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March 2007

A Closer Look at Satoshi Nakamoto

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Satoshi Nakamoto

Satoshi Nakamoto

Satoshi Nakamoto is the alias used by a person or group who authored the Bitcoin whitepaper. Satoshi is the creator of the first release of the Bitcoin protocol and blockchain database. The alias was used in email and forum correspondence from August 2008 through April 2011.

History

Satoshi’s first appearance in the world was the publication of the Bitcoin whitepaper to several mailing lists on October 31, 2008. Beginning in 2007, Satoshi wrote the initial codebase for Bitcoin and released it on Sourceforge on January 9, 2009. On January 3, 2009, Satoshi created the ‘Genesis Block’ of Bitcoin containing the text, “The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks.” This text is in reference to the headline of the front page of “The Times” newspaper from England and Satoshi’s dissatisfaction with Fractional Reserve banking.

For two years, Satoshi was very active in creating and promoting Bitcoin, including:

From mining Bitcoin in the early days, addresses belonging to Satoshi have amassed approximately one million Bitcoins.

His last verifiable communication to the world was in April 2011, simply stating:

“I’ve moved on to other things. It’s in good hands with Gavin and everyone.”

Attributed Innovations

Both Bitcoin and the Blockchain Protocol have been attributed to Satoshi Nakamoto, as well as Predicative Script.

Possible Identities of Satoshi Nakamoto

There has not been any verifiable proof as to whom the individual really is. The following individuals have all been thought potential Satoshi Nakamotos at one time or another.

Dorian Nakamoto

A high profile article in Newsweek penned by Leah McGrath Goodman suggested that Dorian was Bitcoin’s creator. He is a Japanese American man with the birth name of Satoshi Namakoto. He was trained as a physicist at Cal Poly Pomona and worked on classified defense projects. He has also done work for Citibank. He was laid off twice in the 1990s and was libertarian. In an interview, he responded to a question by stating:

“I am no longer involved in that and I cannot discuss it. It’s been turned over to other people. They are in charge of it now. I no longer have any connection.”

Later, it was revealed that he had no connection to the cryptocurrency, and he misunderstood the question as relating to his work with Citibank and not Bitcoin. Within twelve hours of the article being released, Satoshi Nakamoto’s account on the P2P Foundation website was hacked and posted the message:

“I am not Dorian Nakamoto.”

This message was posted by the hacker due to the vulnerabilities in GMX’s email system.

>> The Most Common Misconceptions About Bitcoin: Breaking the Mold

Hal Finney

Hal lived a few blocks from Dorian Nakamoto. Between this and a writing analysis, Hal is the closest possible candidate for being Satoshi Nakamoto. However, there is one event that discredits Hal as being Satoshi. In January 2009, when Hal and Satoshi were working on the early versions of Bitcoin, Hal encountered an error and posted a debug log to the mailing list:

“Hi Satoshi – I tried running bitcoin.exe from the 0.1.0 package, and it crashed. I am running on an up to date version of XP, SP3. The debug.log output is attached. There was also a file db.log but it was empty.”

Satoshi acknowledges the bug and releases 0.1.2 with a fix:

“All the problems I’ve been finding are in the code that automatically finds and connects to other nodes, since I wasn’t able to test it in the wild until now.  There are many more ways for connections to get screwed up on the real Internet.”

In the early days of Bitcoin, Bitcoin sent and received transactions directly between clients using IP addresses. The debug log reveals the IP address of three users connected to the IRC channel. On January 10, 2009, there were only two people working on the project at that time. Hal and Satoshi.

Tracing the IPs reveals Hal’s IP address and an IP address out of Van Nuys, California on a DSL connection.

Nick Szabo

Skye Grey, a blogger, linked Nick to the Bitcoin whitepaper using some writing analysis. Nick is a decentralized currency advocate and published a paper on “bit gold.” This is where things get iffy, vis-a-vis Szabo being Satoshi. Based on correspondence between Hal and Satoshi, while Bitcoin was being created, Satoshi was unaware of Bit Gold. Between January 2009 and March 2009, the reference to Bit Gold was added to the Bitcoin.org website.

Craig Wright

On December 8, 2015, Wired magazine wrote that Craig:

“Either invented bitcoin, or is a brilliant hoaxer who very badly wants us to believe he did.”

Craig had established an elaborate scheme of website postings and email correspondences to create the appearance that he and David Kleiman were Satoshi Nakamoto. A very lengthy article written by Sam Biddle and Andy Cush for Gizmodo on December 8, 2015, unpacks Craig Wright’s assertions and business dealings leading to many more questions than answers.

In May of 2016, Craig Wright went on several interviews with the BBC, The Economist, and GQ and claimed to provide technical proof that he is Satoshi. Gavin Andresen originally stated that Craig Wright was Satoshi before retracting his claim.

Despite his assertions, the clearest proof that he is Satoshi has never been provided—none of the original wallets with Bitcoins mined by Satoshi have ever been moved in any way.

Featured image: DepositPhotos © info@crashmedia.fi

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Bakkt’s Plans for Its Options, Cash-Settled Futures Products

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Bakkt

Bakkt

Over the past few years, a wide range of new Bitcoin-related investment products have been brought to the crypto market, and the company at the forefront of this has been Bakkt. In a new development that could also have far-reaching implications for the crypto space, the company has now gone launched its Bitcoin options and futures contracts that are settled in cash. The products have already gone live, and it will be interesting to see the sort of interest they generate.

Highly Innovative

This is a significant development for all concerned since around three months ago, Bakkt had launched the highly innovative physically settled Bitcoin futures contracts. However, the company announced that the fresh product launches are the testing grounds for other products that it is going to introduce soon. In a blog post that it had published in relation to the launch, the company stated that the physically settled contracts could eventually work as the benchmark for the other products that it has planned.

However, the company’s ambitions with regard to its status in the crypto space are unlimited. It revealed that the Intercontinental Exchange wants its products to be on the same level of influence as the International Brent Crude futures—in other words, financial products that have the capability of moving markets.

>> Huobi US to Cease Operations After Underwhelming Year

There must be a lot of quiet optimism among Bitcoin fans with regards to this development. In the aforementioned blog post, the company stated, “By starting with the physically delivered Bakkt Bitcoin (USD) Monthly Futures, we have a benchmark contract which provides the foundation for us to develop complementary products based on the needs of our customers.”

At the end of the day, the influence of the exchange will ultimately depend on the number of customers it can attract and the sort of liquidity that it offers to traders.

Featured image: DepositPhotos © grejak

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Ethereum SKALE Network’s Funding Round Raises $17.1 Million

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SKALE Network

SKALE Network

Ethereum’s scaling platform, SKALE Network, has reportedly raised $17.1 million in a recent funding round for the launch of its mainnet. The company has indicated that this is Ethereum’s best chance of beating other smart contract platforms.

SKALE Adds More Investors

Backed by US-based SKALE Labs and NODE Foundation of Licheinstein, the platform now has around 40 investors. The investors are from different parts of the globe, which include the US, EU, Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Japan. The financing round consists of $10 million from SKALE Labs as well as its recent financing of $7 million. Other investment firms involved in the funding round include Arrington XRP Capital, Winklevoss Capital, ConsenSys Labs, Blockchange, Multicoin Capital, Hashkey, Hashed, and Recruit Holdings.

SKALE Labs’ contribution is mainly from its recent financing through a Simple Agreement for Future Tokens sale worth around $10 million. In these kinds of sales, investors do not receive tokens but instead, get access to projects during launch by signing an investment contract. The round also included a financing round of $8.68 million led by Multicoin Capital, as well as another $785,000 funding from investors in 2018.

Launch of Mainnet in Q4

This capital will speed up the building of the mainnet expected to launch in Q4 or early Q1. SKALE CEO Jack O’Holleran stated that more details of the launch will be available at the end of this month or early next month. The CEO added that they will use the capital to stabilize the platform’s proof-of-stake network and also enhance security.

>> Mastercard and Visa Reconsider Libra as Regulatory Criticism Intensifies

Multicoin Capital managing partner, Kyle Samani, indicated that the platform has tremendously grown in the last one year in virtually all aspects. He added that there is a lot to like about SKALE and that they are pleased with the capability of setting strategy, designing specifications, and executing.

The SKALE Network is an effort to enhance the scalability of Ethereum. It will allow dApps to perform several transactions per second at half the cost of what is possible currently.

Featured image: DepositPhotos © jamesteohart

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Chinese Investors Jump on Bitcoin’s Bull Trend but at a Higher Price

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Bitcoin

Bitcoin

Cryptocurrency investment is on the rise right now, especially due to the recent Bitcoin uptick. BTC’s recent climb attracted Chinese investors, but they’re paying a premium price because they have to pay extra to purchase over the counter.

China previously banned cryptocurrency exchanges from operating within its borders and also banned crypto trading. However, Chinese crypto investors have been using OTC platforms to access the cryptocurrency markets. The downside is that they have to purchase Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies at a higher price than the officially listed market value. Some of the OTC platforms include Huobi and OKEx, among others.

Chinese Investing Influencing Price?

The recent surge in the price of Bitcoin seems to have revived the cryptocurrency investment appetite of Chinese investors, who have kept off the market for quite some time during the lengthy bear market. The return of Chinese investors to the Bitcoin investment scene has led to speculation that they had something to do with the surge.

A cryptocurrency researcher called Anton Pagi stated that the Bitcoin surge happened after a notable uptick in trading volume on exchanges that have been associated with Chinese traders. Pagi even referred to a data analysis chart provided by CoinLib, a data analysis provider. The chart showed that there was a large Chinese fiat investment into Bitcoin and other digital currencies.

>> Cryptocurrency Witnesses Better Returns than Equities This Year

A news outlet called cnLedger revealed that Chinese cryptocurrency investors have recommended a ‘strong buy’ rating on Bitcoin. It also reveals that Chinese investors are using over the counter platforms as their main avenue of purchasing cryptocurrencies. Chinese investors are reportedly so confident about their bullish approach that they are willing to purchase cryptocurrencies at premium prices.

There is a high likelihood that the average bullish outlook and premium Bitcoin purchases are behind the recent surge in Bitcoin prices. Chinese investors have thus been positioning themselves to take advantage of the bullish market.

Featured image: Pixabay

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