At the Plan B Forum in Lugano, Switzerland this past weekend, CASA CTO Jameson Lopp presented new findings that question deceased cryptographer Hal Finney’s involvement in creating Bitcoin.
Lopp in his speech acknowledges that Finney made major contributions to the cryptocurrency and was the first person besides Satoshi Nakamoto to use the software, however,Lopp believes there is substantial evidence showing he was not behind the pseudonym.
The central point of Lopp’s argument was a race that took place on April 18, 2009, in Santa Barbara, California. During this race, an email exchange was documented between Satoshi Nakamoto and one of the first Bitcoin developer Mike Hearn.
Lopp discussed a race Finney participated in Santa Barbara, California on April 18, 2009, at the same time Satoshi Nakamoto was exchanging emails with developer Mike Hearn.
Lopp argues that it would have been impossible for Finney to be exchanging emails which actively focused on the race. Furthermore, a Bitcoin transaction was confirmed during the same time frame as the race, implying that Finney was indisposed.
“You see, for the hour and 18 minutes that Hal Finney was running down this course in Santa Barbara, we can be quite sure that he was not at a computer or other electronic device where he would have been able to do what Satoshi was doing,” Lopp stated.
In addition, Lopp identified a Swiss IP address associated with developer Mike Hearn, which aligned with the time Hearn Worked at Google’s Swiss Office.
This address matches when Satoshi was active online, further confirming he was working while Finney was in the race.
Lopp also compared Nakamoto and Finney’s code styles and noticed significant differences in coding preferences and personalities.
In his statement, Lopp questioned how a person could have such distinctly different coding patterns saying:
“I’m a software engineer. I know code. And their code was not the same. And in fact, we can look at Hal’s reusable proof of work code. We can compare it to the very first release of the published code for Bitcoin, and several large differences are immediately apparent,” said Lopp.
Despite not providing definitive proof, Lopp’s findings cast doubt on the conventional wisdom surrounding Hal Finney’s role as Satoshi Nakamoto, the elusive creator of Bitcoin.
Hal Finney, made remarkable contributions to the cryptocurrency space before passing away in August 2014, leaving behind a legacy of groundbreaking ideas.
Among his predictions was that Bitcoin’s price could someday reach as high as $10 million, a notion that continues to captivate the crypto world.