Will the real Satoshi Nakamoto please stand up?

On May 2nd of this year an Australian entrepreneur, Dr Craig Steven Wright, announced to the world via a BBC interview that he was Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous mastermind behind the Bitcoin phenomenon. To people who are familiar with the digital currency this was some revelation—speculation had been rife about the founder’s identity since Bitcoin’s inception. However, some people remain deeply sceptical…

Although the intricacies of how Bitcoin actually operates can be a challenging concept to grasp, and totally mindboggling for most people, the fact remains that it persists and thrives as a functioning alternative to fiat currency (pounds, dollars, euros etc.)... and there is no indication of it going down the tube anytime soon. Which must, presumably, be a source of anxiety for the financial sector and state governments who exert disproportionate levels of control over the current monetary system.

Bitcoin renders globalisation much more palatable because it basically means anybody with computer and internet access may trade with each other across the world without having to contend with the traditional costs of transaction fees, currency exchange commission, government tariffs etc.

If we are to believe these revelations (some don’t), the enigmatic founder of Bitcoin—the 45 year old Australian computer scientist Dr Craig Steven Wright—chose to wear a mask… actually, a Japanese mask. He claims the moniker Satoshi Nakamoto was inspired by an 18th century Japanese philosopher and merchant called Tominaga Nakamoto, a proponent of free trade and free thinking who skilfully and rationally critiqued the cultural/religious orthodoxy of his day. As for the Satoshi part, Dr Wright isn’t letting on as to why he chose that particular name.

Apparently though, Satoshi is a male Japanese name and means “clear thinking, quick witted, wise”. The name appears to have been a red herring over the years for people looking to unmask the inventor. However, people are speculating that the mystery persists and Dr Wright’s coming out is also a red herring—the real Bitcoin inventor is remaining anonymous, safe from media scrutiny and the heat from disgruntled governments who consider Bitcoin an existential threat to their powerbase…