Satoshi Nakamoto Autobiography: Fact Or Fiction?

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“It was inevitable.

The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks.”

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So begins the twenty-one-page book excerpt which appeared on NakamotoFamilyFoundation.org on the 29th of June, which purported to be written by Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto.

The document was enigmatically titled ‘Duality’ and, if genuine, would be the first contact that Satoshi Nakamoto has made since his or her disappearance in 2011. The reference to the Times article is the same reference which was placed in the first genesis block of the Bitcoin blockchain, and signals the economic and political motives of its creator.

Inventor or imposter?

At this point, however, it’s a very big ‘if’. Many apparent Satoshis have appeared in the past, and there remains the strong likelihood that this will simply be another imposter. The aptly-named domain name was purchased just a few days before the text was posted, and while the excerpt relays the early days of Bitcoin’s creation, most of the details are already public knowledge.

The few ‘new’ details which do emerge from the document might titillate Bitcoin devotees – such as ‘Nakamoto’s’ claim that his mother was a published author – but such tidbits are unconfirmable and somewhat irrelevant.

In fact, if the author is an imposter, this might be where they give themselves away. Another claim is made regarding the literary industry, namely that the author’s grandmother ran a publishing house.

Such claims could be the sign of someone trying to cover their tracks, a way to explain away the document’s literary flourishes, which may strike many as uncharacteristic of a geeky tech genius.

Pseudonym

Either way, the document also claims to explain the source of the Satoshi Nakamoto pseudonym:

“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, which I knew no one outside of Japan had any recollection that Satoshi Nakamoto was the equivalent of ‘John Smith’.”

The excerpt contains details of ‘Satoshi’s’ struggle to remain anonymous in the early days, and how he forgot to hide the timestamps of the posts he made to various forums around that time. That small oversight allowed industrious individuals to track the behavioral patterns of ‘Nakamoto’:

“Some were intuitive enough to graph together the hours in which I would post on the forums and commit to the repository and formed a literal ‘map’ of when I was awake and when I was asleep.”

That map placed ‘Satoshi Nakamoto’ somewhere on the East Coast of the United States, but even this is only speculative, and could simply be another diversionary tactic employed by the real Satoshi to cover his tracks.

Marketing effort?

Given the steady stream of speculation and the regular occurrence of fake Satoshis in the past, the odds are that we’re witnessing a blatant marketing effort.

Many have called for ‘Satoshi’ to move the first coins ever mined from his Bitcoin wallet, showing that he is indeed the owner of Nakamoto’s wallet. It hasn’t happened yet, and it wouldn’t be wise to hold your breath.

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