
Satoshi Nakamoto is not a real name. Specifically, not a legal name. It is primarily the essence of thoughts and reason. I wanted the most common name.
“Nakamoto” explained how Mike Hearn’s interest had a lot to do with his release of the excerpts and the book. Mike Hearn is one of the earliest Bitcoin adopters, famous for his work as part of the Bitcoin development team. Hearn and he exchanged a number of emails regarding some of the development issues that were of great concern back then. Hearn has printed some of these emails.
He attributed the success of Bitcoin to its association with money, something that people care deeply about. According to him, there were other projects that were superior to Bitcoin with better teams and better code, but Bitcoin sparked more interest because it promised people economic independence.
I view the fact that something like the blockchain, which had already been done in a similar fashion but without much fanfare, was not the prime reason, rather it was because of the very nature and premise of bitcoin. Here, for once, was this idea that you could generate your own form of money. That’s the primary and sole reason, is because it was related to this thing called money.
“Nakamoto” danced around his real identity in the excerpt but never revealed it. He did, however, promise that he would reveal more in his book. Questions regarding his identity, his age, whether he was a single developer or a group, his country of origin, and other questions were posed to him constantly during his time as the head of the Bitcoin development team, but he always avoided them. Instead, he had dedicated his time to respond to questions regarding the development of Bitcoin and endeavored to answer them to the best of his ability. He was in his twenties when he developed Bitcoin, and he delved into how he had tried to sound older when talking to fellow developers in order to gain respect.
In the 12,000-word excerpt, he delved into many other issues affecting Bitcoin, how the rapid adoption of the crypto had amazed him, what he thinks will be the future of digital currencies, and some of the people who have been instrumental in the development of Bitcoin, especially during its early days.
So, why did he cap the supply of Bitcoin at 21 million?
The truth is, it was an educated guess. The math worked out, or as close to it as I had wanted it to.
“Nakamoto” had planned to cap the supply at 42 million BTC, but he was afraid that people “would consider my reference to Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy a quip and at the expense of not being taken seriously, I changed it to 21 million.”
The ever-rising complexities of the mining process didn’t catch him blindsided. He stated in the excerpt that he had anticipated it during Bitcoin’s early days. In those days, the mining process wasn’t complicated and not many were participating. On most days, he was the only one doing the mining. He knew that most early Bitcoin users were using their CPUs to mine, and as he didn’t want to start an arms race at a time when the network wasn’t mature enough, he didn’t mention ASICs and decided to let the industry figure it out on its own.
Has the elusive Satoshi Nakamoto finally reached out to us a decade after creating Bitcoin? We may have to wait for the book to find out.