Since 29 June 2018, the website nakamotofamilyfoundation.org has published a first excerpt from the book “Duality”. The author of the book is said to be the legendary Bitcoin inventor Satoshi Nakamoto. On closer inspection, however, one comes to a different conclusion.
Who is Satoshi Nakamoto? The search for the identity behind the name “Satoshi Nakamoto” is still a mystery. The latest news appeared on the website nakamotofamilyfoundation.org. Here the alleged Satoshi published an excerpt from his planned book. A glance at the excerpt raises strong doubts that it is the “real” Satoshi.
On the page announcing the excerpt from the upcoming book, Satoshi says that his book will appear in two parts. In an easy-to-solve cryptogram (be careful: spoiler!) he reveals the title of the book: Honne and Tatemae. This title describes a phenomenon that we recently described in our series on digital identity: The difference between the inner attitude (Honne) and the masquerade (tatemae) that we cultivate in society – the social roles.
Furthermore, he admits at the same time: “I want to point out that there are many who have participated in this project, many of whom I have not mentioned. Individuals who, for various reasons, have decided not to go public. Out of respect for them, I didn’t name them.”
“Satoshi” and the news spy Cypherpunks
In the extract he describes the news spy basic idea behind Bitcoin and that it originates from the Cypherpunk movement, which he joined at the age of 14. Satoshi Nakamoto is also the Japanese equivalent of the name “John Smith” – Lieschen Müller or Otto Müller. He explains further about the news spy:
“At some point it became obvious to part of the community that Satoshi Nakamoto could not be real. And although I pulled out all the stops to ignore it, some people were clever enough to see through it all. Maybe Satoshi Nakamoto was actually just a pseudonym. Maybe I wasn’t from Japan at all, but of English descent. Some came to this conclusion after analyzing my way of writing. To be honest, that was something I learned early on – good English. (I must admit, however, that I know that my writing style has changed in the meantime. I don’t use double spaces anymore and I also know that I don’t take myself so seriously anymore, maybe because I’ve grown older. If you try to appear older than you are in the 1920s, to be accepted in a community that equates age with experience, and to drive your own project forward – you wouldn’t believe what you’re doing.”
Aren’t we all a little Satoshi regarding the Bitcoin secret?
Literarily, you’re dealing with a (most likely conscious) game with the categories Bitcoin secret author and protagonist. Already the title indicates such a Bitcoin secret. Also the hint that many people participated in the project suggests that it is not the “real” Satoshi who wrote these lines. Rather, it raises the question of whether this genuine Satoshi exists at all. In connection with the hint that behind Satoshi Nakamoto lies the Japanese equivalent of Otto Müller, one can conclude from this perspective: We are all Satoshi Nakamoto. At least according to the Nakamoto Family Foundation – whoever is behind it.