It’s almost exactly ten years since Satoshi Nakamoto made his last regular appearance online – on April 23 2011. After that, there was only one more message, of just five words, a few years later. To commemorate the occasion, on this week’s CoinGeek Conversations, Charles Miller is joined by the man behind the pseudonym, Dr. Craig S. Wright.
Between managing a full-time job at the Sydney accountancy firm BDO, finishing multiple degrees and traveling from the city to his farm, Craig found the time to write emails and post as Satoshi Nakamoto on the Cryptography Mailing List where he linked to the Bitcoin White Paper – allowing the mailing list members to be first to see it.
Craig had doubts about Bitcoin even after its release, he admits: “I was rather uncertain whether it would work or not, to tell you the truth, I was not confident at all.”
The first and noteworthy reaction to the White Paper came from mailing list contributor James A. Donald who said that the problem with the idea was that Bitcoin would never be able to scale – a point that Craig has been busy refuting ever since.
In trying to work out who was behind the Satoshi identity - all the more mysterious after he ‘disappeared’ in 2011 - several discussions focused on the way Satoshi writes. Charles points out that ‘Craig as Satoshi’ tends to write calmly. In contrast, he quotes Craig in a 2010 post writing as himself, in which he sounds decidedly agitated. Craig explains that he has many different writing styles appropriate for different contexts.
The “Satoshi anoraks,” as Charles calls the amateur online investigators, have made all sorts of analyses - from the use of double spacing to the times of day or night that Satoshi posted.
One observation was about Mike Hearn’s holiday greeting to Satoshi in which he said: “Happy Christmas Satoshi, assuming you celebrate it.” Satoshi didn’t respond to Hearn’s greeting. Charles asked whether that was deliberate or just an omission: “I don't hide that I'm Christian anymore, but I used to,” Craig said. “I found that it was rather problematic because of the attitudes of people in Silicon Valley in particular.”
A conversation with Craig wouldn’t be complete without a mention of books, in this case, audio books. The two exchanged some laughs as Craig describes how his wife would have to put up with the sound of his audio books being played at high speed as they were in bed at night. “I live on audiobooks - the wife says it sounds like a bunch of chipmunks.”
Join Charles Miller on this episode of CoinGeek Conversations to learn more about ‘the rise and fall of Satoshi Nakamoto’.