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Two potential outcomes for Bitcoin if Satoshi Nakamoto's true identity is revealed

Published 03/15/2024, 09:41 AM
© Reuters

The mysterious identity of Bitcoin's creator, Satoshi Nakamoto, has been a topic of discussion and speculation since the cryptocurrency's inception. The possibility of unmasking Nakamoto has sparked intense debate within the crypto community, with many speculating about the potential outcomes for Bitcoin if the figure behind it were to be revealed. 

Who is Satoshi Nakamoto

Satoshi Nakamoto is the pseudonymous person or group that created the cryptocurrency Bitcoin. The true identity of Satoshi Nakamoto remains unknown, and there has been much speculation and investigation into who or what group is behind the pseudonym. 

The name first appeared in a paper published in 2008 that detailed the design of Bitcoin. Satoshi is said to have stayed active in Bitcoin’s creation and the blockchain until around 2010 but hasn’t been heard from since. Despite various claims and theories, the true identity of Satoshi Nakamoto continues to be shrouded in mystery.

How many bitcoin Satoshi Nakamoto has

Most believe Satoshi Nakamoto holds around 1.1 million BTC. However, this is only an estimate, with some speculating it is between 600,000 and 1.1 million, worth between approximately $43 billion to $80 billion at current rates. This amount is said to be spread across various addresses, and it is believed that these bitcoins were acquired as a reward for mining during the early days of Bitcoin. 

Despite the widespread belief that these addresses belong to Satoshi Nakamoto, it is impossible to confirm with 100% certainty.

Satoshi Nakamoto unmasking

As mentioned, there have been various attempts at unmasking Satoshi Nakamoto, while some people have also come forward claiming to be the Bitcoin creator.

For example, recent reports about a UK court case involving Craig Wright have brought significant attention to the elusive identity of Satoshi Nakamoto.

A UK High Court ruled on Thursday that Wright, an Australian computer scientist, is not Satoshi Nakamoto, despite his claims to the contrary. Wright was taken to court by the Crypto Open Patent Alliance (COPA) to stop him from suing Bitcoin developers. COPA asked for a ruling that Wright was not Satoshi.

Judge James Mellor, presiding over the case, said there was “overwhelming” evidence that Wright was not Satoshi. "Dr Wright is not the author of the Bitcoin white paper," said the judge. "Dr Wright is not the person who adopted or operated under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto in the period 2008 to 2011."

COPA’s members include Twitter founder Jack Dorsey's payments firm Block. Dorsey tweeted the judge’s comments on Thursday. 

Impact on Bitcoin price and crypto market

So, what would be the impact on Bitcoin if Satoshi Nakamoto was to be unmasked? 

Gady Kohanov, the founder of BitcyClub, an educational app designed to help novice investors learn how to predict asset price movements of cryptocurrencies and commodities, told Investing.com that Satoshi’s “anonymity adds to the allure and uniqueness of Bitcoin, contributing to its mystique and widespread adoption.”

Kohanov believes the decision to conceal the identity of Bitcoin's creator was intentional and “reflects a deep understanding of human behavior,” as people tend to judge products based on their creators rather than evaluating the solutions they offer. 

“Poking the bear often leads to undesirable consequences,” said Kohanov. “I predict that if the world continues to obsess over uncovering the identity of Satoshi Nakamoto, we may be inviting trouble.” 

“If the veil of secrecy surrounding Bitcoin's creator is lifted, it could shatter the idealized image that many hold of the cryptocurrency,” he added, explaining he sees two potential outcomes if Satoshi Nakamoto's true identity is revealed. 

“Firstly, Bitcoin may lose its mystique and appeal as a secure and unassailable digital asset,” argues the BitcyClub founder. “The introduction of a human element, complete with past mistakes and history, could tarnish Bitcoin's reputation and erode investor confidence.” 

Secondly, he believes existing investors could face significant losses based on the market reaction to the potential revelation. According to Kohanov, this could potentially result in a drastic decline in Bitcoin's value.

“Its enigmatic creator and the anonymity surrounding its origins have contributed to its allure,” he stated. “However, attaching a human face with a history, especially one potentially fraught with controversy, could irreversibly alter Bitcoin's perception and value in the eyes of future investors.”

Overall, Kohanov believes that even if Bitcoin's fundamentals were to remain unchanged, the revelation of Satoshi Nakamoto's identity “could trigger a seismic shift in the cryptocurrency landscape, leaving existing investors reeling from substantial losses.”

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