In brief

  • The CEO of IOHK suggested a way to discover the identity of Satoshi Nakamoto
  • He suggests using “stylometry.”
  • He thinks it’s likely that Nakamoto was educated in either British or American, is an academic, and is in his forties or fifties.

The key to discovering the identity of Satoshi Nakamoto could be written into Bitcoin’s code, says CEO of IOHK Charles Hoskinson. 

Hoskinson, who also co-founded Ethereum, told crypto news site U.Today in an interview published today about “stylometry,” a method to work out the author of, say, a book based on how it’s written. The same method can be used to unveil the true identity of Bitcoin’s alleged creator, the pseudonymous Satoshi Nakamoto. 

So long as the code was entirely written by Nakamoto, “you can apply stylometric techniques to that code and apply it to all the open-source projects that have ever been written and there's a very high probability you're going to find a match between that code and other code,” Hoskinson told U.Today.



There are a few ways to narrow down suspects, he told U.Today.

Based on his skillset, it’s likely that Nakamoto is in his fifties or sixties and was educated in the late eighties or early nineties, he said.

It’s likely Nakamoto was an academic rather than a professional engineer, said Hoskinson, since the code is “overly academic.” A professional would have done a cleaner job, he said. 

And since Bitcoin was written in an uncommon programming language which “was used mostly in computer science pedagogy, especially in England and in the Eastern United States during that time period,” that alone “gives you a lot of indication of where that person was trained,” he told U.Today

Not worth the effort

But Hoskinson isn’t interested in doing the legwork. “Bitcoin has operated just fine since 2012. It's been eight years now and we haven't had any issues. So why do we need to bring the founder back?” he said.


Hoskinson told U.Today that being Satoshi confers special prestige that isn’t necessarily beneficial to the future of blockchain. “It's almost like you're the Pope and you speak for God, right? You can then use that pulpit to influence people to use your product, like Bitcoin SV for example, or, at the very least, make yourself seem cooler or more interesting."

Craig Wright, self-professed inventor of Bitcoin, take note.

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