In 2014, Dorian Nakamoto was wrongly identified as being the inventor of bitcoin. In the aftermath of Newsweek’s faulty dox, a compensatory fund set up for Dorian raised over 67 BTC. Like his namesake, the faux Satoshi has exercised remarkable restraint, leaving his haul of coins untouched until this year – when he finally cashed out.
Also read: How Dorian Nakamoto Became Satoshi Nakamoto
From Bitcoin Hater to Bitcoin Rater
When Dorian S. Nakamoto was misidentified as the creator of bitcoin, an inevitable media scrum followed. The 64-year-old was less than enamored with the digital currency at the time, which had caused him nothing but grief. His stance softened, however, after a fundraiser spearheaded by bitcoin evangelist Andreas Antonopoulos raised over 67 BTC for the slighted Japanese-American.
As Andreas explained at the time:
I have no idea if this person is Satoshi, though it seems increasingly unlikely. However, it doesn’t matter either way. If this person is Satoshi, then the funds are a small “thanks” and won’t make much of a difference. However, if this person is not Satoshi, then these funds will serve as a “sorry for what happened to you”.
He continued: “Most of all, it serves to soften the damage caused by irresponsible journalism and to demonstrate the generosity and empathy of the community, which I know is huge”.
The community, which was significantly smaller back then, duly rallied and did Dorian proud. 2,000 contributors sent a total of 48 BTC, then worth $23,000, before Andreas Antonopoulos presented the sum to Dorian in a bitcoin wallet. The donations didn’t stop pouring in, and in the following years almost 20 BTC was sent to Dorian, leaving him with a total of 63.4 BTC.
The Curious Path of Dorian Nakamoto’s Bitcoins
Warmly thanking the community for their support, Dorian promised: “I’ll keep my bitcoin account for many, many years.” He was as good as his word, leaving the contents of his wallet untouched until June 17 of this year, when the first 21.5 BTC was moved. Another 15 BTC was moved the same day over the course of five separate transactions. Then, on July 12, the wallet was emptied in a single transaction of 52 BTC.
Over the next three weeks, these coins moved through almost a dozen different bitcoin addresses before seemingly being reunited, on August 7, in a single address. This address has only ever conducted two transactions, one to receive 67.8 BTC and another, three minutes layer, to move those BTC to what looks like an exchange wallet, where they were presumably cashed out. This number is significant, for it’s exactly 0.5 BTC more than the 67.4 BTC sent to Dorian’s original account, allowing for transaction fees.
Why so much analysis of a harmless old man’s bitcoin holdings? Aside from acknowledging Dorian’s patience in waiting three years to cash out, the elaborate route the coins took to their final destination raises a few questions. For a guy who was a self-confessed bitcoin virgin in 2014, and who had apparently never sent a bitcoin transaction until five months ago, Dorian seems to have become proficient at coin mixing.
A more benign explanation is that Dorian’s bitcoins were sent to an exchange wallet on July 12, and that the subsequent blockchain activity, while he awaited verification, was unrelated. Alternatively, he may have sold his coins directly to a third party back in June, and their circuitous route through the blockchain afterward was none of Dorian’s doing. There are a few holes in both these explanations, however, going by the transactional data.
What Did He Mean By This?
Coupled with his attendance at a Colombian bitcoin conference two weeks ago, Dorian S. Nakamoto seems to have become very active in all things bitcoin recently. If it was Dorian who sold his coins to an exchange on August 7, he will have netted $273,000 for them. Not a bad return for three years patiently hodling, even if he could have made four times as much if those coins had been sold today.
In all likelihood, Dorian S. Nakamoto is neither Satoshi nor a new-found coin mixing kingpin: he’s just a guy whose misfortune of sharing a name with bitcoin’s creator eventually turned into his good fortune.
One Last Thing…
Armchair detectives who’ve been following the mystery of Satoshi for years will be aware of this unexplained quirk: for a decade, Dorian S. Nakamoto lived a couple of blocks away from Hal Finney’s house in Temple City, a town of just 36,000. (Hal being the first person, after Satoshi, to have ever used bitcoin.)
That bitcoin’s earliest adopter should live within a stone’s throw of a man who shares the same unusual name as its creator is bizarre to say the least. Then again, there are many things about bitcoin’s origins that don’t quite make sense. The reappearance of Dorian Nakamoto as a celebrity impersonator of the world’s most reclusive billionaire is merely the latest twist in a saga that keeps on giving.
Do you think it matters who invented bitcoin, or should the mystery of Satoshi Nakamoto be laid to rest? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, and Reuters.
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Author: Kai Sedgwick