Martin Shkreli, a disgraced entrepreneur in the pharmaceutical industry and a manager of hedge funds, has released a discovery that seems to indicate who the actual person is who is hiding behind the alias Satoshi Nakamoto. However, the Bitcoin community is not entirely persuaded at this time.
Shkreli revealed his discovery in a blog post that was published on Tuesday. In the article, he decoded a signature that was used in the very first Bitcoin transaction that was ever conducted. According to what Shkreli posted in the comments area, the decryption may be carried out using “any decryption tool.”
Since the earliest days of Bitcoin, it has been common knowledge that Satoshi Nakamoto, the inventor of Bitcoin, was the one who initiated the first transaction, and that it was transferred to Hal Finney, an American programmer and member of the cypherpunk group.
Shkreli’s blog post said:
The following is the Bitcoin wallet Hal Finney used to receive the first Bitcoin transfer from Satoshi.
The following signature
—–BEGIN BITCOIN SIGNED MESSAGE—–
This Transaction was made by Paul Leroux to Hal Finney on January 12, 2009 #bitcoin
—–END BITCOIN SIGNED MESSAGE—–
Is Paul Le Roux Satoshi?
Given that the wallet address is known to have belonged to Hal Finney, Shkreli’s discovery suggests that Finney himself intended to imply that Paul Le Roux is Satoshi Nakamoto. This is implied by the fact that Finney’s wallet address is known to have been used.
A criminal genius, as well as a coder, Paul Le Roux is an informant for the Drug Enforcement Administration in the United States (DEA). He is now serving a term of 25 years in prison in the United States. The sentence was handed down to him in June 2020 for his involvement in overseeing a worldwide illicit business empire as well as for planning or engaging in seven murders.
It is interesting to note that this is not the first time that the identity of Le Roux as Satoshi has been questioned. An article published in 2019 by Wired said that there are a number of indicators suggesting that Le Roux is Satoshi, despite the fact that no concrete evidence has been provided.
According to community members commenting under Shkreli’s blog post, it is entirely possible that the signature on the wallet was written by someone other than Hal Finney. The reason for this is that the wallet was last active in 2017, three years after Finney passed away.
According to some of the commenters, one possibility is that Finney’s family after his passing sold the access to the entire wallet, rather than sending coins on-chain to a buyer. That would make sense given that this was in the relatively early days of Bitcoin when a certain level of technical know-how was required to make transactions.
“The address was used last time in 2017, while Hal died in 2014. So someone has Hall’s private key for that address and signed that bullshit message,” wrote one user called BitMax14.
The same user went on to accuse Shkreli of “being used to spread that lie,” while asking who sent him the message and the signature.
Other users also followed up, with the well-known Bitcoin proponent and author Saifedean Ammous saying:
“Since these private keys have been active after Hal’s death, the most interesting question here is: How did you obtain this message?”
Shkreli did not answer any of the questions about who told him about the signature and the message, but went into some more detail in a follow-up post published on Wednesday:
“A few days ago I received a message which I felt was clearly a prank: there is a new signed message by the recipient of the first bitcoin. I get a lot of cranks calling me with ‘discoveries’. But sometimes they’re real: Lil Wayne’s Carter V album appearing in a luxury car auction comes to mind.”
“It all fits”
Although many commenters were skeptical about the idea that Paul Le Roux is Satoshi Nakamoto, some supported the idea.
“It all fits. He had the motivation, the incentive. Movement of illicit gains. Very complex character. Conflicted. Highly intelligent but arrogant,” wrote one user named Bellweirdboy, while adding:
“Satoshi disappeared after Gavin Andresen told him he would be speaking to CIA. My thought is that this scared Le Roux witless. That is the real reason ‘Satoshi‘ vanished.”
Compiled by Coinbold