Protection Over Profit: What Early Mining Patterns Suggest About Bitcoin’s Inventor

  • New research from RSK/IOV’s Sergio Demian Lerner reveals that Patoshi, an early Bitcoin miner assumed by many to be Satoshi Nakamoto, mined using an algorithm that was not included in Bitcoin’s first client release.
  • This finding finally explicates why Patoshi’s hashing patterns are so much different than other, early Bitcoin miners, but raises the question: Why did Patoshi give themselves a leg up?
  • If we take for granted that Patoshi is, in fact, Satoshi, then it’s conceivable that Bitcoin’s creator used this advantage to prevent mining attacks on the nascent network.

When he first presented his research on Satoshi’s alleged treasure trove of untapped Bitcoin in 2013, Sergio Demian Lerner was met with a fair amount of pushback. Opponents felt that attributing some 1 million BTC to its creator would be “prejudicial to the adoption of Bitcoin” and anathema to the “acceptive narrative” of Satoshi as a benevolent creator, Lerner told CoinDesk.

Lest the image of Bitcoin’s immaculate conception be tarnished, Satoshi’s coins were better left untouched, both literally and empirically through research, the detractors argued.

That didn’t deter Lerner, though, who didn’t buy what he called the “feeble arguments” that these coins were simply lost to the wallet amnesia of early Bitcoin adopters.

So the IOV Head of Innovation and RSK designer has spent the past seven years decrypting the mystery of how many coins Satoshi may have mined and why his mining technique differed from his peers’ methods in Bitcoin’s early days. Lerner’s “weekend project,” as he calls it, has spawned a body of supporting research from anonymous community members, the research team at BitMex, Kim Nilsson and Jameson Lopp, among others.

Collectively, Lerner et al. have chipped away at the mysteries surrounding the hoard of some 1.1 million BTC mined in the first two years of the network and which remain stashed away, untouched. While most believe the $12.65…

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