Crypto Pioneer Hal Finney Cannot Be Satoshi Nakamoto, Analysis Suggests
Bitcoin pioneer Hal Finney can’t be Satoshi Nakamoto, new analysis suggests

Hal Finney, a pioneer of Bitcoin, was in the middle of a 10-mile race when Satoshi Nakamoto was responding to emails and transacting on the cryptocurrency, as recently revealed evidence suggests. For years, it had been speculated that Finney was the creator of Bitcoin (BTC), but he denied this theory until his death in 2014.

Jameson Lopp, a cypherpunk and co-founder of the California-based crypto company Casa, recently shared evidence that further questions the theory. In a blog post on Oct. 21, Lopp discussed the difference between Web 1.0, 2.0, and 3.0, as well as the difference between the Metaverse and Web 3.0, in relation to crypto sentiment analysis.

Racing to send an email

Lopp’s key evidence revolves around a 10-mile race in Santa Barbara, California, on Saturday, April 18, 2009.

The race data indicates that Finney participated in the “Santa Barbara Running Company Chardonnay 10 Miler & 5K,” starting at 8:00 am Pacific Standard Time and completing the race 78 minutes later.

Moreover, the race coincides with timestamped emails between Satoshi and one of the first crypto developers, Mike Hearn.

“It turns out that early Bitcoin developer Mike Hearn was emailing back and forth with Satoshi during this time,” Lopp said, referring to archived emails that Hearn had released publicly in the past.

“For the hour and 18 minutes that Hal was running, we can be quite sure that he was not interacting with a computer,” Lopp added.

The Bitcoin transaction

Lopp, meanwhile, used on-chain data to back up his assertion. According to Hearn’s emails, Nakamoto sent Hearn 32.5 BTC in one crypto transaction. Lopp pointed to this crypto transaction which was mined at 8:55 am PST, 55 minutes into Finney’s race.

Nakamoto also confirmed a second crypto transaction involving 50 BTC in the 6:16 pm email, which Lopp noted took place while Finney was still running.

Health issues

At the same time, analysis has also highlighted that Satoshi was working on code and posting on various forums when Hal Finney’s fight with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) had already affected his ability to type quickly.

Lopp referenced a post from Fran Finney, Hal Finney’s wife, dated Aug. 22, 2010, which stated that the couple attended the 2010 Singularity Summit in San Francisco on Aug. 14–15 and that Finney’s struggle with ALS had slowed his typing from a “rapid-fire” 120 words per minute to a “sluggish finger peck.”

At the same time, Nakamoto made four code check-ins and wrote 17 posts on various forums between Aug. 14–15, 2010, said Lopp.

Lopp also pointed out certain distinctions in Finney’s Reusable Proofs of Work code compared with the original Bitcoin client code.

However, Lopp also noted there could be objections to the so-called evidence.

Hearn published the emails in 2017 — seven years post factum — and it was around a time when other Bitcoiners lost trust in him due to disagreements on how to scale Bitcoin.

Finney could have also scripted the emails and crypto transactions in advance, or there could have been more than one Satoshi Nakamoto, Lopp said.

Nevertheless, Lopp believes that Bitcoin’s creation came from a single developer:

Hal Finney, unfortunately, passed away in August 2014 due to complications with ALS.

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