Jameson Lopp demonstrates why Hal Finney could not have been Satoshi Nakamoto


Stop scaring users with your bad KYC flows

Jameson Lopp, a significant figure in the Bitcoin community, published a detailed blog post on Oct. 21 dismissing the speculation that programmer Hal Finney was Satoshi Nakamoto.

The anonymity of Satoshi Nakamoto has been a matter of intrigue since Bitcoin’s (BTC) debut in 2009. Speculation has real-world implications, as evidenced by the experiences of Finney, who faced both extortion and a “swatting” incident in 2014, and Dorian Nakamoto, who was mistakenly identified as the creator by Newsweek the same year.

Lopp, however, dismissed the idea, citing key pieces of evidence, including an incident from April 18, 2009. On this day, Finney, known to be an avid runner, participated in a 10-mile race in Santa Barbara, California. During the exact time of Finney’s race, Satoshi Nakamoto was actively corresponding with early Bitcoin developer Mike Hearn. According to time logs and Lopp’s investigation, Satoshi sent an email just two minutes before Finney crossed the race finish line. This timeline, bolstered by third-party photographic proof of Finney’s participation, suggests the two individuals could not have been the same person.

Further, during a period in August 2010, when Satoshi was notably active online, Finney was attending the Singularity Summit in San Francisco. Hal’s wife had commented on his deteriorating health due to ALS during this time, which significantly impeded his ability to type – casting further doubt on him being the active online presence of Satoshi.

Lopp also highlighted distinct differences in their coding styles, including preferences for indentation, comment formats, and naming conventions. Moreover, the two had inconsistencies in their viewpoints and knowledge, particularly related to certain foundational aspects of Bitcoin’s design and influences.

The examination of early Bitcoin logs presented another distinction. IP addresses from January 10, 2009, showed that while both Finney and Satoshi were connected, their IPs pointed to different locations in California with no discernible overlap.

While the quest to unmask Satoshi Nakamoto continues, Lopp’s research provides a comprehensive argument against the popular notion of Hal Finney being the elusive genius behind Bitcoin. The wider community awaits further insights or potential revelations on this enduring mystery.

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