New evidence has emerged suggesting that Bitcoin pioneer Hal Finney was participating in a 10-mile race at the same time that Satoshi Nakamoto was engaging in activities related to Bitcoin. This discovery casts further doubt on the long-standing theory that Finney was the creator of Bitcoin.
Hal Finney, a renowned computer scientist, has been a subject of speculation as the creator of Bitcoin for many years. He was the first person, aside from Satoshi Nakamoto, to download and run Bitcoin’s software. Additionally, he was the first recipient of Bitcoin. However, Finney consistently denied these claims until his death in 2014.
Jameson Lopp, a self-proclaimed cypherpunk and co-founder of Bitcoin custody firm Casa, does not believe the theory connecting Finney to Satoshi. He recently shared new evidence that challenges this theory in a blog post.
The key evidence provided by Lopp revolves around a 10-mile race that took place in Santa Barbara, California on April 18, 2009. According to race data, Finney participated in the “Santa Barbara Running Company Chardonnay 10 Miler & 5K” race, starting at 8 am Pacific time and finishing in 78 minutes. This timing coincides with timestamped emails exchanged between Satoshi and one of the first Bitcoin developers, Mike Hearn.
Lopp refers to archived emails released by Hearn in the past, showing that he was exchanging emails with Satoshi during the race. Lopp notes, “What can we determine from all of this? Satoshi sent the email to Mike at 9:16 AM Pacific time – 2 minutes before Hal crossed the finish line.” It is unlikely that Finney was interacting with a computer while running the race.
On-chain data further supports Lopp’s claim. Hearn’s emails with Nakamoto show that Nakamoto sent 32.5 BTC to Hearn in one transaction, which took place at 8:55 am California time, 55 minutes into Finney’s race. This transaction is confirmed by Nakamoto in a subsequent email, along with another transaction involving 50 BTC, sent while Finney was still running.
Lopp also highlights the health issues Finney was facing at the time. It is noted that Satoshi was actively working on code and participating in online forums when Finney’s battle with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) had already affected his ability to type. Finney’s wife, Fran Finney, stated in a post that ALS had significantly slowed his typing speed.
Furthermore, Lopp points out differences in Finney’s Reusable Proofs of Work code compared to the original Bitcoin client code. He acknowledges that there may be objections to the evidence presented, such as the possibility that Finney scripted the emails and transactions in advance or the presence of multiple Satoshis. However, Lopp argues that based on the research conducted, there is no evidence suggesting a group creation of Bitcoin.
Sadly, Hal Finney passed away in August 2014 due to complications from ALS. The question of Satoshi Nakamoto’s true identity still remains a mystery, but the newly surfaced evidence challenges the notion that Hal Finney was the creator of Bitcoin.