Satoshi Nakamoto. It’s a name that turns heads every time we hear it and one that we perhaps know all too well. The man (or group) that introduced the concept of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency in 2008 has created an online mystery. Who is Satoshi Nakamoto?
Martin Shkreli claims to know the answer to this. Shkreli once again points his finger at Paul Le Roux. The evidence pointing to Paul Le Roux being Satoshi dates back to 2019, and Shkreli’s recent evidence is just an extra piece to the puzzle.
Martin Shkreli Adds His Two Cents
If you haven’t heard of Martin Shkreli, then here’s a brief history. Over the years, Shkreli created a name for himself as a disgraceful businessman and eventually made his way into federal prison for securities fraud. Starting out as a hedge fund manager, Shkreli made his way up to the CEO of the pharmaceutical firms “Retrophin” and “Turing Pharmaceuticals.”
The moment that put Shkreli in the spotlight was his move on the antiparasitic drug Daraprim. In an extremely controversial moment, he obtained the manufacturing license for Daraprim and increased its price by 5,455%. Increasing the price from $13.50 to $750 per pill. There’s even a movie called “Pharma Bro” about the Daraprim controversy.
Anyways, Earlier this year, Shkreli was released from prison and wasted no time jumping back into the public light. This time, Shkreli was caught up in a massive crypto scandal over an altcoin called Martin Shkreli Inu (MSI).
Shkreli managed to decrypt one of the first PGP Signed messages linked to a Bitcoin transaction on the 19th of January, 2009. A transaction that went unnoticed until earlier this year. “Bitcoin Block 1,018” Further investigations into the transactions found that it was tied to a wallet used by Hal Finney, a computer scientist that is well-known and easily one of Bitcoin’s earliest contributors.
But that’s not a surprise, as Hal Finney was a Bitcoin pioneer and is said to have received the first Bitcoin transaction ever. He even tweeted “Running bitcoin” on January 11, 2009.
The interesting bit is that Shkreli claims to have decrypted the signature attached to the blockchain transaction and he claims that it reads as follows:
This Transaction was made by Paul Leroux to Hal Finney on January 12, 2009
So Shkreli claims that Paul Le Roux sent Hal Finney the first Bitcoin transaction, which inevitably means that Le Roux is Satoshi Nakamoto. But who is this man?
Meet Paul Le Roux, A possible candidate for Satoshi Nakamoto
Le Roux is a computer programmer who created the software “E4M (Encryption For the Masses)” a free encryption program that worked on Windows. The software was similar to TrueCrypt, which drew inspiration from E4M.
As you might have connected. Pauls’s great interest in encryption plays a part in why some people believe he is Satoshi. In 2012, Le Roux was arrested for narcotics charges, seven murders, and operating a drug trafficking cartel. Many of the funds used in his cartel have not been linked and are presumably locked in an unknown crypto wallet.
Is Paul Le Roux Satoshi Nakamoto?
Paul Le Roux has seen the Sotashi spotlight before, and people have dubbed him as the Bitcoin creator “Sotashi Nakamoto” for quite some time. There’s even loads of evidence that points his way. As to if we’ll find out if Le Roux is, in fact, the Bitcoin creator is highly unlikely as he is currently in prison. With over 23 years left to go and an understanding that whoever admits to being Satoshi Nakamoto will very likely lose all their money and hand it straight to the US government… It’s unlikely he will admit to it if it is true.
His arrest came just a year after the crypto creator Satoshi Nakamoto disappeared from the internet.
What is often seen as the “most damning evidence” (until now) was Paul Le Roux’s passport. During the ridiculous Kleiman v. Wright lawsuit, Le Roux’s ID was released to the public. His name on the card:
Paul Solotshi Calder Le Roux
The person who released his ID wrote:
Bitcoin was a project of an evil genius … Paul Solotshi Calder Le Roux. He intended it simply for the purpose of money laundering … Unfortunately, soon after he went quiet with the Satoshi identity, he was captured by law enforcement, and he’s going to spend the rest of his life rotting in a jail cell.An anon 4chan user.
But most of the evidence that supports the Le Roux theory is simply circumstantial.
Even Shkreli’s evidence does not hold much water.
- Although he claims to have “decrypt” the message to this particular transaction, he refuses to provide information on how he managed to decrypt the message.
- Hal Finney died in 2014, but this particular wallet saw activity until late 2017 (though it could have been his kids)
- The signature type Shkreli to decrypt to the message may not have existed in January 2009
- Although it’s highly likely that the sender’s address did belong to Satoshi, this has not been verified.
We can not fully dispute Shkreli’s claim, but we can’t use it to definitively say that Paul Le Roux is Satoshi… Especially when there’s more evidence pointing to Sergey Nazarof as the Bitcoin creator. The truth is that his identity will likely never be revealed and will stand as a timeless debate.