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Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Did The Real Satoshi Nakamoto Just Die Over The Weekend?

By: Wes Messamore
The Humble Libertarian

(THL) Over the weekend the libertarian, cryptocurrency, and cypherpunk communities were saddened to learn that cypherpunk movement co-founder Tim May, who had a considerable influence on the development of Bitcoin and WikiLeaks, and is considered the Father of Crypto Anarchy, had died at the age of 67.

But did we all just witness the passing of "Satoshi Nakamoto," the pseudonymous creator of Bitcoin, one of the most significant technological developments underway in the world today?

Bitcoin is a sophisticated techonomic design architecture for anonymous electronic cash payments made possible by strong cryptography (and WikiLeaks is an organization for anonymous electronic disclosures made possible by strong cryptography).

Timothy C. May, who was born in 1951, was an electronic engineer and senior scientist at Intel early in the company's history, where he achieved notoriety for solving the alpha particle problem which was affecting the reliability of early microchips.

You can read Tim May's highly influential 1992 short essay entitled, "The Crypto Anarchist Manifesto" here.

His essay certainly established the premise for Bitcoin and cryptocurrency as far back as 1992, and predicts the ascension of markets enabled by this technology several years before computer processing speeds and publicly available technology (like the NSA's SHA-256 hashing function, published in 2001) would reach the price/performance necessary to make Bitcoin viable.

Why I Suspect Tim May Have Been Satoshi Nakamoto

1. A 2017 stylometric analysis of several of the most notable authorities in cryptography with a sizeable corpus of published words found that Tim May was among the five closest in writing style to the publicly available writings of Satoshi Nakamoto.

2. But more interestingly–– Satoshi Nakamoto recently posted a status update on the P2P Foundation's message forum on November 29, 2018, which is the very first verifiable public communication from Satoshi since 2011.

His last known words before going silent were in an April 23, 2011 email to a software developer, in which he said, "I’ve moved on to other things. It’s in good hands with Gavin and everyone."

It's certainly an interesting coincidence that Satoshi Nakamoto broke a seven year silent streak days before the Father of Crypto Anarchy, whose writings have matched Satoshi's in stylometric analyses, passed away of natural causes in his old age.

Was Tim May Satoshi Nakamoto? And knowing he was going to die soon, was he setting his affairs in order, including one final message to the world? A single word status update (and the quotes aren't mine, they're in the original status update):


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