Mike’s bitcointalk presence began 1 day 53 minutes and 13 seconds after Satoshi’s bitcointalk presence ended. Almost exactly 1 day separating their profiles seemed odd to me especially considering the impact Mike had in development later on.
Why would Satoshi Nakamoto hide his real identity? The people who created the precursors to Bitcoin were not anonymous. Satoshi even referenced multiple influences by name in his whitepaper like Wei Dai, Ralph Merkle, and Adam Back. So why did the person behind Satoshi feel the need to remain anonymous? There doesn’t seem to be any precedent in the small niche of people who attempted to make digital/electronic cash. A lot of people are constantly regurgitating the idea that Satoshi knew how big Bitcoin would become and that Governments or nefarious people would want to hunt him down for his bitcoin holdings or for simply inventing bitcoin. In reality, Satoshi didn’t even know if his invention would gain traction. Satoshi didn’t know he would be one of a handful of users running bitcoin in the first year which would allow him to mine as many blocks as he did. Satoshi didn’t know how much bitcoin would actually be worth. So why would Mike Hearn hide is identity? Mike Hearn in mid August 2006 was hired on by Google as a Site Reliability Engineer (http://web.archive.org/web/20090514053312/http://mikehearn.wordpress.com:80/2006/08/) Why would an employee of Google secretly develop something? Well, Google themselves sum it up pretty nicely here: “As part of your employment agreement, Google most likely owns intellectual property (IP) you create while at the company. Because Google’s business interests are so wide and varied, this likely applies to any personal project you have. That includes new development on personal projects you created prior to employment at Google.“ (https://opensource.google.com/docs/iarc/ ) Here Mike was indeed fully aware of Google’s policy when he released bitcoinj as a Google copyrighted project under the Apache 2 license: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=4236.msg61438#msg61438https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=4236.msg61658#msg61658 Then here he is emailing Satoshi (himself :) a few hours after the bitcointalk announcement: “From: Mike Hearn [email protected] Date: Mon, Mar 7, 2011 at 2:13 PM To: Satoshi Nakamoto [email protected] Hi Satoshi, I hope you are doing well. I finally got all the lawyers happy enough to release BitCoinJ under the Google name using the Apache 2 license: …. “ https://pastebin.com/JF3USKFT I wonder what Google would have done with Bitcoin had Hearn/Satoshi not been anonymous? Mike claiming he supposedly “coined the term SPV”. Or, did he? Here is Peter Todd https://twitter.com/petertoddbtc/status/649413412158599168 and her is the reddit thread to go along with it: https://www.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/3n1ydp/peter_todd_on_twitter_mike_hearn_claiming_he/
The term “SPV” does not appear in the whitepaper but its meaning does. Simplified Payment Verification is section 8 of the whitepaper. Did Mike slip and just inadvertently hint to him being the real Satoshi? Upon further investigation Mike had claimed months earlier that he coined the term “SPV wallet”. https://medium.com/@octskyward/the-capacity-cliff-586d1bf7715e So he could have meant to say SPV wallet when Peter Todd was calling him out or maybe he did mean to say just “SPV”. Still not the smoking gun but interesting that he would throw that around knowing full well that Simplified Payment Verification was in the Whitepaper.
[After writing this up, Mike just released all his private Satoshi Emails through a user named CipherionX. Mike did show up in a reddit thread to confirm that they came from him and are indeed not fake. Bitcointalk link: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=2080206.0 Reddit link to Mike’s post: https://www.reddit.com/btc/comments/6t2ci2/never_before_seen_mike_hearn_satoshi_nakamoto/dliizv6/ ] It is very plausible that in order to remain separate from the creator of Bitcoin that someone would in fact have email conversations between himself and alias as “proof” that the pseudonymous Bitcoin creator and Mike Hearn are completely different independent people. Of course this would only make sense if the emails were made public at some point. Well, Mike just made them public. Mike also attempted to divulge them to Charles Hoskinson in 2013 who did not release them to the public. If the dates can be trusted, Mike’s email leak serves as proof that he was there early on even if he was corresponding with himself ;) Besides the new email dump the only known public involvement was here on the sourceforge forum in October 2009: https://sourceforge.net/p/bitcoin/mailman/bitcoin-list/thread/f4cd80640910240804m64ba45f1g216905fc9db16a2%40mail.gmail.com/#msg23827020 . Later on Mike did produce an email he sent to Satoshi In April of 2009 here in this thread: https://bitcoinfoundation.org/forum/index.php?/topic/54-my-first-message-to-satoshi/ which does correspond with the email dump. Why did Mike not use Sourceforge as he posted openly so frequently in other project lists or forums? My best guess is that Mike figured he could be traced using multiple aliases on Sourceforge if an employee was so inclined to investigate so he switched it up and decided to have the fabricated conversations with himself through a more controlled environment.?????
What is odd about Mike’s involvement early on is that it doesn’t really parallel with his natural demeanor. He is very vocal and has an involved online presence yet he just really isn’t himself during the early stages of Bitcoin. Even his personal blog posts came to a halt in early 2009. https://web.archive.org/web/20111130084418/http://mikehearn.wordpress.com:80/ For someone who was generally very active online before Bitcoin and then after Satoshi’s disappearence, I find it odd that there is a dead silence period from Mike Hearn while Satoshi existed online.
So it appears that Satoshi may have had either a rapport or at the least some familiarity with Hal. This lead me to Google Mike Hearn and Hal Finney together which turned up a nice find. Here, https://sourceforge.net/p/tboot/mailman/tboot-devel/?style=threaded&viewmonth=200807 Mike and Hal are talking about Trusted Computing back in July 2008, just months before the bitcoin whitepaper surfaced. Unfortunately I don’t quite fully understand Trusted Computing and the reason Mike Hearn was inquiring about it or how it would relate to early Bitcoin. However, I did also find this thread from Mike Hearn that Hal Finney later resurrected about TC: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=67508.0 And even more interesting, Hal Finney later wrote in his brief memoir of bitcoin, “Bitcoin and Me”, posted on the bitcointalk forum (https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=155054.0) that he was currently “working on something Mike Hearn suggested, using the security features of modern processors, designed to support "Trusted Computing", to harden Bitcoin wallets.” Was Mike Hearn originally researching a use for trusted computing in Bitcoin but never implemented it only to later pass it on to Hal FInney as a “suggestion”? Mike on Google+ posted a link to Hal’s TC project when he learned Hal passed away and linked to Hal’s post on BTCtalk (https://plus.google.com/+MikeHearn ; https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=154290.0 )
I do admit the “hack on” arguement is the weakest evidence as it is somewhat common term. However not everyone used it in that context (such as Hal Finney) and it does add to a list of coincidences.
Another weak coincidence is Mike Hearns birthday. MIke’s birthday is April 17th, 1984. Satoshi’s birthday was chosen as April 5th, 1975. I don’t know about you, but a lot of times when I have to enter a birthday in a service where I don’t want them knowing the truth, I usually always use my real birth month with fake day and year.
According to Mike Hearn, Satoshi “communicated with a few of the core developers before leaving. He told myself and Gavin that he had moved on to other things and that the project was in good hands.“ https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=145850.msg1558053#msg1558053 This is also backed up by the new email release here: https://pastebin.com/syrmi3ET Mike- “I had a few other things on my mind (as always). One is, are you planning on rejoining the community at some point (eg for code reviews), or is your plan to permanently step back from the limelight?” Satoshi- “I've moved on to other things. It's in good hands with Gavin and everyone.” The above communication is supposedly the last time anyone heard from Satoshi and none other than Mike Hearn was the recipient. ** Calendar of Mike travelling vs Satoshi post history. It would make sense that Satoshi would post less or not at all when he traveled. Thoughts on the new email dump….draft notes… https://pastebin.com/wA9Jn100 December 27, Mike decides to email Satoshi. This is 2 weeks after Satoshi went silent on the forums and Mike joined the forum. He has been back into Bitcoin for less than a month and he is already working on a “Java implementation of the simplified payment verification, with an eye to building a client that runs on Android phones.“ Mike said he was working on a client on December 22 a week after joining the community By march 7 Mike had the Google “lawyers happy enough” about the bitcoinj release. Seems that within under 3 months Mike developed and released bitcoinj while also dealing with Google’s IP lawyers and copyright/licensing. Satoshi mentioned the e-bay marketplace feature twice: I started implementing a marketplace feature earlier that facilitates offering things for sale and taking orders, it's only half done though. A bit like e-bay but without auctions, just "buy now". Among other things, it would make it easy for anyone to offer currency exchange. https://pastebin.com/Na5FwkQ4 I was trying to implement an eBay style marketplace built in to the client. Publish/subscribe would be used for broadcasting product offers and ratings/reviews. Your reviews would be weighted by the blocks you've generated. I rightly abandoned it in favour of JSON-RPC, so other authors could implement it externally. The publish/subscribe "meet in the middle" mechanism was an interesting concept, but nothing remains that uses it. https://pastebin.com/JF3USKFT Satoshi sought guidance about EC-DSA and RSA key length April 18th 2009 Mike told Satoshi he works at Google, April 18th 2009 Mike Said they use protocol buffers “here at google” Jan 7 2011 Satoshi asked Mike if the client-only implementation would be Google proprietary. Jan 12th, 2011 Mike announced on bitcointalk that he worked for Google https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=2745.msg37471#msg37471 Other searchables. Email addresses: [email protected][email protected] Freenode IRC “TD” Brother David WIlliam Hearn,
Please share if you find this article interesting. Charles Hoskinson to Launch Security Token Blockchain With Polymath. Security token platform Polymath will build a separate blockchain for regulation-compliant tokens with an Ethereum co-founder, the company confirmed in a blog post on May 13.. Polymath, which has already contributed to the launch of over 100 security tokens, will now work ... “The issue is getting a critical mass of investments and investors,” he told event organizer William Mougayar. ... co-founder Charles Hoskinson to create security token blockchain Polymesh ... Cardano founder Charles Hoskinson expressed a similar sentiment: “No. I will stop working on these systems if legally forced to do so”. Roger Ver expressed skepticism that political laws have the power to solve what essentially is a math problem: “No amount of violence can solve a math problem. And I think that's a great way of looking at it. As many look at the red flags in cryptocurrency investments, Ethereum Co-founder Charles Hoskinson isn't worried. In fact, he believes the "future is bright." Hoskinson remembers asking himself in 2013, when the price of Bitcoin was below $100, what $10k USD Bitcoin would look like, and the current landscape doesn’t meet that bar. He thought the industry would have millions of people in the ecosystem with an amazing user experience with stable, regulated markets.
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