11 June 2020

We are certainly living in an exciting time for blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies. It’s difficult to visit your favorite news site or app without finding a story about either topic.

Even with all this exposure, it can be difficult to truly understand the intricacies of Crypto and how it can be used in our daily lives. In the same manner, people don’t know who the creator of each Crypto is. Similar to how Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web, there are some interesting characters behind the creation of some of our favorite cryptos.

Satoshi: Mystery Man

It’s the late 2000’s. Someone (or someones) by the name of Satoshi Nakamoto enters the picture. Satoshi first entered the picture when he published a white paper called “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System”. In this, Satoshi proposed something called the Bitcoin protocol. This proposal attracted a lot of interest in the tech and finance industries. This movement has unfailingly solidified Satoshi and Bitcoin in the history books.

While people have seen the potential of Bitcoin and reaped its rewards, no one truly knows for sure who Satoshi was.

In 2010, Satoshi gave control of the repository to Gavin Andresen. Gavin was Bitcoin’s leading developer at that time. He also gave out related domains to community members. He didn’t partake in any other forum. Satoshi was officially gone.

Satoshi was a 37-year-old Japanese man. Or that was what he claimed to be. Nobody had concrete information about Satoshi’s identity or whereabouts. The truth is, the more people dug in, the more confusing the picture became.

When people looked at Satoshi’s publication patterns, they saw that he only tended to post in American timezones. When they analyzed his language expressions, they found traces of British English. When they examined Satoshi’s code, they said it couldn’t be the work of a single person.

With Satoshi missing, there was only one thing left: speculation.

The first name that surfaced was Nick Szabo. Nick was one of Bitcoin’s early supporters. Dominic Frisby, the writer of “Bitcoin: The Future of Money”, implies that Nick was, in fact, Satoshi. Yet, Szabo denied this. It wasn’t the first time nor the last that he would deny it.

After Szabo denying being the famed Satoshi, another name started to emerge on the internet forums. This man was Craig Wright, also known as the self-acclaimed Satoshi. In 2015, a hacker infiltrated Wright’s email accounts. Inside, he found that “Satoshi Nakamoto” was a common alias that Wright would use in his emails. Since then, Wright has come out saying that is, in fact, the acclaimed Satoshi Nakamoto. However, many people do not buy this story, as they feel that Satoshi’s online movements and identity simply did not add up with Wright’s. Although Wright claims to have access to Satoshi’s wallet addresses, the whole story of Satoshi Nakamoto remains a mystery.

Vitalik: Founder of The Ethereum Revolution

While the creator of Bitcoin remains a mystery, the story of the Ethereum’s creation is the opposite.

The face of Ethereum is 26-year-old Vitalik Buterin.

Born in Moscow, Vitalik moved to Toronto with his family in 2000. While he was praised early on for being an excellent student, Buterin’s potential started to truly emerge after he learned about Bitcoin from his father at age 17.

Buterin etched his name in blockchain history with a white paper that he published, proposing the idea of Ethereum in 2012. After a short stint at the University of Waterloo, he dropped out of college to devote himself to Crypto. He then traveled around the world, gathering information about various blockchain projects. During his trip to Israel, he saw precisely the impact that blockchain technologies could have on a global scale.

As soon as he returned, he began to work on the development of what we now know as Ethereum. Yet, he gave Ethereum a twist – Ethereum would be much more than a platform for P2P payments.  In doing so, Buterin ensured that Ethereum could grow. In fact, Ethereum can be built on, and it can be used to create “smart contracts”.

Ethereum paved the way for many other innovative and life-changing proposals – Vitalik often refers to it as the fourth industrial revolution.

The practical possibilities for Bitcoin, Ethereum, and the wide variety of other Crypto’s are endless. The truth is, Satoshi and Vitalik are masterminds of our time. We live in a world where we can enjoy the innovations and liberating qualities of both. So, let’s enjoy them.

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Edmund McCormack
Tech industry veteran and blockchain technology investor. Simplifying cryptocurrency for almost a decade.

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