Coinbase Weighs in on the Risks of Revealing Satoshi’s Identity

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In Brief
  • Coinbase publicly announced their SEC filing to go public on NASDAQ

  • The filing mentions Satoshi Nakamoto’s identity in the list of risk factors highlighting the challenges Coinbase faces

  • Satoshi Nakamoto’s share of BTC could move markets if ever sold

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The Trust Project is an international consortium of news organizations building standards of transparency.

On Feb. 25, Coinbase filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to go public on Nasdaq Which includes a risk of revealing Satoshi Nakamoto’s Identity.

Following Coinbase filing procedure, they released documents in which they have covered the company’s financial performance over the last few years. They also added a list of risk factors as challenges.

Satoshi Nakamoto’s Pseudonymous Identity

Satoshi Nakamoto is a pseudonym used to refer to the person or a group of individuals who created Bitcoin. Nakamoto is responsible for formulating Bitcoin’s original whitepaper called “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System” back in October 2008, with the genesis block being mined on 3rd January 2009. From the name, the community then assumed that Nakamoto is a Japanese individual, although the impeccable use of the English language in the whitepaper contradicts this notion.

Although to this date, the identity of Satoshi Nakamoto remains unknown, several speculations and claims are running amok within the cryptocurrency community. There are several people who have been called Satoshi Nakamoto or have claimed the same for themselves. 

The most prominent ones in the former category are Dorian Nakamoto, Nick Szabo (the creator of Smart contracts and BitGold), and Hal Finney, whose BTC address was used to receive the first-ever Bitcoin payment from Nakamoto as a test. By far, the most prominent personality in the latter category is Craig Wright, the creator of Bitcoin SV. He has made several claims to being the creator of Bitcoin and has shot himself in the foot multiple times while doing so. 

Coinbase would be a risk for the company and Bitcoin as an asset class if Nakamoto’s identity was ever revealed. The main reason is that Bitcoin’s core investors and miners are attracted to and highly appreciate the asset’s decentralized nature, with the currency not being attached to any particular individual or entity. If Nakamoto’s identity is somehow, it could make many investors and traders aversive to the asset that was involved in the currency due to its decentralized nature.

Coinbase has even sent a copy of its SEC filings with all the relevant documents to Nakamoto as a symbolic gesture.

Satoshi’s Influence on the BTC market still holds

According to Satoshi’s original vision, the total number of BTC that can ever exist is limited to 21 million. Satoshi himself received a Bitcoin token as a reward for creating the genesis block and 1 million BTC tokens that he set aside for himself as a creator and Bitcoin’s first predominant miner. In total, Satoshi’s wallet address holds nearly a 1.1million BTC tokens, which is more than 5% of BTC’s total supply.

Since Bitcoin’s prices are driven by sentiment and deflationary tendencies, it is clear that if Nakamoto’s supply of 1.1 million BTC tokens were to be released into the open market, it would cause the price of Bitcoin to crash significantly. This is evidence of Satoshi Nakamoto’s influence in the cryptocurrency community after being in oblivion for more than a decade.


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Anirudh works in the financial markets along with being a cryptocurrency and blockchain enthusiast. Apart from work, he is a music connoisseur and likes to play the drums.

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