Rumors about the true identity of the creator of Bitcoin – Satoshi Nakamoto – have abounded since the creation of Bitcoin. One person that some in the cryptocurrency community claim is behind the Satoshi Nakamoto alias is Russian Prime Minister Vladamir Putin.
This rumor first began because Russia was one of the first countries to fully embrace Bitcoin way back in 2017. Putin back in 2017 wanted Russia to become a cryptocurrency hub and have at least one third of all Bitcoin mining done in the country.
That very strong support of Bitcoin at a relatively early point in cryptocurrency led many to speculate that Putin was behind the creation of Bitcoin. Of course, there is no way to identify the creator with 100% certainty unless they come forward with their identity, but the rumors that Vladamir Putin created Bitcoin are almost certainly false. We will explain why Putin most likely did not create Bitcoin along with offering some people with far higher chances of being behind the cryptocurrency.
Reasons Putin Probably Didn’t Create Bitcoin
There are a lot of reasons Putin probably didn’t personally create Bitcoin. However, there are some reasons to believe that Putin could have ordered the Russian government to create the cryptocurrency.
Putin Is Not a Cryptographer or Computer Scientist
The biggest evidence we have that Putin didn’t create Bitcoin is that the Russian Prime Minister has no known knowledge of cryptography or computer programming. He studied law at Leningrad State University and worked for the KGB for 16 years before entering politics in 1991.
There is not a single mention of any computer science or cryptography training at any point in Putin’s biography.
This is important because the creator of Bitcoin clearly had a very high level understanding of cryptography and computer science to even come up with the idea of a decentralized Bitcoin, let alone write the code for it.
Putin Probably Doesn’t Have The Time
The person(s) that created Bitcoin put a large amount of time into solving the double-spend problem and writing all the code necessary for the project. The project likely involved more than one person due to the complexity of it.
Bitcoin was released in January 2009. At that time, Putin was serving as the Prime Minister of Russia for about a year. Before that, Putin had been the President of Russia since 2000.
We can’t say for certain how much free time Putin has, but we find it unlikely that the leader of a superpower has all that much free time available to him. He almost certainly did not have the free time available to create Bitcoin in any reasonable amount of time.
The above two points should make it fairly clear that Putin did not personally create Bitcoin. Writing all the code for Bitcoin is something that Putin would not have the skillset to do.
Did The Russian Government Create Bitcoin?
Putin would have (and still does) the ability to order people to create a project like Bitcoin.
We still find this unlikely, but it is certainly a possibility given the circumstances. Here are some reasons why a Putin-led Russian government may be behind Bitcoin.
Bitcoin Allows Russians To Avoid US Sanctions
Bitcoin allows those currently sanctioned by the US-led banking system to avoid sanctions. This would allow them to move money to other countries in a relatively safe and free manner.
This was a problem for Russia in 2008 due to the breakout of the Russo-Georgian war. Russia did not face US sanctions for that war, but it was a very real possibility that may have scared those with money in Russia.
So, did the Russian government create Bitcoin as a way to avoid potential sanctions from the Russo-Georgian War?
Again, we don’t know and probably never will know the answer to this question. But it’s not unreasonable to think that Russian oligarchs may have urged the Russian government to figure out a solution to potential sanctions from the upcoming war.
Bitcoin Could Undermine US Banking
The other reason Russia may have created Bitcoin would be to undermine the US banking system. It’s no secret that the US controls the entire global banking system due to its control of SWIFT.
Is it possible that Putin had Russian computer scientists come up with a solution that could overthrow the US led global banking system as a way to undermine US hegemony?
Yes, that is entirely possible. But we find it unlikely given some recent developments in Russia in regards to cryptocurrency.
Russia Plans To Ban Cryptocurrency
Russia recently announced a proposal to ban all use and creation (mining) of cryptocurrencies in the country. This proposal likely stems from the country’s planned launch of a digital rouble sometime in early 2022.
This makes it seem very, very unlikely that Russia had anything to do with the creation of Bitcoin.
Why create a cryptocurrency if the long term plan is to eventually ban it?
It doesn’t make sense. Granted, Russia may not have known that they would eventually launch a digital ruble way back in 2009 (unlikely) and wanted to try something to disrupt US financial hegemony.
With that said, if Putin was behind the creation of Bitcoin, then he has certainly abandoned it in favor of a centrally controlled digital ruble.
Who Did Create Bitcoin?
The official story is that someone going by the alias Satoshi Nakamoto and cryptographer Hal Finney worked together to create Bitcoin in 2008 with an official launch in 2009. Nakamoto was regarded as the creator with Hal Finney serving a supporting role in the project.
Nakamoto was quite active on BitcoinTalk.org until 2010. He has not posted or signed into BitcoinTalk since December 13, 2010.
Finney most likely knew the true identity of Nakamoto. Unfortunately, Finney passed away in 2014 without revealing the identity of Nakamoto.
With that background information out of the way, here is a list of people that many believe to be Satoshi Nakamoto.
Many in the cryptocurrency industry believe that Nick Szabo is the person behind the Nakamoto alias. Szabo coined the term “smart contract” way back in 1996 and was heavily involved in the “bit gold” technologies that were precursors to Bitcoin in both philosophy and architecture.
In fact, Szabo designed a hypothetical currency called bit gold that relied on miners solving a cryptographic puzzle. All miners would have to agree on the solution before they could move onto the next puzzle.
This was done to prevent the double-spend problem – something that cryptographers had been attempting to solve until Bitcoin burst onto the scene.
To add even more circumstantial evidence to the Szabo-Nakamoto connection, Szabo posted a comment on his blog in 2008 that he might launch his “bit gold” project to the public.
Szabo denies that he is Nakamoto, but the circumstantial evidence does exist to make him a prime candidate as Nakamoto.
The evidence showing Chainlink founder Sergey Nazarov is Nakamoto is not as convincing as the evidence for Szabo. Some interesting evidence is that Nazarov registered “smartcontract.com” six days before the release of the Bitcoin whitepaper.
That’s very uncanny timing.
The only other evidence tying Nazarov to Nakamoto is that Nakamoto used a Russian proxy. Nazarov is Russian, though he has lived in the US since childhood, and has ties to a Russian venture capital firm.
Another interesting piece of evidence, if you could call it that, is that Satoshi Nakamoto and Sergey Nazarov have the same initials.
There’s a good chance that Nazarov is Nakamoto or on the Nakamoto team. Nazarov denies that he is Satoshi Nakamoto, but did mention that he would not reveal he was Nakamoto when asked, “Would you tell us if you were Satoshi?”
Finally, many have speculated that Hal Finney was in fact Satoshi Nakamoto. This seems likely because Finney served as a sort of assistant to Nakamoto.
Did Finney create a separate persona in order to conceal his identity as the founder of Bitcoin?
It’s certainly a possibility. Though the two had very different writing styles, it would require conscious effort to ensure no one got suspicious.
We find it very unlikely that Finney was Nakamoto. However, it’s highly likely that Finney was on the Nakamoto team if one actually existed.
The Identity of Satoshi Doesn’t Matter
The true identity of Satoshi doesn’t matter at this point. It’s actually better that he has remained anonymous because the focus is on the project rather than the individual. Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin has even talked about how he wishes people focused more on Ethereum rather than himself. Buterin is not Ethereum, but that’s a hard concept for people to understand because Buterin is the face of Ethereum.
Bitcoin does not have that problem because it’s faceless. Anyone can be Nakamoto, so the focus shifts towards the project and what the project puts forward rather than the person or people behind it.
Yes, even if the CIA was behind Bitcoin it does not matter because the project has its own ideology that goes beyond that of any individual or government.
Satoshi Nakamoto made the right decision by staying anonymous. And at this point we likely will never see someone come forward with proof that they are Nakamoto due to security concerns.