Over a decade ago the world was introduced to a new payment system that would revolutionize the way we store, spend and send money. The first cryptocurrency to come into existence has built up an entire industry valued at over $1 trillion. But who invented Bitcoin? Let’s take a deeper dive into the anonymous entity behind this century’s greatest invention.
Before we get caught up in how it got here, let’s take a look at what is Bitcoin exactly. The cryptocurrency is a decentralized network that allows for peer to peer transactions of value. Cutting out governments, banks and financial institutions, the cryptocurrency is entirely operated by nodes, or computers, around the world that follow the same protocol as they maintain and operate the network. Bitcoin has revolutionized cross border payments, displayed an incredible return on investment (currently clocking in at over 27,000%) and has paved the way for innovation not only in the cryptocurrency industry but far beyond it. Now for the age old question: where did it come from?
As the record states the first official launch of the cryptocurrency was through a whitepaper released in October of 2008. Released to a mailing list by a Satoshi Nakamoto, the whitepaper outlined what Bitcoin is and how it would function. Shortly after releasing the whitepaper, Nakamoto launched the BitcoinTalk forum as well as a website under the domain name Bitcoin.org. It wasn’t until 3 January 2009 that the first Bitcoin block, known as the Genesis block, was mined.
Satoshi Nakamoto has never revealed their identity, with little evidence to support it isn’t a group of people. For over a decade the world has been left wondering who is behind the anonymous name, and why would they not come forward?
While many people have come forward to proclaim themselves as Satoshi Nakamoto, one person is yet to provide enough evidence to convince anyone else. Over the years, many journalists have tried to lift the veil, and again, to no avail. Here is what we’ve learnt so far though.
Stephan Thomas, a BitcoinTalk Forum member, mapped out when Nakamoto posted on forums to get an indication of what time zone he might live in. While no one can confirm entirely, the results showed that he was least active during 6h00 to 11h00 GMT, suggesting that should he sleep at night (to be fair, that’s not a given for developers) that would place him in a time zone somewhere between GMT -5 to GMT -7. Which would indicate that he lived somewhere in the Americas.
During 2010, Nakamoto was an active member of the Bitcoin community. He worked on building up Bitcoin’s protocol and often collaborated and communicated with other developers. Then, towards the end of the year he strangely handed over the keys and codes to another active developer, Gavin Andresen, and transferred the domains he had created to other members of the community. By the end of the year he seemed to have cut ties with the project.
Before all but vanishing, the last trace of communication we know of from Satoshi Nakamoto was a message to Mike Hearn, another developer, on 23 April 2011, that read: “I’ve moved on to other things. It’s in good hands with Gavin and everyone.” And just as abruptly as Bitcoin had entered the world, Nakamoto left it.
While Satoshi Nakamoto was listed as the 44th richest person in the world during the 2017 bull run, he is yet to cash out any of his 1,000,000 BTC in his Bitcoin wallet.
While many people have suspected some of the initial developers to be behind the anonymous entity, and others have nominated themselves (Craig Wright), no one has claimed the title thus far. Perhaps the biggest irony of all is that while the technology is entirely trustless and operates with the work of thousands of nodes who don’t know each other, the individual who created it all remains unknown. All we know is that whoever it was/they are, they revolutionized the world as we know it and have left us with some short of extraordinary.
If you’d like to enter the wonderful world of Bitcoin, you can easily join the community by buying Bitcoin easily and securely through the Tap app. All you need to do is download the app, load your account with Euros, and buy BTC. You’ll just need to overcome the fact that no one knows with full certainty who invented Bitcoin. With returns on investments of over 27,000% that shouldn’t hold you back too much.
It's only a few taps away.