For almost three years, filmmaker Paul Kemp has been investigating what happened to Bitcoin’s creator, Satoshi Nakamoto.
Satoshi Nakamoto is a pseudonym: the cryptocurrency founder (or founders) hid their identity only to vanish in 2011, two years after he unleashed his new digital currency on the world.
It’s believed Nakamoto holds more than one million Bitcoins — and not one of those coins has ever been transferred or moved from their digital wallet. If the value of Bitcoin continues to skyrocket, which it very likely will since there is a limited total of bitcoins in existence, Nakamoto could eventually become the richest person on earth.
In Searching for Satoshi: The Mysterious Disappearance of the Bitcoin Creator, Kemp investigates who the person (or people) behind the name might be and what might have happened to them.
Kemp was drawn to the story because it is, he says, “the greatest technological mystery of all time.” While there have been several attempts to uncover who Nakamoto is, none have been successful. So Kemp went on a global quest of his own, which he describes in the interview below.
What made you want to investigate the story — and whereabouts — of Satoshi Nakamoto?
When I heard about Bitcoin in 2009, 2010, 2011 … I didn’t really know what it was. I thought it was like Monopoly money. I thought it was just some crypto weirdness that [didn’t have] much staying power.
But as the decade went on, I started to realize people are still working on this thing and the name Bitcoin is everywhere. I saw ATM machines selling Bitcoin. I saw vendors [and] stores accepting Bitcoin. So I started paying more attention to it around 2018, 2019. That’s when I learned there was a guy named Satoshi Nakamoto, who actually created Bitcoin.
Everyone who knows anything about Bitcoin realizes he’s the greatest mystery in technological history. Nobody knows who he is. All they know is he could possibly be the richest person in the world in the coming years, but he’s just vanished.
Nakamoto launched Bitcoin in 2009, and by 2011, he [disappeared] with over a million Bitcoins. This documentary asks the deeper questions about who he is and why he did this.
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