SATOSHI Nakamoto may be getting even richer after Tesla bought $1.5billion worth of Bitcoin.
But while the identity of the Bitcoin creator remains unconfirmed, the search to unmask him has a very colourful history.
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What is bitcoin?
Bitcoin is a digital currency that is not guaranteed by a bank or government.
Investors can "mine" them by devoting computing power to authenticating other bitcoin transactions, or they can be bought and sold on exchanges using real money.
Tesla revealed its investment in digital currency and other “alternative reserve assets” may grow, according to a US Securities and Exchange Commission filing.
The $1.5billion worth of bitcoin will give Tesla liquidity in the cryptocurrency once it starts accepting it for payments, CNBC reports.
Bitcoin rose to $43,863 and briefly hit a new all-time high, according to AP. Shares of Tesla moved higher as well.
Who is Satoshi Nakamoto?
The mystery will take us from the Land of the Rising Sun all the way across the world to a small Californian town named Temple City and then back across the Pacific Ocean to an Australian doctor.
The now iconic white paper, which was published on networking P2P Foundation, said the elusive Nakamoto lived in Japan and was born in 1975.
But when the world's media thought they had found their Satoshi Nakamoto in 2014 – he was a computer engineer living in Temple City in Los Angeles County.
And while the Japanese-American man, named Dorian Satoshi Nakamoto, firmly denied he was the shadowy force behind the infamous cryptocurrency – the plot continued to thicken.
It soon emerged that computer scientist Hal Finney, who was the recipient of the first Bitcoin transaction, lived a "few blocks" from the seemingly-oblivious Nakamoto.
Forbes journalist Andy Greenberg attempted to interview Finney at his home – despite him battling terminal disease Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), which rendered the crypto-community enthusiast "locked" into his body and unable to speak or move his muscles.
Greenberg believes Finney, who appeared amused when the journalist asked if he knew Nakamoto, was either the ghostwriter for the Bitcoin creator or simply used his neighbour's name as a moniker.
But that's not all. Finney also knew “decentralised currency enthusiast” and scientist Nick Szabo who penned a paper on "bit gold" way back in 1998 and was said to be a fan of pseudonyms.
Szabo also confirmed in 2011 that only he, Finney or Wei Dai – creator of Bitcoin precursor B-Money – could have been responsible for the digital currency.
In 2013, financial author Dominic Frisby suggested that Szabo penned the 2008 white paper and even appeared on television discussing his claims.
But Szabo emailed Frisby, writing: “Thanks for letting me know. I'm afraid you got it wrong doxing me as Satoshi, but I'm used to it.”
Who is Craig Wright?
The other best known Nakamoto-suspect is Australian computer scientist and businessman Craig Wright.
But unlike the other leading contenders, Wright actually claims he is Nakamoto and in 2016 provided technical "proof" to the BBC, The Economist and GQ.
This consisted of a demonstration of the verification process used in the very first Bitcoin transaction.
But The Economist claims "such demonstrations can be stage-managed” and reported Wright refused to make the proof public and to provide other assurances.
He then posted an apology on his blog stating that he no longer had the “courage” to continue the process of proving his identity.
Wright subsequently appeared in Netflix documentary Banking on Bitcoin and once again claimed to be Satoshi Nakamoto in what he said would be his final filmed interview.
Following the Wright speculation the Bitcoin Core Project – an open source project which “releases Bitcoin client software” – tweeted their own scepticism around the issue in May 2016.
The project posted: “There is currently no publicly available cryptographic proof that anyone in particular is Bitcoin's creator.”
What is Satoshi Nakamoto's net worth?
If Nakamoto – which many experts believe is a pseudonym – does exist, he could be the world’s richest person considering how much the value of Bitcoin has skyrocketed.
The current Satoshi Nakamoto net worth in 2021 is potentially $40billion, according to New Trader U.
This estimate is based on the early bitcoin wallets that are believed to belong to him that still hold 980,000 bitcoins valued at approximately $41,000 per bitcoin.
Even though this is only an estimate and the exact net worth is not known for sure, it is believed to be growing even more after Tesla invested $1.5billion in the cryptocurrency.
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