The world’s first trillionaire by USD valuation could quite possibly be the creator of bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto. If bitcoin continues to climb the ladder of exponential price appreciation, than once Nakamoto decides to move their money and make transactions with it, there will be a seismic shift in the perceived supply of money.
In the numerous attempts to lift the veil of bitcoin’s mysterious inventor, people have gotten hurt. Homes have been raided. Journalists have been ostracized. Following these chaotic rumours however, seems to be a cultish mantra echoing from the chambers of bitcoin’s disillusioned – that “the identity of Satoshi Nakamoto does not matter.”
This is not only terribly untrue, but dangerous. Naive to the nature of the emerging bitcoin digital economy, the disillusioned will claim that the identity of Satoshi Nakamoto does not matter because the software is open source. Anyone can read the source code of bitcoin. Anyone can identify vulnerability in the protocol’s architecture. Anyone can fork it and create their own implementation. This is well known of bitcoin, and it is not the reason its creator’s identity still holds crucial importance.
The 21st Million
The Nakamoto wallets comprise roughly 5.5% of the total bitcoin which will ever be in circulation and about 9.3% which are available today. If there is one party controlling five percent of all currency that will ever be created in an economy, this poses a huge risk to the integrity of decentralization. One in ten bitcoin today lies dormant, but alive. Truly, the mammoth wallets owned by Satoshi Nakamoto are one of the biggest threats to price stability and the principle of decentralization of bitcoin.
In a world where we rage about the centralization of our current economic circumstances, it is plain to see that bitcoin may not be as different as it initially seems.
World’s First Trillionaire
At this point, not much can be done about the large volume of bitcoin that lie hidden in Nakamoto’s wallets. We don’t know which addresses they belong to and we only have estimates of the amount they hold. What we do know is that Nakamoto has multiple wallets rather than one, and that they have since discontinued their mining activities.
If bitcoin should continue to challenge the status quo, it is indeed worthwhile to ask the types of questions which would uncover the identity of a party which controls the largest stake in an emerging economy. Satoshi has no obligation to reveal their identity, yet if bitcoin should become worth 10 or 100 times its current value, questions about their identity may haunt those who are deeply invested in this emerging digital economy, both in terms of financial and ideological investment.
Will the Nakamoto funds ever move? Or have they already been purposefully destroyed? If Nakamoto were to take such a route, it would cause a bullish run on the rest of the bitcoin in circulation because of increased scarcity of money supply.
Lost coins only make everyone else’s coins worth slightly more. Think of it as a donation to everyone. – Satoshi Nakamoto
When it comes down to it, the effect bitcoin has on the world may correlate sharply with the causes Nakamoto dedicates their purchasing power to, if they do eventually move their money. Money has a profound way of influencing people. Business leaders recognize the opportunity to shake up the world that comes with owning massive capital. Nakamoto can either use that ability to power the common good, or for less noble reasons. The causes this money is dedicated to will forever forge the legacy of the great anonymous wizard Satoshi Nakamoto. Regardless, don’t let anyone tell you the identity of Satoshi Nakamoto does not matter.
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- Wallace Wood, Technology Journalist, Houston, Texas
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