How Many Bitcoins Does Satoshi Have?

6 min read

Satoshi had an advantage that today’s miners do not have by being the first people to mine bitcoins, the profits per block did not have to be divided with anyone, unlike today that miners have to share them with their thousands of fellow miners.

At that time bitcoins had no price, today many years after this the price of bitcoin is totally above the clouds compared to then leaving a large sum of money to Satoshi.

Satoshi is believed to have mined over 1 million Bitcoins in its entirety, leaving him in the top of the richest people in Bitcoin.

Recent research shows that Satoshi was able to mine even more bitcoins but held back by prepping his hashrate to make way for other miners and a fairer chance on the blockchain.

Who Is Satoshi Nakamoto?

Satoshi Nakamoto is the name used by the creator/s of the protocol used in the Bitcoin cryptocurrency.

Though the name Satoshi Nakamoto is nearly synonymous with Bitcoin, the physical person that name represents has never been found, leading many people to believe that it is a pseudonym for a different person or group of people.

Satoshi Nakamoto in Context

So far it is not known if Satoshi Nakamoto can exist or not since he is an enigmatic character of cryptocurrencies. It is also not known if this name can be the name of a team of people or if it is just an alias of a user. The only thing we know in itself is that Satoshi Nakamoto published an article in 2008 that promoted the development of cryptocurrency.

Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System, described the use of a peer-to-peer network as a solution to the problem of double-spending. The problem – that a digital currency or token could be duplicated in multiple transactions – is not found in physical currencies since a physical bill or coin can, by its nature, only exist in one place at a single time. Since a digital currency does not exist in physical space, using it in a transaction does not necessarily remove it from someone’s possession.

However, this trust-based model still results in fraud risk if the trusted third party can’t be trusted. Removing the third-party could only be accomplished by building cryptography into transactions.

Nakamoto proposed a decentralized approach to transactions, ultimately culminating in the creation of blockchains. In a blockchain, timestamps for a transaction are added to the end of previous timestamps based on proof-of-work, creating a historical record that cannot be changed.

Because the record of transactions is distributed across many nodes in the system, it is difficult if not impossible for a bad actor to gain enough control of the system to rewrite the ledger to their own advantage. The blockchain records are kept secure because the amount of computational power required to reverse them discourages small scale attacks.

Possible Candidates for the Real-Life Nakamoto

If we think about Satoshi’s identity, it has been given to both a person and a group of people, it is estimated that the number of bitcoins that Satoshi owns is approximately 1 million bitcoins, this amount in dollars today would be 11 billion dollars. Given that the maximum number of bitcoins that can exist is 21 million bitcoins, Satoshi’s share is 5% of the total bitcoins.

As time has passed and the increase in popularity of Bitcoin has created a need in the public to put a face to the creator of Bitcoin and there are several candidates:

Dorian Nakamoto

Dorian Nakamoto is an academic and engineer in California who was named as the creator of Bitcoin by Leah McGrath Goodman in a Newsweek article in March of 2014. McGrath’s article says, “the trail followed by Newsweek led to a 64-year-old Japanese-American man whose name really is Satoshi Nakamoto,” but subsequent investigation ruled Nakamoto out of the running.

Hal Finney

Bitcoin is the product of the cypherpunk movement, and one of the pillars of that movement was Hal Finney who died in 2014. Finney was active in the Bitcoin community before and after its launch, and Finney is the first person to receive Bitcoin in a transaction. He also coincidentally lived a few blocks from Dorian Nakamoto who, it has been surmised, might have been the inspiration for a pseudonym invented by Finney.

Nick Szabo

Like Finney, Szabo was an early cypherpunk, and was friends with many people in that circle. In 2005 he wrote a blog post hypothesizing a digital currency called “Bitgold” that would not depend on the trust of third parties.

Craig Wright

One of the more colorful characters to be nominated as the person behind Satoshi Nakamoto is Craig Wright, an Australian academic and businessman. Two articles in Wired and Gizmodo suggested that Wright might be the person behind Bitcoin, but subsequent investigations have concluded that he had perpetrated an elaborate hoax. He still claims, however, to be the man behind the coin.