What Happened After Satoshi Nakamoto Disappeared

By Fekist – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

Satoshi Nakamoto is the pseudonym of the person who wrote the original Bitcoin white paper. So far, the identity of this person or even a group of people has never been revealed though of course there have been many speculations over the past 10 years. But, no definite information is available. Satoshi Nakamoto created the Bitcoin code, developed the cryptocurrency concept, brought the project to a certain point and then…disappeared. 

The Bitcoin creator’s last public appearance was on the BitcoinTalk forum on December 12, 2010. His last known message in a private correspondence was dated April 26, 2011. Three days before that though, he told one user in a letter that he is “busy right now, things are in good hands.” After falling off the map, Gavin Andresen was named as Satoshi Nakamoto’s successor, and he still heads the Bitcoin Foundation today. 

While Satoshi was the genius behind Bitcoin and blockchain technology, a whole group of developers was responsible for developing the largest cryptocurrency even before his disappearance. Today, the Bitcoin community has grown many times over, and the economic situation in the cryptocurrency industry has changed dramatically, meaning Satoshi’s re-emergence wouldn’t necessarily be a good thing. The Coinbase exchange said his return would be a business risk beyond its control. The reason is about a million BTC, or 5% of all Bitcoin issuance, held in Satoshi Nakamoto’s wallet. 

Since the Bitcoin creator’s disappearance, the crypto world has changed radically: 

  • The cryptocurrency market capitalization has reached $3 trillion.
  • Bitcoin experienced several major hard forks and dozens of soft forks. 
  • Tens, if not hundreds, of cryptocurrencies were created based on Bitcoin. 
  • Ethereum, an alternative cryptocurrency concept, and many less popular projects with different principles of the technical organization have emerged.
  • Traditional financial market instruments are increasingly entering the crypto market.
  • State cryptocurrencies, primarily DCEP (digital yuan), are being prepared for launch, etc.

If Satoshi Nakamoto suddenly returns, it may lead to the most unexpected consequences because his image has been practically canonized in the community over the past ten years. There are prerequisites for his return — on May 20, 2020, a transaction involving 50 BTC mined in February 2009, when only its creator and Hal Finney were mining Bitcoin. Other participants may have already joined the network at that time. Still, this transaction, as well as constant media speculation about Satoshi Nakamoto’s identity, only increases the intrigue about the possible return of the Bitcoin creator.

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