Craig Wright has claimed to be Satoshi Nakamoto in the past, he even says he can prove it in a court of law. Most of the cryptoverse has received Mr. Wright’s claim with skepticism, and he’s even been nicknamed “faketoshi.” A release by WikiLeaks calling him a “document forger” hasn’t helped his case either.
In this article, we’re not going to examine Mr. Wright’s credentials or try to decide if the man is indeed the mysterious programmer and mathematician who got the cryptocurrency movement started. Instead, we’re going to try and imagine what could happen if it turned out that the character in question is indeed the Satoshi Nakamoto of legendary status.
We start with the obvious. That would mean that Mr. Wright is incredibly rich as he would be among the world’s largest BTC holders (if not the biggest one) and he made most of those tokens when the price was around ten USD cents or less. This needs to be mentioned because it would be unavoidable, but it would also be utterly irrelevant for the cryptoverse as a whole.
What would happen to Bitcoin?
Probably nothing. By that, we mean that the Bitcoin network would continue to develop organically as it’s grown for roughly a decade already? Why? Bitcoin it’s already too big, too strong, and also established as the world’s premier cryptocurrency for a single person to alter its course.
Bitcoin is not only a payment system, a means to store wealth, or a lucrative hobby for retail users. As things stand now, Bitcoin is the largest and most respected institution in the cryptocurrency world, at least in practical terms.
So what if Satoshi is found and it’s Craig Wright? It’s somehow like asking what would happen to all of Batman’s enemies that are already incarcerated or living in Arkham Asylum. If Bruce Wayne went public with his identity, all those guys would stay where they are, and nothing would really change in Gotham except that Bruce’s reputation as a playboy would be enhanced as he’d be known as a hero too.
Enough is enough! There at least a dozen crypto adherents who know the true identity of Satoshi. I can assure you, 100%, it is NOT Craig Wright. This absurd claim of Craig's is incomprehensible. Mr wright: Have you no shame? Seriously sir! Have you no shame?
— John McAfee (@officialmcafee) April 16, 2019
Some cryptonauts think that if Mr. Wright proves he’s Satoshi, then a lot of Bitcoin users would leave BTC behind to join Bitcoin Cash SV (BSV) which is the blockchain project currently supported by the candidate for Satoshiness.
That is, again, unlikely because Bitcoin is just too well established and it remains a reliable network while Bitcoin Cash SV is fraught with problems of all kinds. The system doesn’t perform very well (it’s even been claimed that the code allows for tokens to be spent twice) either technically or as an asset.
Maybe a few investors would indeed move to BSV, driven by some kind of personality cult, but most players have more of a rational outlook, and the numbers about BSV are there for everybody to see, and they’re not good.
Also, the smartest cryptonauts know that in this business you trust the technology and the math, and not an individual figure. So it’s unlikely that they would follow Mr. Wright anywhere unless he could come up with a new technology that was far superior to Bitcoin. He hasn’t done that at all so far. Instead, he’s come up with BSV.
This situation would be somewhat akin to Jesus and Christianity. Please don’t get us wrong, we’re not saying that Satoshi (even less Craig Wright) can be compared with Jesus at all. Our point is that it’s become fashionable among some intellectual circles to say that Jesus never existed, that no historical individual ever called Jesus was alive in Palestine 2 millennia ago, and carried out all the deeds attributed to Jesus by the Gospels and the New Testament.
Just for argument’s sake, let’s say they’re right. Let’s accept, just for a moment that Jesus never incarnated, was crucified or came back to life on the third day. Then let’s ask ourselves how would that change anything? It wouldn’t. Not at all. Christianity is still all around the world as one of the main religions in the world. There would still be a Pope and the Vatican in Rome, and American fundamentalists would still be trying to have creationism accepted as a scientific theory.
Something alike would happen with Bitcoin. It doesn’t really matter who was the individual that started the ball rolling ten years ago. What matters is that the ball indeed has been running for all that time, and it’s not just rolled but snowballed, and it’s created or inspired the massive thing that the cryptocurrency and fintech movements are today.
Would Mr. Craig become more influential? Maybe. But his influence would increase only so far as he gets things right, which has not been the case so far. He went against Ripple’s XRP, for instance, which turned out to be the cryptosphere’s most profitable coin for two years straight (yes, even more than Bitcoin), just to give you an example but we could keep going by pointing out that Bitcoin Cash SV has been an unmitigated disaster so far. Whatever personal prestige any celebrity or personality of any kind enjoys because of his or her past achievements, needs to be maintained with good work to be kept current.
Great reputations (as Satoshi’s would be) are lost all the time because of mistakes or inconsistency. Think about Ringo Starr. Yes, he was one of the Beatles. The most revolutionary and successful rock and roll band ever to exist. And what’s happened to his career after they disbanded?
All that means that proving his identity as the elusive Satoshi Nakamoto would make Mr. Wright very famous (instead of notorious as he is now). But it’s doubtful that it would make him more influential, or that it would help with fixing all that is wrong with the BSV project, or with the character’s current behavior (which has become so erratic that Binance and other platforms have threatened to ban BSV already). Which also means that he would hardly become more respected because a big chunk of cryptonauts is already sick and tired of his antics which include offering a bounty to hunt down a Twitter user’s real identity.
The bottom line is this: Satoshi’s true identity is utterly irrelevant. We know about him because of the work he did and the consequences it’s had in changing the world. So it doesn’t really matter if the real man behind the pseudonym is Craig Wright, Elvis Presley or Santa Claus. It’s all about the work and the technology, and not about an individual personality. Things are too far gone now for any individual to exert any significant influence or change things.
Our advice is straightforward. It’s just not worth it to spend energy, time, thoughts or sleep over an issue that makes no difference whatsoever for the real decisions you must make as a cryptocurrency developer, investor or aficionado. It just distracts you from getting things right as it becomes noise that prevents you from separating the chaff from the wheat.
Yes, it would be very cool to find out who Satoshi is finally. But that’s all. It would be cool, not significant, not a game changer at all unless he had a better technology than Bitcoin to deploy. But it would have to be so good as to change the world for yet a second time. That’s a very high standard that only a handful of geniuses have been able to meet during human history. That would be a great reason to identify the great Satoshi at last. But it’s the most unlikely scenario as well.
Image courtesy of Pixabay.
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