Newsweek recently released an article claiming to have identified the inventor of Bitcoin (known by the alias ‘Satoshi Nakamoto’). Via Internet wide debates, media chases and further interviews, it is almost certain that the person Newsweek outed as the inventor of Bitcoin,Â is not who they claim.
Without a doubt, the mystery around Satoshi Nakamoto’s real identity is part of the intrigue and story of Bitcoin itself. Satoshi’s real identity is a curiousity that no doubt someone will always try to find out. The entire cryptocurrency community could say they are thankfully to Satoshi for his developments in this space, but in the same breath, the community can also say his identity does not matter.
Due to its peer to peer nature, Bitcoin and other similar cryptocurrencies can go on and function fully, without Satoshi being involved at all. In fact, ignoring any new features or bug fixes, Bitcoin does not require constant supervision by developers.Â It would just keep going, handling payment and transactions without a problem.
This is in stark contrast to the traditional banking and finance systems, which require constant manual supervision, approvals and management.
Some people have suggested economic reasons for Satoshi’s identity remaining concealed. Many people believe Satoshi holds a large stash of bitcoins from the initial blocks that were mined. If these bitcoins were to ever move, or be sold off, it would be conceivable that this would dramatically change the value of Bitcoin, simple due to the huge quantities involved.
Most people believe Satoshi destroyed his private keys and therefore is not about to spend these bitcoins. This has never been proven, and theoretically can not be, without their owner admitting to it in a signed message.
Personally, I do not believe the movement of these bitcoins would have a long term impact on Bitcoin. The core functionality of the Bitcoin protocol would continue to work, and due to its anti-fragile nature it would likely continue to function for the foreseeable future.Without a significant cryptographic weakness or a massive leap in technology, such as quantum computing, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies will keep running, with or without the real Satoshi Nakamoto.