The latest fake Satoshi sighting has all the makings of a Hangover spoof as the creator of Bitcoin appears to be hanging out with world leaders at a temple in Thailand.
Thailand news source WEB-DL reports that world leaders, including U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian Prime Minister Dimitry Medvedev, were spotted at the Wat Phra Dhammakaya temple in Bangkok, Thailand with none other than Satoshi Nakamoto.
In an “exclusive” video that bears obvious hallmarks of deep fakery and bad editing, one of the monks in attendance bears a slight resemblance to Dorian Nakamoto, a California man who, in 2014, was hounded by media outlets who believed him to be Satoshi Nakamoto.
The video shows a religious ceremony being led by the Satoshi-like monk, with Trump, Medvedev, and even Prince William, swathed in orange robes and chanting along with all of the other monks.
But wait…it gets even stranger. The religious ceremony isn’t a ceremony at all. As the camera pans across the participants, it comes to a stop, focusing on a giant banner that reads:
That’s right – a president, a prince, a prime minister, and Satoshi Nakamoto at a Bitcoin mining conference. In Bankok, Thailand. In a temple.
In actuality, the footage appears to be from this year’s Makha Bucha – one of the most important Theravada Buddhist holidays in Thailand.
Searching for Satoshi
This supposed “sighting” is a fake, of course, but it goes to show that the question “Who is Satoshi Nakamoto?” is still very much on people’s minds.
One recent theory that potentially carries some merit, links “Solotshi” Paul de Roux to the elusive Satoshi Nakamoto.
The coder-turned-kingpin was an early proponent for internet privacy and was the mastermind behind early encryption software applications E4M and TrueCrypt.
TrueCrypt is rumored to be the mechanism utilized to protect Satoshi’s 1 million bitcoins. Of course, similarities are also drawn between “Solotshi” and “Satoshi”.
Solotshi’s growing investment in drug trafficking similarly lines up with Satoshi’s forum messages indicating his plans to step away and pursue other projects.
Paul de Roux pled guilty in January 2014, but the details of his arrest and conviction were largely unavailable to the public.
A Satoshi Nakamoto that’s been locked up in jail would be a logical explanation for the lack of activity or movement of coins for the greater half of the past decade.
Exploring Satoshi claims
It is equally possible that Satoshi is no longer around. In an interview with Bloomberg earlier this month, BitMEX CEO Arthur Hayes expressed his belief that Satoshi Nakamoto is most likely already dead.
Others have suggested that Hal Finney, software engineer and Bitcoin pioneer, may have been the creator.
Finney communicated very closely with Satoshi in the first years of Bitcoin’s lifespan, and a popular belief is that Finney and Satoshi were one-in-the-same. Finney passed away in 2014.
Critics of this theory suggest that differences in writing and coding styles between Finney and Satoshi make this claim unlikely.
For years, Australian computer scientist Craig Wright has fought to legitimize his claims that he is the creator of Bitcoin.
He even went so far as to file copyright registrations with the United States Copyright Office (USCO) claiming to be the author – under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto – of both the Bitcoin whitepaper and its code.
The copyrights were granted, which Wright tried to claim was “proof” that the United States had recognized that he was, in fact, Satoshi Nakamoto.
For more than a year, Wright has been embroiled in a lawsuit brought against him by the estate of his now-deceased business partner, David Kleiman.
The lawsuit alleged that Wright had defrauded and stolen Bitcoin holdings belonging to Kleiman.
Throughout the process, Wright was called out by the judge repeatedly for conflicting statements and inconsistent testimony.
In early August, District Judge Beth Bloom denied Wright’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit, saying: “In weighing the evidence, the Court simply does not find the Defendant’s testimony to be credible.”
On August 27th, the court ruled that Wright must forfeit 50% of intellectual property pertaining to Bitcoin that he owned prior to Kleiman’s death.
Per his court testimonies confirming himself as Satoshi, this puts Wright on the hook for 500,000 BTC.