skip to main content
European Commission Logo
en English

The story of Satoshi Nakamoto and the 1 million bitcoins

date:  21/11/2019

Following last month's story on double spending, we will now look at Satoshi Nakamoto (the name used by the pseudonymous person or persons who developed bitcoin, and authored the bitcoin white paper). By doing so, Satoshi Nakamoto was the first to solve the double-spending problem for digital currency. This mysterious person was active in the development of bitcoin until the end of 2010. Many people claim, or have claimed, to be "Satoshi" but until now it has not been proven.

  • 18 August 2008, registration of the website; 
  • 31 October 2008, publication of the white paper: "Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System" on describing the bitcoin digital currency;
  • 9 November 2008, the Bitcoin project is registered on the collaborative platform distributing open source software, ;
  • 3 January 2009, Nakamoto generates the first block of transaction, the block #0, also called the genesis block (embedded is the message "The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks", which refers to a headline in The Times published on 3 January 2009);
  • 9 January 2009, first release of the bitcoin software that launched the network and the first units of the bitcoin cryptocurrency;
  • 12 January 2009, first transaction on the bitcoin network in block 170 between Nakamoto and the developper Hal Finney;
  • 5 December 2009, first bitcoin exchange - 1$ = 1.309,03 BTC;
  • 12 December 2010, aside from email exchanges dating back to April 2011, Satoshi published its last public message on Bitcointalk;
  • Mid 2011, Satoshi hands over control of the source code repository and network alert key to Gavin Andresen, who becomes the project lead;

During the time Nakamoto was involved, ~1million coins were mined. Except for some test transactions, all coins remain unspent since mid January 2009, at the peak of bitcoin in December 2017, this "hidden treasure" was worth ~17 billion euros - and only the owner of the private key will be able to prove he is the real Satoshi.