New research suggests that enigmatic creator of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto, may have lived in London while he was working on the world’s first cryptocurrency, according to a report published on The Chain Bulletin on Monday.
“Analyzing Satoshi's Bitcointalk posts, SourceForge commits, and emails, along with other available data, points to the most likely place the anonymous inventor of Bitcoin called home—London,” wrote Doncho Karaivanov, author of the report.
In total, the researchers have analyzed Nakamoto’s 539 Bitcointalk posts, 34 emails, 169 code commits, metadata from various versions of Bitcoin, genesis block data, and records kept by Wayback Machine—a service that allows viewing archived versions of websites.
According to Karaivanov, the researchers discovered “742 activity instances from 206 days (not consecutive)” between October 31, 2008, and December 13, 2010. Using this data, they compiled scatter charts in a bid to calculate Nakamoto’s location based on times when he was active.
“Common suspect locations are the UK (GMT), US Eastern (EST), US Pacific (PST), Japan (JST), and Australia (AEST). The last two were easy to debunk, but the first three prospects needed further examination,” Karaivanov explained.
Still, while time zones could provide some hints, they are far from being irrefutable evidence. However, by combining and cross-referencing all the available data, the researchers came to the conclusion that Satoshi didn’t live in Japan and Australia during his work on Bitcoin.
In fact, the most plausible clue is the message that Nakamoto included in Bitcoin’s genesis block: “The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks.” This was a direct quote from an article published in The Times, a daily London-based newspaper, on January 3, 2009.
The researchers explained that Nakamoto likely would not have seen this headline if he was living in the US. Karaivanov added that the online version of the article was written differently and it is “extremely unlikely” that the US version of the publication had the same formatting.
“This exact issue of The Times did not circulate in the United States,” Karaivanov noted, adding, “This is without mentioning all the clues that point to Satoshi being British, like his spelling of endings with -ise instead of -ize and -our instead of -or, e.g., analyse, organise, neighbour, colour, etc. Then there’s his use of the word bloody. More specifically, we not only think he is British, but that he also lived in London while working on Bitcoin.”
Ultimately, while this research is not concrete proof of Nakamoto’s whereabouts, it definitely presents some strong arguments in favor of the UK.