Since the advent of Bitcoin (BTC), the actual identity of the programmer or a group of programmers standing behind it has never been verified, and the pseudonym of Satoshi Nakamoto remains the most mysterious phenomenon in the crypto industry. There have been multiple theories about who might be Satoshi, among the potential Bitcoin creators were such names as Apple Inc (NASDAQ: AAPL) founder Steve Jobs, Australian computer scientist Craig Wright, and even Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA) founder Elon Musk. However, all these theories were denied. Another speculation about the father of Bitcoin was related to software engineer Hal Finney. But recently, Jameson Lopp, co-founder and CTO of Bitcoin security provider Casa, proved the opposite.
On October 21, Jameson Lopp published a blog post with a few arguments about why Hal Finney could not be Satoshi.
Hal Finney was a legendary Cypherpunk, but he was not Satoshi.Today I present my research to support that claim.
— Jameson Lopp (@lopp) October 21, 2023
Acknowledging Hal’s contribution to Bitcoin’s future (Hal was the first person besides Satoshi to download and run Bitcoin’s software as well as receive Bitcoin), Lopp focused his research on a 10-mile race in Santa Barbara, California, that Finney participated in on April 18, 2009. During the race which started at 8:00 AM Pacific Standard Time and lasted for 1 hour and 18 minutes, Finney was actually racing, and Satoshi was performing activities at the same time. In particular, Satoshi was exchanging emails with the early Bitcoin developer Mike Hearn. Those emails were published on Hearn’s website.
Jameson Lopp analyzed the timeframe and time zones when the correspondence took place. It turned out that Mike Hearn, based in Zurich at that time, received a response from Satoshi at 6:16 PM (his local time), which was equal to 9:16 AM Pacific Standard Time. This was exactly 2 minutes before Hal Finney crossed the race finish line in California.
There is also photographic evidence of Hal’s actual participation in the race. His race ID number 591 matches the one from the race results database.
Jameson Lopp concluded:
“You see, for the hour and 18 minutes that Hal Finney was running down this course in Santa Barbara, we can be quite sure that he was not at a computer or other electronic device where he would have been able to do what Satoshi was doing.”
“Some will surely claim that the prior points do not constitute incontrovertible proof that Hal was not Satoshi. Indeed, proving a negative is often an impossible task. But I find the aggregate of all the evidence to provide so much doubt that a reasonable person would conclude that it’s far more likely that Satoshi was someone else. After months of research I have been sufficiently convinced that I am willing to stake my reputation upon this claim.”
It means that one more theory about the real Satoshi’s identity has been overturned. The world has got one option fewer with new questions arising, and it still remains to be learned whom we should thank for Bitcoin.
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