There was some recent buzz from both sides of the Bitcoin Cash chain split regarding an allegedly authentic tweet from pseudonymous Bitcoin inventor Satoshi Nakamoto. The tweet, and indeed the entire account, is no longer available from Twitter proper.“I do not want to be public, but, there is an issue with SegWit. If it is not fixed, there will be nothing and I would have failed. There is only one way that Bitcoin survives and it is important to me that it works. Important enough, that I may be known openly. He then provides a signature which, on the surface, appears legitimate.”
However, according to people much more educated on the subject, the signature was definitely falsified. Jimmy Song is a veteran blockchain developer who has previously worked on Armory Wallet and Paxos, as well as in the financial space as a partner at Blockchain Capital.
He frequently blogs on Bitcoin subjects, and clearly could not resist the urge to deconstruct any dreams people had that Satoshi Nakamoto was back from the grave with an anti-SegWit message in hand. His post doesn’t gloss over the technicalities, which we will ignore here. However, he concludes that the signature was fake, and then reproduces the forgery in his own example.
“The Tweet is equivalent to someone that’s ‘proving’ that they ran a marathon in under 2 hours while allowing us to only observe them at the finish line. The nonsense signature is equivalent to someone ‘running’ a marathon in under 2 hours by starting close to the finish line.”
He notes that billionaire Calvin Ayre used the tweet from @satoshi as proof that the Bitcoin creator “lives” (a fact few besides those who believe he was either Hal Finney or Dave Kleiman dispute) and used it in the ongoing war with Bitcoin.com and Bitcoin Cash ABC.
More on the @Satoshi Handle
A bit of web history research reveals that the account @satoshi has existed almost as long as the social media platform itself, and it must have been only recently started tweeting about anything related to Bitcoin. As recently as 2013, when news of Bitcoin was spreading rapidly, and CCN was just getting started, there were less than 50 followers, and the account was private.
Twitter accounts have frequently been sold online, with prices ranging depending on popularity of the account, username, and follower account. There are sites dedicated to the practice. Satoshi is a Japanese name meaning “clear thinking, quick-witted, wise.” In 2007, Twitter was generally a plaything of the technorati, not taken overly seriously. Blogspot would have been considered a more viable platform to develop a following. The day of the microblog was many eons off in web history, really coinciding with the smartphone revolution.
This is, of course, not the first time someone has come to the fore claiming to be Satoshi Nakamoto with an urgent message from Bitcoin past