“I am not saying that Neal Stephenson is Satoshi Nakamoto,” writes the features editor at Reason. “What I am saying is: Would it really be surprising if he were?”
This prompted a strong rebuke from CCN Markets:
The article starts, “Consider the possibility that Neal Stephenson is Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous inventor of Bitcoin.”
Let’s not do that. That’s like saying let’s consider the possibility that anyone at all is Satoshi Nakamoto. In one respect, it doesn’t matter. In another, it’s exhausting the lengths people will go with this… if someone doesn’t advance the idea that they are Satoshi Nakamoto themselves, there’s no reason to put that sort of grief upon them. If someone is just brilliant, you can tell them that without insinuating that they invented the blockchain and Bitcoin…. You don’t just off-handedly claim someone might be Satoshi Nakamoto. There needs to be a reason.
Reason had written that “For nearly three decades, Stephenson’s novels have displayed an obsessive, technically astute fascination with cryptography, digital currency, the social and technological infrastructure of a post-government world, and Asian culture,” and that the science fiction author “described the core concepts of cryptocurrency years before Bitcoin became a technical reality.”
They also note later that “Satoshi Nakamoto’s initials are SN; Neal Stephenson’s are NS.”
Coin Telegraph writes that the question “has seemingly come to a head over the last couple of months, as a number of people have gone a step further” — not only publicly claiming to be the creator of bitcoin, but even filing copyright and trademark claims. Their list of “Satoshi posers” includes Craig Wright, Wei Liu, and the brother of Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar. (And another new theory also suggests “global criminal kingpin” Paul Le Roux, the creator of encryption software E4M and TrueCrypt.