Nearly 12 years have passed since the release of the Bitcoin white paper, and we are no closer to finding out the identity of Satoshi Nakamoto, the mysterious creator of Bitcoin. There have been countless investigations, claims, and theories as to who Satoshi is, but it doesn’t matter anymore.
When Satoshi first introduced the world to Bitcoin in 2009, he adopted a pseudonym, preferring to stay anonymous until he ceased communication in late 2010. In the years since, Bitcoin has gone on to disrupt the global economy, spawn the widespread adoption of blockchain technology, and put control of people’s funds into their own hands while financial institutions and governments scrambled to block its path.
In the Introduction of the Bitcoin white paper, Satoshi noted that the current financial system “suffers from the inherent weaknesses of the trust based model,” and went on to say that “financial institutions cannot avoid mediating disputes.” His new peer-to-peer payment system addressed these issues and in the process disrupted the status quo for financial institutions and governments alike, which likely would have led to him being targeted.
Besides being a target for financial institutions, governments, and the media, someone like Satoshi would have been able to wield great power over the blockchain industry, adding volatility and threatening the integrity of the ecosystem. It is likely that Satoshi foresaw this as a potential issue in the future and opted to stand back, knowing that the community he would build would be able to ensure Bitcoin’s future growth and success.
Decentralization is defined as the distribution or delegation of organized activities away from a single authoritative location or group. The populist nature of Bitcoin is dependent on its being a decentralized payment system, and Satoshi being viewed as an authoritative figure would defeat its entire purpose and threaten the ecosystem.
Whether the individual or group known as Satoshi Nakamoto is still alive and watching from the sidelines remains unclear, but Bitcoin is stronger than ever. It has become an asset worth over $1 trillion in the decade since Satoshi ceased communication. Because of its role in creating a decentralised payment system that is controlled by the people, the Satoshi Nakamoto moniker has been passed on to the community that made it what it is today, and therefore, we are all Satoshi Nakamoto.
This is a guest post by Dion Guillaume. Opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc or Bitcoin Magazine.