Is Charlie Lee actually Satoshi Nakamoto ?
If you've ever browsed TradingView.com, then you've seen the charts that people post about cryptocurrency. If you've shuffled through them long enough you've inevitably seen the occasional chart that doesn't actually include any Technical Analysis, but instead, contains some sort of rambling conspiracy, like this one I found yesterday evening.
For The Uninitiated
Now, for the people that don't know who Charlie is, Charlie Lee (aka coblee, SatoshiLite) worked for various companies and then Google after graduating from college in 1999. While working for Google Charlie worked on ChromeOS, Youtube, and Google Play Games. Charlie must have always had an interest in cryptocurrency because in 2011 he created Litecoin. Litecoin is the third oldest still-living cryptocurrency being younger than only two others, Bitcoin and Namecoin.
You should already know about Satoshi Nakamoto, the name used by the unknown inventor of bitcoin. Nobody knows who he really is/was. Satoshi claimed to be a man living in Japan, born on April 5th, 1975. In mid 2010 Satoshi handed off the source code repository and network alert key to Gavin Andresen and transferred the original domains to various others in the Bitcoin Community.
The author of this chart, MonocoleDundee, brought up a few points (and a conspiracy that would shake cryptocurrency to it's core) that made me scratch my head. The first thing he points out is probably the most intriguing fact we have. This Litecoin MIT countdown timer suddenly appeared yesterday on the official MIT website. It claims to be announcing a new technology on August 1st of 2017. LTC developers love their mystery. I won't even get into the juicy fact that this date is the same date that has been suggested for the USAF of Bitcoin.
The author of the conspiracy-chart then goes down the rabbit hole, citing the recent technology countdown as inspiration. He brings up some facts that I verified and researched:
- Bitcoin was created in 2009
- Litecoin as created in 2011
- Coinbase was founded officially in 2012
These are all true and easily verifiable. Take note of Satoshi's claimed birthdate as well (April 5th, 1975). Litecoin was created in 2011. Two years might seem like a lifetime in today's fast-paced crypto world but back then this was a blink of an eye. The number of Bitcoin wallet holders in 2013 was still under 1 million compared to the almost 15 million today. The point is that it wasn't very long between the two coins releasing. Charlie must have been a very very early user of Bitcoin in order to develop another currency so quickly. I would guess he was within the first thousand bitcoin wallet holders.
The total number of early wallets was very low.
But this is where the real facts end and the fun stuff begins. Charlie Lee left Google to work at Coinbase in July-August 2013, not long after it's founding. During this time Bitcoin's use and value was being maintained by its popularity on the dark web markets, like Silk Road and Agora Marketplace. This period of black market usage and illicit product purchasing was nothing anyone would want to take credit for. The idea of cryptocurrency itself is so powerful and paradigm shifting in itself. Just think if you were the one person that invented Bitcoin! Who knows how the world would have treated someone like that. If he wasn't dead or locked up by now, or extorted for his massive wallet of coins he would probably be insane. I have no doubt that Satoshi understood the possible ramifications of his invention and wanted to be sure he would not be pin-pointed and blamed for whatever happened after it was unleashed on the world. Why would he?
I also ask myself this question. If Satoshi is still alive, what are the chances that he is not still involved in crypto somehow. He probably still has wallets with a lot of coins on them. He also is presumably still in control of the very first Bitcoin wallet. Litecoin is also an almost identical copy of Bitcoin, except with central development. Decentralization is great but it can be slow. Bitcoin requires 95% consensus to make any changes and this can slow down progress. Litecoin is decentralized where it counts and not so much where it can hurt to require open-source voting consensus. Any changes that Bitcoin wants to make can be made on the much smaller and quicker Litecoin to see how they'll work. Litecoins introduction of segwit is a good example of this.
Now let's get back to business. I did some digging and found that Charlie Lee graduated from The Lawrenceville School in New Jersey in 1999. This puts his approximate year of age between 1975 and 1977. Most likely not an exact match but it's interesting the mention regardless. I know that it's not much, but as far as I know there is nothing that blows a huge hole in this theory. It is even suggested that Charlie got his job at Coinbase by admitting that he is Satoshi but then making Coinbase sign an NDA (Non Disclosure Agreement). This scenario is highly unlikely. Coinbase was still it in it's infancy in 2013. It very well may have still been the largest cryptocurrency company in the world, but I doubt a talented guy like Charlie would need to admit something so insane to get a job there.
The author of the original TradingView article goes into a much more generalized tirade at this point. His statements about LTC are valid. Litecoin seems to always be a step ahead of Bitcoin developmentally. Charlie Lee is obviously a very talented programmer and very deep connections in the crypto world and has some incredible knowledge of the landscape we have all found ourselves trying to navigate.
As for the question: Is Charlie Lee actually Satoshi Nakamoto? The answer is probably not. I am the type of person that reads a lot but sometimes I read something that just eats away at my brain like bugs, the only cure being pure, unfiltered, information pesticide. Alas, can bring it all back to the fact that two weeks ago Charlie Lee left Coinbase to focus on Litecoin full time. This coupled with the mysterious countdown timer at MIT further shrouds the lite version of Satoshi in a fog of speculation and imagination. Read the news and keep up with your coins. If we can learn anything from this, it's that massive things are on the horizon for Litecoin, Bitcoin and the entire Cryptoverse. Until we find out what it is...we'll float on through The Cryptoverse.
I would really like to hear your thoughts. If you have any evidence supporting or weakening this theory please share it.
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