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Is Bitcoin Hot Enough to Survive Without Us Knowing the Founder?

The perils of the bitcoin inventor Satoshi Nakamoto. The true story remains a mystery. A (media) spectacle broke loose and a handful of reputations have been damaged. In pursuit for a topic on this first edition of my series ‘Hot or not’ I was intrigued by the many articles that arose last week after Craig Wright identified himself as the creator of bitcoin to the BBC and the Economist. Meanwhile Wright has withdrawn his statement. Is Bitcoin hot enough to survive without us knowing who delivered this baby?

The inventor of electronic payment system bitcoin has been known under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto since 2008. In the past several attempts were made on unmasking the real life identity. Without result. Last week after Wright claimed to be the man behind bitcoin, he was being subjected to the many disbelievers that wanted him to put definite proof on the table. Eventually he either failed or refused to do that. Who knows? But earlier, on May 2, 2016, Wright alleged that he had published proof on his website, a cryptographic signature supposedly linked to Satoshi. A website that has now been fully erased and replaced by a page that says: “I’m sorry”. Gavin Andresen, the man who has publicly backed Wright, has been kicked out of the bitcoin project and is no longer allowed to make changes in the currency’s code.

So, a lot of commotion took place around one of the much-discussed and disruptive financial technology (fintech) of these last few years. Of course we’re all curious about the genius. Me too. But shouldn’t we better focus on the amazingly disruptive character of this crypto-currency?

Today bitcoin is probably the fastest growing currency on this planet. It was the fintech that the world was waiting for. It paved a way for alternative payment technologies and it stimulated traditional banks to think about other options. Bitcoin is a great, innovative way of evaluating goods, assets and capital. Who the inventor is, I personally don’t care. I’m proud of the creator and indifferent on his or her identity. Bitcoin is top notch innovation. It has probably been the preface for the unbundling of banking and the future of alternative payment solutions that can, and eventually will, disrupt traditional money. Yes, it needs work in order to keep up with the increasing adoption.

Concluding from the delays of payment transactions, the bitcoin community that was designed by Sathoshi is probably not capable to handle the current growth and therefore not fit to elevate the technology to a higher level. But it’s about the potential. The bitcoin technology does provoke smart people to think about alternative payment solutions and to come up with better iterations. I must admit, I love bitcoin.

What do you think? Is tracing the mystery man behind bitcoin hot or not?