Bitcoin inventor Satoshi Nakamoto exposed by misspelling?
The guessing game about Satoshi Nakamoto goes into the next round in 2021. New impetus is provided by an analysis of the Bitcoin inventor’s writing habits.
More than 12 years after the Bitcoin white paper was published, the identity of its author remains a mystery. Now the team at Ungeared.com has joined in the speculation about Satoshi Nakamoto. On 31 December, they published a statistical study on Satoshi’s spelling.
The article responds to a line of argument that claims to have identified Great Britain as the home of the Bitcoin inventor. Since some of the arguments in favour of this Bitcoin Supersplit were based on Satoshi’s spelling, the authors decided to subject it to a statistical test. They took advantage of the fact that a number of words are spelled differently in American English than in British English. In addition to the Bitcoin white paper, Satoshi’s well-known emails and blog posts were also the subject of the analysis.
Satoshi’s spelling: no pattern to be seen
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The authors of the study were able to highlight a total of 108 cases that are relevant to their concerns. In terms of spelling, the breakdown is as follows: „American – 52, British – 35 and misspelled – 21.“ Satoshi thus makes use of both American and British spellings.
What’s more, there is no discernible pattern to Satoshi switching between the two styles of writing. Even the same word sometimes appears in British spelling and then again in American spelling. Even within the same email, the Bitcoin inventor varies his spelling habits. Only when it comes to coding does he remain largely faithful to American.
Where does the Bitcoin inventor come from?
The inconsistencies just mentioned seem to require explanation. As one hypothesis, the authors suggest, for example, that the Bitcoin inventor is Canadian. This is because Canadian English mixes the spelling of British and American in some points. Since Satoshi mainly uses American for coding, it is also conceivable that he is actually British, but programs in American English.
However, this does not explain Satoshi’s spelling mistakes. It is conceivable that English is simply not the Bitcoin inventor’s mother tongue. (The authors do not consider this possibility.) The seemingly arbitrary switch between different spelling styles could also be explained in this way.
In the end, the results of the study leave more questions unanswered than answered. Could Satoshi Nakomoto be more of a collective than a loner, as is often assumed? The possibility that the inconsistent spelling was a deliberately chosen strategy by the Bitcoin inventor to make the traces as unrecognisable as possible cannot be ruled out. If this is the case, Nakamoto is still beating all Bitcoin archaeologists to the punch years after the white paper publication.