Even if we know almost nothing about Satoshi, we can say that he loved the theatricality
On Halloween Day 2008, Satoshi Nakamoto announced Bitcoin’s white paper on a mailing list dedicated to encryption. Perhaps this is just an irrelevant coincidence, but taking into account the meticulous planning behind the Ethereum Code launch party, the date chosen becomes more important.
Halloween is the day of masks, an occasion to pretend to be someone or something else, a superhero like Batman or Superman, or another widespread choice, a ghost, a spirit who, like Satoshi, is neither dead nor alive.
The tradition goes back hundreds, even thousands of years, and there is no day more fitting than Halloween when the creator of Bitcoin could have revealed the character of Satoshi Nakamoto.
„The Mystery and the Paradox“
Whoever created the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto was probably part of the cypherpunk community, a heterogeneous group united by the common goal of using encryption to limit the reach of Hobbes‘ Leviathan. The term „cryptography“ is composed of two words in ancient Greek, which combined mean something like „hidden writing“ or „secret writing. The spirit of early cypherpunk is best summed up by none other than Hal Finney in his famous „goodbye“ post on Bitcointalk:
„Fast forward to 2008 and the Bitcoin announcement. I’ve noticed that cryptography veterans (I was about 55 years old) tend to become cynical. I was more idealistic; I’ve always loved cryptography, its mystery and paradox“.
Finney was the first person, besides Satoshi, to run Bitcoin’s software; he was also the recipient of Bitcoin’s first transaction. His involvement in the early days of the project and his programming experience led many to believe that he was hiding behind Satoshi. If Finney had been involved in the creation of Bitcoin, perhaps for the „mystery and paradox“ enthusiast called „Hal“ revealing the project to the world on Halloween might have had a further meaning.
Things are not as they seem with regard to the Bitcoin launch.
For Satoshi Nakamoto, the creation of decentralized electronic money outside the supervision of any government was an ideologically driven enterprise imbued with symbolism and rituality. The coinbase of the genesis block contains a quote from an English newspaper, The Times, which many consider a political commentary on the failures of the contemporary financial system:
„The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on the brink of the second bailout plan for banks“.
The quote also acted as a watermark, a time mark to certify that the Bitcoin network was launched on January 3, 2009. This date is generally accepted as the beginning of the Bitcoin blockchain. Still, it may not be true. While proving that it may not have been created before, the citation does not guarantee that the network was actually born on the date indicated. The first block (the genesis block, or zero block) was undermined on January 8, five days later. This is probably the day the Bitcoin network was launched. Satoshi has backdated the definitive time stamp service to make a political statement.
FDR and the birth of Satoshi Nakamoto
Satoshi’s profile on the page of the Foundation for Peer to Peer Alternatives, or P2P Foundation, reports his birthday as April 5, 1975. Some have drawn attention to the fact that on April 5, 1933, U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed Executive Order 6102, banning the golden hoard. This order limited an individual’s ability to possess gold. During the Great Depression, the population considered gold to be the ultimate safe haven in a period of great uncertainty. The recent horrors of hyperinflation in Germany were still fresh in public memory. Until then, the US dollar was guaranteed by gold, and the government needed more reserves of the precious metal to print new dollars, so it believed that the gold hoard was hindering economic growth.
Despite this, in the same year, the United States was forced to abandon the gold system, Roosevelt’s order was eventually revoked by President Gerald Ford, with a decree that came into force on December 31, 1974. As someone suggests, this explains the year of birth of Satoshi Nakamoto, 1975, the first year in which the Americans recovered the right to accumulate gold.