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Few mysteries in recent years have been as frustrating or as compelling as the question surrounding the true identity of Bitcoin's creator Satoshi Nakamoto.
Now, following five months of research into the true identity of Nakamoto, author and financial writer Dominic Frisby has narrowed down the possibilities to just one man: Nick Szabo.
In his new book 'Bitcoin - The Future of Money?' Frisby dedicates an entire chapter to detailing his investigation into uncovering Nakamoto. Through a forensic investigation that involves the trawling of 80,000 words published in various places online by Nakamoto, Szabo is singled out as the only candidate capable of creating the world's most famous cryptocurrency.
There are a number of key factors that Frisby cites in drawing his conclusions. Like others before him, Frisby draws attention to the similarities in writing style between Nakamoto and Szabo and the fact that Szabo designed the precursor to Bitcoin.
Further than any research into Nakamoto's identity so far, however, Frisby points to new evidence that pins Szabo to the creator of Bitcoin.
These include the time zone from which Nakamoto posted online tying closely to Szabo's own time zone and sleep patterns, subtle references to economists such as Carl Menger in discussions about money, the use of the coding language C++, as well as observations that Szabo and Satoshi used the same operating system.
"What for me is a humdinger: Szabo actually worked for Chaum's Digicash (an electronic money considered a precursor to Bitcoin) in the 1990s," Frisby writes. "I even found his old Digicash email address."
Who is Satoshi Nakamoto?
Many names have been put forward, including most famously Leah Goodman's speculative piece for Newsweek (owned by IBTimes UK parent company IBT Media) earlier this year that California engineer Dorian Satoshi Nakamoto was the man behind Bitcoin.
Szabo is himself very protective of his privacy. Only one photo is known to exist of him (above) and very little information beyond his own blog and various academic involvements is actually known. Speculation that he is Bitcoin's creator had surfaced before and he has denied it to both Frisby privately and on Twitter publicly.
Senior figures in the cryptography community and pioneers in Bitcoin's early development have remained defiant over Nakamoto's identity. At last week's Web Summit in Dublin, chief scientist at the Bitcoin Foundation, Gavin Andresen, was asked by IBTimes UK if he knew who Satoshi Nakamoto was and if knowing the identity of the creator of Bitcoin mattered.
"I don't know and no it doesn't," Andresen said. "I never trusted Satoshi and I don't need to. I trust the code."
While concrete evidence still cannot definitively tie Szabo to Nakamoto, there is no one else who fits the profile, with all of the main candidates proposed previously - and even some others - methodically dismissed by Frisby in his investigation.
"There is no proof, just a great deal of circumstantial evidence," Frisby told IBTimes UK.
"Szabo denies it. At one stage I thought it might be [renowned cryptographer] Charles Hoskinson, then I decided not. I try to keep an open mind and if somebody can present a better candidate then I'll take a look, but as yet there isn't one."