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Is Satoshi Nakamoto Writing A Book About Bitcoin? Investigation Of Wired


On Friday evening (June 29), a in the Internet network was published a text, allegedly written by Satoshi Nakamoto himself.  It is stated as the introduction to the book about the origin of the first cryptocurrency. Wired magazine edited the text and even tried to contact the new Nakamoto.

A 21-pages fragment appeared on the recently registered website, where there is a cryptogram, which, according to the author, reveals the title of the book. . Simple replacement of numbers by letters gives the words "Honne and Tatamae" — a transliteration of the Japanese expression which means contrast between personal feelings of the person and his behavior in society. The fragment is called "Duality".

The text contains few new details from the life of the alleged Satoshi. The author writes that his mother is a writer, and the grandmother is the founder of a small publishing house. At the age of 14 he became a member of the cypherpunk community, "where anonymity was akin to breathing." At the age of 20, he began to reflect on the concept of bitcoin, working as a researcher at a university laboratory. Satoshi Nakamoto is a pseudonym, the Japanese equivalent of John Smith (the author himself confirms that he is not a Japanese).

"Satoshi" pays much attention to explaining its own desire for anonymity. He describes how he managed the network on his computers with software that allowed him to achieve the maximum level of anonymity. At the same time, he notes that he overlooked one detail: temporary marks.

Some of them were intuitive clear to display the hours in which I left messages on the forums and pass them to the repository to create in a literal sense a "map" of my sleep and activity.

This "map" could identify him as a resident of the East Coast of the United States.

The main part of a fragment describes history of origin bitcoin through correspondence of the author with other prominent associates of cypherpunk: Adam Back, Wei Dai, Hal Finni and Gavin Andresen. Bitcoin, the author writes,

"I have arisen from many unsuccessful attempts, and the only reason for which he has achieved success was that he has appeared at the right time in the right place".

The fragment tells about the first days of the project. Blockchain, according to the author, was originally called a time chain, and forks were called branch points. The limited emission of Bitcoin "Satoshi" gives the following explanation:

“Why 21 million? The truth is, it was an educated guess.”

According to the author, the success of bitcoin took him by surprise, although he already saw a lot of cryptocurrency apps in those niches where the traditional currency did not work properly: donates, rewards for earned points, play money, etc. He never thought that bitcoin could become a direct competitor to the currencies.

Almost an entire page the author devoted Harold "Hell" Finney, the programmer, who became the first recipient of bitcoin-transaction in history (he died in 2014). He calls Finney the first to believe what Nakamoto wanted to do, and one of the brightest minds he has ever communicated with. Finney, he writes, was the first to report errors in the system and played a significant role in the bitcoin project.

It is also noteworthy that, although most of the passage is devoted to correspondence between cypherpunk, the work of Nika Sabo, one of the prominent representatives of the community, is mentioned only casually.

Adam Back says that many details in the history are public, so the introduction to the book may well be a carefully thought-out hoax. The new Nakamoto could not answer the questions posed by Back (through the Wired editorial board) about their early correspondence.

Although the fragment contains detailed information about Nakamoto's correspondence with Finney, this does not prove the authenticity of Nakamoto's authorship, since before his death Finney asked his wife and son to publish these letters in order to refute the version of those who considered Hal the creator of bitcoin. The widow of the programmer, Fran Finney, told Wired that she appreciated the passage about her husband, and noted that it does not contain any irrefutable evidence of the author's personality.

The alleged Nakamoto says he left bitcoin for Christmas 2010, and not in April 2011, as many believe. He explained it this way:

I tried my best not to leave any information that I had ever existed at all. Everything that linked me to this, I set out in several documents, so in case of my departure anyone could take on my role. There are more serious reasons that I will not include here, but they will be mentioned in the book.

Gavin Andresen, one of the project pioneers who could also confirm or deny the authenticity of the documents, declined to comment, sending Wired the following response:

No comment: I do not participate in the game "Who Satoshi was".

But this game is more than a network entertainment for those who have a lot of free time, given the huge number of bitcoins (about a million) in Nakamoto's purses. Even against the background of a fall in the rate of crypto currency, it is about $ 5.8 billion, which allows Nakamoto to be included in the richest hundred of Americans. The author writes:

Truth is different from what people expect to hear. Such truth is not scattered: it requires an expanded answer, which will be given in the book.