Bitcoin is soaring. The digital currency is on a powerful upward trajectory, jumping in value by well over 30% in the space of a month.
On Monday, the price peaked at $719 far, far above the $200-mark it was languishing at in August 2015. (As of writing, it sits a little below this week’s high, at $690.) This bullish period -which comes shortly before the supply of new bitcoin is due to be halved due to a programmed rule -is making a lot of bitcoin-owners very happy, with the value of their holdings increasing by significant double-figures percentage-points.The value of the digital currency hasn’t been this high since February 2014, when it was trending downwards from all-time highs of around $1,100.
But few people are likely to be profiting more (on paper, at least) from the price spike than Satoshi Nakamoto, the mysterious creator of bitcoin -whoever Satoshi is.
Nakamoto disappeared from the scene years ago, back when the digital currency was still in its infancy, and his or her (or their) identity has never been ascertained.
Theories abound, from the relatively credible Nick Szabo, a veteran developer in the digital currency space to the totally outlandish Dorian Satoshi Nakamoto, a Japanese-American collector of model trains. But consensus about Satoshi’s true identity has never been reached, and there’s no indication Satishi will ever come forward to solve the mystery. But if Satoshi were to come forward, what would happen?
For starters, they would have an awful lot of bitcoin to play with. Bitcoin is anonymous, meaning you don’t know who holds which bitcoin -but you can track the path of every bitcoin through the network, via a public ledger called the blockchain.
Satoshi Nakamoto, the first person on the bitcoin network and the first person to “mine” for bitcoin (the process by which new bitcoin are created) is guaranteed to have very substantial holdings. Bitcoin developer Sergio Lerner estimated back in 2013 that Satoshi may have around 1million bitcoin. At $700 per bitcoin, that translates to a fortune worth around $700 million.