Who Invented Bitcoin?

Who Invented Bitcoin?

Who's behind this Bitcoin phenomenon, is it really a mystery? Is his name really Satoshi Nakamoto, and what do we know about him? In this short video, shot in ...


What's up, party people? Chris DeRose here, Community Director of the Counterparty Foundation. And it's the end of a long day on a Sunday here in South Florida. You can see plenty of fishermen hanging out, having their stab at perhaps some luck here with fish, I don't know. I'm here to explain Bitcoin so let's get started. Today people want to know who invented Bitcoin. Let's talk about that, let's explore this.

So there's this shadowy Satoshi Nakamoto figure. Maybe you've heard that name before, maybe you've heard of him. And this is the person credited as inventing Bitcoin. Not much is really known about Satoshi. There's the Nakamoto Institute, which I think really holds everything that's been said by him, every email, every forum post, and you can look through it. It'll take you maybe an hour or two, not that long.

We don't know much about this person, and he's really, at least in my mind, one of the most important inventors of our time. He's historic, he's a significant individual, and I think maybe for all these reasons he really wanted to be anonymous. I've heard various rumors over the years and I've heard various attestations of things that may or may not be true. Some people say that he released his source code in various intervals so as to evade any detection of the time zone that he was in. Some people say that he is, in fact, Japanese. Some people say he's certainly not Japanese.

I can tell you by looking at what he's written that he clearly is a very eloquent English-speaking person. We can also say looking at his code that . . . I'm always reluctant to say he was a bad coder, but he clearly wasn't as strong in coding as he was, perhaps, in economic issues and cryptography issues, perhaps. His code wasn't bad, don't ever misquote that or misunderstand that.

I think it was very fine stuff. It was a little bit less disciplined, so if I had to guess it was the kind of code that was written by somebody who probably hadn't worked on large projects before. He was very used to solo development, very cowboy code. Concerns weren't separated quite so well. I looked through the code a couple times, certainly the earlier versions. He didn't use a lot of shared libraries.

I think he was also a Windows user, which is kinda neat, because the first version of Bitcoin was Windows-only. So I think that more or less certainly means that to be true. Because of the way that I think he wrote, and the way his white paper came out, some people say he might've had a very academic background. Who knows if that's true, that's certainly possible. But that's about it, I think that's all we really know. What's really neat about Satoshi is how far he saw ahead, not only in his invention, but in the way he talked about it and the repercussions.

I can't tell you how many times I've been in this industry and I've learned something and I've thought, "Wow, I might be the first person to think of this." And then maybe I see something he wrote years before I saw it and I say, "Oh no, I'm just an idiot," Satoshi's a very smart man. So that's sort of how we think for me in this. But nobody really knows who this man is. We may never know. There was a man, Dorian Nakamoto, a Dorian Satoshi Nakamoto, something like that, that I believe Newsweek did an expose on.

He's certainly not the same Satoshi Nakamoto, or if he is, perhaps, he's doing a great job of convincing people otherwise. That was a mishap, don't believe that he was Satoshi. It's highly, highly unlikely. And a few people have said Nick Szabo, Nick Szabo. He might be Satoshi. I don't know that I believe that.

I don't know if I want to know, really. I kind of like the story as it is. I think it's a fun story and I think I want to respect Satoshi's right to be anonymous. So if you're going out to a Bitcoin meeting for your first time or you're going to a convention or something, you'll find that the discussions about who this person is, is really not that relevant to most people. The point is that what he made worked and that the formulas that he designed are solved and they're a great, great contributions to history and maybe we should just respect his right to be private. So that's kind of typically how I feel about it.

But if you have something new to add to the discussion, if you have a theory you want to share with us, or even another question about something you learned about Satoshi Nakamoto, send me an email. My email is or tweet me at DeRoseTech on Twitter. I'd love to see if I can explore the issue with you and answer some questions. Subscribe to the channel if you like what you heard and look at some of our other videos.