The search for Satoshi Nakamoto is placing a seemingly endless number of coders and entrepreneurs in the spotlight.
One of the wildest theories that persists to this day about true the identity of the anonymous Bitcoin creator claims that Satoshi is Paul Calder Le Roux, a former programmer with interest in cryptography and privacy who became an infamous international drugs and firearms dealer.
The speculation centers on the idea that he created the cryptocurrency as a tool for money laundering before his eventual capture by authorities.
Evan Ratliff, a reporter who spent years following the trail of the Australian criminal mastermind and encryption expert, says Le Roux is a likely Satoshi suspect.
After a lengthy investigation and borderline obsession, Ratliff concluded there are similarities in the pair’s technical abilities and writing styles, but ultimately he determined there is zero physical evidence to link Le Roux to the leading cryptocurrency.
“Paul Le Roux had the technical skills to create bitcoin—that much I’d concluded the first time around. He was an autodidact coder, fluent in a range of languages but particularly in C++, the language of bitcoin’s software…
What my narrative was lacking—just as it had been the first time, years ago—was any single fact that couldn’t be explained away by coincidence.”
Ratliff says he can find no evidence linking Le Roux’s email accounts and hosting services to Satoshi’s preferred methods of communication, and none of his IP addresses appear in any way connected to the man, woman or group that created Bitcoin.
Ultimately, the real Satoshi Nakamoto can prove their identity by signing a message with the address from the very first Bitcoin block. Until then, any claims about “the real Satoshi” are likely impossible to prove.