On October 31st 2008 a
whitepaper called “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System” was emailed
to a cryptography mailing list. This white paper was written and sent out by
someone going under the name of Satoshi Nakamoto.
To this day we still do not
have very much information about Satoshi Nakamoto, we do not even know if
behind the name it’s only one person or it is a group of people. For the purposes of this article we will
just assume temporarily that Satoshi Nakamoto is one person and a male.
Luckily for everyone, who Satoshi is doesn’t really matter; Satoshi left in December 2010 after WikiLeaks started
accepting bitcoin. The decision was probably taken because
Satoshi wanted to keep his identity secret and not get in trouble with the law.Satoshi has not written anything since, and
even though Satoshi created Bitcoin, there is no way Bitcoin could be
controlled, even by him, it’s creator.
Why Can’t Satoshi Control Bitcoin?
Bitcoin is open source; this means that the
code that runs the Bitcoin network is available to everyone, and can be
reviewed by anyone that feels the need to.
Bitcoin is decentralized; in Bitcoin anyone
has the power to run a node. A node is a computer that is part of the Bitcoin
network, and enforces the rules of the network. If you run your own node in
Bitcoin, even if Satoshi came back, there would be nothing that could be done to
change bitcoin, without the majority of the people, that have nodes, agreeing
Since Satoshi was the first one to mine, he
managed to accumulate a lot of bitcoins in the early days; because of this the
one risk Satoshi poses on the Bitcoin community is the one of dropping the
price temporarily by selling all the coins he owns.
This scenario is not very likely; most of
the coins in the early days were lost because people did not care about them,
as they had no monetary value, and even if Satoshi still had all his coins he
probably would not want to sell them all at once and damage his creation.
In the unlikely scenario where Satoshi
decided to sell all his coins at once the price of bitcoin would drop
temporarily, but the fundamentals of the Bitcoin network would not change, and
Bitcoin would continue working as it always has.