In brief:

  • A YouTube video claims that Adam Back is Satoshi Nakamoto.
  • The video focuses on Back's writing and coding style, as well as his early involvement in the cypherpunk community.
  • The Blockstream CEO took to Twitter to refute the claims.

A new theory has been put forward which claims Blockstream CEO Adam Back is Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous inventor of Bitcoin. The theory, laid out in a video entitled ‘Bitcoin - Unmasking Satoshi Nakamoto,’ was posted on May 11 by YouTuber Barely Sociable. 

The video draws comparisons between Adam Back and Satoshi based on the trail of breadcrumbs left by Satoshi before he disappeared from the internet altogether. The video points out similarities in Back and Satoshi’s writing style, coding ability, and constructs a timeline which seeks to connect the two men based on the timing of their appearance (and disappearance) on/from the internet.

When asked for comment, Back told Decrypt, "Just that people speculate, but I'm not Satoshi. To cut short Google searches and digging."

Adam Back had also taken to Twitter to refute the claims. Back admitted that the timeline may look suspicious, but attributed it to mere coincidence.

“Some claim to be Satoshi, days google research blogging stories, and in court, to widespread non-belief. Seems I need the opposite: I am not Satoshi despite recent video / reddit claiming so. Some factors & timing may look suspicious in hindsight; coincidence & facts are untidy,” Back tweeted.

Here, the CEO of Blockstream—a private company which sells off-chain Bitcoin solutions like the Liquid network—is referencing self-professed Satoshi Nakamoto, Craig Wright. Wright has sued multiple members of the crypto community, including Back, who claimed he is not Satoshi. The latest states of all five lawsuits can be seen here.

Back continued on Twitter, “It goes deeper - some of what they google researched is true: I moved to Malta, an EU tax haven - in 2009. Pure coincidence, though ofc I did know about Bitcoin in 2008 via emails from Satoshi. I was born in London. I do use double-space and native spelling British. Can code C++,” said Back,” he said.

The video pointed out that all of Satoshi’s original emails with members of the cypherpunk community are still publicly available. All except one—Back’s. The explanation offered by Back is that he purposely deleted all of his correspondence with Satoshi in order to protect the Bitcoin creator’s identity.

The video also references Back’s deep involvement in the cypherpunk space, particularly his early focus on Ecash and b-money—both precursors to Bitcoin (created by David Chaum and Wei Dai respectively) which formed the cryptographic building blocks for Satoshi Nakamoto’s final invention.

Back again admitted the apparent similarities between his and Satoshi’s interests, but said it still doesn’t amount to proof.

Back stated that he was interested in ecash, implementing Chaum’s ecash library and proposed cryptographic techniques similar to ecash.

“Still not Satoshi [though],” he added.

The video ends by pointing out that Blockstream is now involved in building centralized off-chain solutions for sending Bitcoin—as a for-profit company. Products like Blockstream’s Liquid take Bitcoin transactions off the main chain, and instead funnel them through the privately owned products named above.

But if Back was Satoshi, he wouldn’t need the money.

Updated with comment from Adam Back.