13 years ago, Bitcoin’s pseudonymous creator signed off

Satoshi Nakamoto was last on the BitcoinTalk forum on Dec. 13


Istvan Csak/Shutterstock modified by Blockworks


As far as notable dates in bitcoin’s history go, Dec. 13 is an auspicious one, albeit more lowkey than, say, the publication of the white paper (Oct. 31) or the official launch of the network (Jan. 3). 

No, Dec. 13 is notable for the absence created in its wake: Satoshi Nakamoto, bitcoin’s pseudonymous creator, was last active at 4:45 pm ET on Dec. 13, 2010. 

Their final public message, posted Dec. 12, focused on work on denial-of-service prevention. By that point, Nakamoto had already handed off their role as maintainer of bitcoin’s open-source to developer Gavin Andresen. 

On Dec. 11, 2010, Satoshi Nakamoto expressed concerns on the Bitcointalk forum about the increasing mainstream attention Bitcoin was receiving. This surge in interest was prompted by WikiLeaks’ consideration of Bitcoin for donations, following its loss of service from major payment processors.

Read more: 25-year old video shows Bitcoin pioneer Hal Finney talking zero-knowledge proofs

Nakamoto, somewhat infamously, remarked: “It would have been nice to get this attention in any other context. WikiLeaks has kicked the hornet’s nest, and the swarm is headed towards us.”

It’s worth noting that Nakamoto continued to correspond privately with bitcoin’s early developers, despite having signed off from their previously public (and fairly prolific) perch. 

Nakamoto’s final private message came months later in an email to developer Michael Hern. 

“I’ve moved on to other things,” they wrote

Nakamoto’s identity has long been a source of intense speculation and controversy, particularly in the years since his exit from the public stage. Their true identity remains unknown.

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