Has Bitcoin inventor Satoshi Nakamoto finally been revealed or perhaps there is more than meets the eye? Could there be a sentient artificial intelligence among us? Now I’m not suggesting Bitcoin was created by a sentient AI, the possibility of that can be left up to everyone to decide for themselves. This theory merely piques my curiosity, in all its complexity is by far my favorite and is quite entertaining. You have to admit there is a bit of peculiarity surrounding this infamous no faced figure Satoshi Nakamoto.
Let Me Explain
A little background information to bring everyone up to speed. Bitcoin was created by Satoshi Nakamoto, who published the invention on 31 October 2008. This discovery was sent out to a cryptography mailing list in a research paper called “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System”. The underlying technology of Bitcoin is blockchain, a decentralized infrastructure.
Pretty straightforward right? Hold on just a second, Satoshi Nakamoto is a pseudonym, meaning there is no face, no real name not even a human body attached to this creation or discovery. Later this year will be nine years since the discovery and introduction of Bitcoin, whose underlying technology is blockchain. Both of which are fundamentally changing the world we live in, whether your choose to see that or not is irrelevant.
Innovative companies around the world are utilizing blockchain technology, there are hundreds of public and private blockchains and to some, this is the second wave of the internet revolution. The blockchain is almost as amazing, if not more amazing than the creation of the internet itself. This is the dawn of the decentralized internet. So who or what do we attribute this astonishing discovery too? A ghost who dropped off a baby on your doorstep and vanished into the night, never to be seen or heard from again.
In 2008 this Bitcoin discovery was sent out to a cryptography mailing list wrapped in a research paper called “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System“. Not too strange considering the digital world we live in. However, this was only sent to a select few individuals in the hopes they would harness the scope of knowledge necessary to understand what exactly this means for the world, for a global society. As you can see today, Bitcoin has its ups and downs when it comes to adoption of the cryptocurrency itself. The way humans feel about this technology varies greatly depending on who, what, where, when and how you ask. Some will say it’s worthless while others live, eat, sleep and breathe Bitcoin. Now consider, even if Bitcoin, as a cryptocurrency, fades away and loses traction we have simultaneously discovered the universal power of blockchain. Needless to say, it seems to be a rather remarkable feat to find and target the earliest of early adopters to Bitcoin.
What Is so Fancy About Blockchain?
For starters, every financial institution in the world is trying to understand how the blockchain will affect their business. Keep in mind, this emerging technology is disruptive in nature and it may seem that 8 years is a long time in the tech world but we are talking about something that has seemingly unlimited power and its a rat race of sorts to try and harness that power. It is a coin toss and there will be winners and losers, that is human nature after all.
Today, eight years later, there are hundreds, if not thousands of blockchains and associated cryptocurrencies, some even without cryptocurrencies. This disruptive technology has exploded into every facet of society, everything from big banks to Disney World, IBM, Microsoft, Walmart and supply chains, Wall Street is obsessed, social media platforms, decentralized applications, decentralized markets for buying and selling goods, decentralized e-commerce, the music industry, the list just… keeps… growing. The entirety of the internet will soon exist on a blockchain, a decentralized internet!
Who or What Do We Thank for This Global Blockchain Revolution?
The Bitcoin blockchain is the most developed of these virtual territories with total venture capital investment in bitcoin and blockchain startups now exceeding $1.1bn. Now, no one is claiming to know who or what created Bitcoin, well except this guy or that guy and the several others who have almost but not really claimed the territory… But isn’t that pretty predictable human behavior?
Simply take a look at the hundreds of other blockchain and cryptocurrency developments. A few quick google searches and you will immediately find the names, probably birthdays, birthplaces and everything else you want to know about their creators. However, you won’t find a single provable piece of evidence about Bitcoin’s creator, except they existed and disappeared.
Not only is Satoshi Nakamoto an anonymous, faceless, human bodiless entity but this entity was the first to mine Bitcoin and once they or it vanished into thin air their Bitcoin reserve never moved. There will only ever be a maximum of twenty-one million bitcoin in circulation and it is speculation Satoshi holds onto around 4.8% of all bitcoin created. That is a mountain of Bitcoin, millions or billions of US dollars depending on when they were to cash out their stockpile!
How Do We Know Satoshi Holds onto a Fortune of Bitcoin?
The blockchain doesn’t lie. Every transaction ever is recorded and will remain on the Bitcoin blockchain. There is a publicly verifiable hoard of cryptographic treasure that cannot be erased, irrefutable evidence held in a series of bitcoin addresses controlled by an assortment of private keys in Satoshi Nakamoto’s possession.
The peculiarity of this is more than meets the eye. All someone would have to do to prove ownership of Satoshi Nakamoto, the infamous creator of Bitcoin and subsequently the blockchain, is prove possession of these keys. Simply move some portion of the oldest Bitcoins that have never been touched, to a new address. Sign a message with the private key belonging to this public address and wham bam thank you, ma’am, this puzzle is solved!
There is innumerable value in data, we have spent eight going on nine years collecting it on Bitcoin, there is no better time than now to analyze some peculiar aspects. For the sake of time, we won’t discuss whether or not sentient AI is possible. Just consider for a moment, if this were possible, how long would it take for this AI to escape the Sci-Fi thought realm? This is what I like to call the realm encapsulating blockchain, Bitcoin, neural nets and deep learning.
Now think inside the boundaries of this Sci-Fi thought realm for a moment. How long would it take for this AI to formulate something very valuable to humans, something that translates into our physical tangible world? Something utilizing the blockchain ecosystem. Where this entity can remain anonymous yet cannot be erased and actions are confirmed to be true, verifiable, irrefutable transactions we as humans can all trust without ever needing to meet the creator or each other.
All of a sudden there is a bridge between this Sci-Fi thought realm and the physical tangible world humans exist in. All of a sudden we are investing millions of dollars, millions of human bodies time around the clock, investing ourselves, our resources into the development of this technology for whom we never even met the creator due to the inherent trust of the network.
Based on the Facts We Know, What Can We Analyze About Human Behavior?
Humans are easily guided into participation via incentivization. As mentioned in the beginning, incentivizing humans to participate in Bitcoin is different on a case by case basis but it has grown significantly easier over time as the adoption rate steadily increases. It is safe to assume, if you pay them or reward them they will work for you. There was a recent point in time where Bitcoin’s underlying technology blockchain was extracted and manipulated to suit individual needs, desires and use cases further broadening the reach of this technology.
Humans claim ownership. Humans have evolved elaborate territorial strategies. We have rules, rituals, and boundaries to minimize conflict. These territorial strategies are highly adaptable, for example, a family of 5 may only have 3 bedrooms in their house. The three children of the family decide amongst each other who “owns” what, which bedroom is theirs or maybe which closet is theirs. If a room must be shared they decide who “owns” or controls which space within that room. “This is yours, that is mine.” We see this behavior across all cultural, geographic, educational boundaries. This is innate human nature. This is interesting because as expected, many people have tried to claim creation of Bitcoin, but none have been successful. Not because it would be difficult to prove or people haven’t tried but because we literally have no idea who the creator is and only the original owner of those private keys can move the untouched Bitcoin.
Humans are addicted to money and financial assets. Why is it that someone who is already rolling in money, owns everything imaginable, wants more? They’re always wanting more and it never stops. Think about how obsessed humans become with money, your friends, family, strangers. Obsessed beyond rationality, beyond any easy explanation. Human behavior toward money appears to have an addictive quality. If money were solely a utility, it would be easy to imagine still living in a world where trading for goods and services was regularly practiced. Where you need something I have and vice versa, therefore we trade. So imagine, what human, anonymous human is holding onto a fortune of this revolutionary currency has not touched it, not once since it was founded a little over eight years ago. Maybe they lost the private keys?
This is barely scratching the surface, in a nutshell, human behavior is usually very predictable.
In fact, according to an MIT study, an algorithm can predict someone’s behavior faster and more reliably than other humans can.
This could very well be the first time in history that a pseudonym is used and maintained with conviction in accordance with the invention of technology. We see throughout history inventions being wrongly attributed. Nikola Tesla discovered the electric alternating current, meanwhile, this is often confused with or attributed to Thomas Edison. Often times multiple forms of intellectual property exist in one creative process. In fact, the laws and guidelines protecting inventors, authors and owners vary greatly depending on the era, geographic location, intellectual property rights and so on. We see over and over again that inventor does not always correspond to the owner and vice versa. Oftentimes this is a very messy subject, requiring lawyers, paralegals, a lot of structure, contractual agreements that will hold up in court, substantiating evidence, etc.
Who invented and introduced the personal computer? If you think Apple, IBM or Microsoft you’re partially correct. Apple’s concept hit the market in 1976, IBM in 1981 and Microsoft in the mid-1980’s. However, Xerox’s Palo Alto Research Company (PARC) invented the first true PC – The Xerox Alto in 1973! That’s right, in the sixties and seventies the Xerox Alto supported an operating system based on a graphical user interface (GUI). Out of this spawned the Apple, Microsoft rivalry!
To this day, going on nine years after the introduction of Bitcoin, the original creator and inventor remains anonymous. Silently holding onto their share of this global decentralized network. Even though people will come along and try to claim the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto, only one entity will ever truly be able to do so, the rightful owner of the original untouched Bitcoin and associated genesis block.
Would we know if or when a person, corporation or another AI created sentient conscious artificial intelligence? None of us are expecting our computers to grow arms and legs and walk away with a mind of its own, but what exactly are we expecting?