By Ryan Velez
Bitcoin, Bitcoin, Bitcoin. The cryptocurrency is all over the news after being taken to new heights in the last month or two, and there’s been a great deal of mystique surrounding the creator of it, Satoshi Nakamoto. This is only likely to increase as a recent spike in Bitcoin value made him the 48th richest person on earth, for a short time at least, reports Celebrity Net Worth.
Satoshi was reportedly born on April 5, 1975, in Japan. He's never been perfectly identified and there are some skeptics who think "Satoshi" is just a big wild goose chase or a fake name to hide another identity. Whoever he is, how did he manage to secure such wealth? What we do know is that he has 1 million bitcoins sitting in a public wallet, which hasn’t been accessed or even touched since 2009.
There will only ever be a total of 21 million Bitcoins released. As the creator and predominant first Bitcoin miner, Satoshi collected or rewarded himself with 1 million Bitcoins in those early months. That's 4.8% of all Bitcoins in circulation. To put this in perspective, that’s 19 billion dollars he has sitting in that wallet at the time of this writing.
The peak of this value, though, was a short time ago, when Bitcoin was $20,000 per coin. This made him richer than names like Elon Musk, Michael Dell, Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal, the Sultan of Brunei, Paul Allen, and Laurene Powell Jobs. Despite all this money, it’s rather strange that Nakamoto has never come forward, especially considering that this would likely be his finest hour as Bitcoin’s creator. Wouldn’t he try to leverage all the money he has at some point? Some theorize that Nakamoto died without giving anyone the password to his digital wallet, leaving a “buried treasure” in plain sight that may never be spent, even as it grows and grows in value.
Bitcoin originated in 2008, when a man named Satoshi Nakamoto posted a research paper to an obscure cryptography listserv describing his design for a new digital currency that he called bitcoin. While Nakamoto said he lived in Japan, no one actually knows this for sure, and even the name may be a pseudonym.
Notably, it is the first decentralized digital currency – the system works without a central repository or single administrator. The network is peer-to-peer and transactions take place between users directly through the use of cryptography, without an intermediary. These transactions are verified by network nodes and recorded in a public distributed ledger called a blockchain. At the moment, research estimates that 2017, there are 2.9 to 5.8 million unique users using a cryptocurrency wallet, most of them using bitcoin. One can only imagine how much money those unique users have now if they had stuck around with bitcoin since the beginning.