Blockstream CEO Adam Back. CoinDesk
It has been a week since YouTuber Barely Sociable publicly released his “Unmasking Satoshi Nakamoto” documentary.
We wanted to follow the aftermath and summarise community opinions over a long period of time. However, despite this being the most thoroughly researched piece of Satoshi Nakamoto-related investigative journalism, and despite the fact that it came out at a time when Bitcoin has already become a household name (in stark contrast to crypto’s popularity in 2014), interest in the author’s work seems to be surprisingly low, especially compared to previous low effort outings. Therefore, we have decided to publish our summary early.
For those who have yet to watch the documentary, here it is:
The video details many of the events which led to the victory of the small block movement during the scaling battles. It then attempts to make sense of some of the more peculiar circumstances by declaring small block thought leader Adam Back as Satoshi. The assumption is based on the following pieces of evidence:
Obviously, definitive proof of who Satoshi Nakamoto is impossible to produce, unless the inventor of Bitcoin himself decides to go public (and provides verifiable cryptographic proof). So plausible deniability is always an option for any outed candidate, which is exactly the response that Adam Back went with.
That said, unlike previous attempts to find the identity of Bitcoin’s creator, such as the Dorian Nakamoto outing, the Paul le Roux speculation and the series of fabrications and lies by another popular community figure, this particular documentary made a strong case. This fact, combined with the exponential increase in popularity since 2014 (when Dorian Nakamoto was harassed by journalists) would have one expect that the video will go viral. It didn’t.
The response of the fractured Bitcoin community was tragicomically predictable. To summarise the reactions of the most popular discussion channels:
Most of the popular crypto publications decided to cover the story. However, QuadrigaCX claims and Telegram’s TON token received significantly more exposure there.
In addition, YouTuber Tone Vays decided to make a rebuttal stream, which barely acknowledged the main talking points of the documentary, instead opting for almost every logical fallacy that has ever been documented. Despite Barely Sociable’s presence in the live chat room at the time, he was not allowed on stream for a debate. Instead the creator of “Unmasking Satoshi Nakamoto” had to resort to making a rebuttal of the rebuttal, which itself was mostly an emotional response filled with profanities. Still, if anyone is interested in seeing it, it has been uploaded to his side channel:
The follow-up drama on twitter shows an interesting phenomenon – one of crypto’s most popular influencers is receiving significantly less likes to his twitter posts than the profanity-filled responses of Barely Sociable, who only recently began uploading YouTube videos:
Some reasonable arguments against the video also popped up. The authenticity of the 2015 email which was mentioned in it has been put into question, as are some of the facts regarding the timing of the founding of Blockstream. One can also argue that Adam Back’s credentials were more than enough for significant venture capital – a notion that Barely Sociable is obviously opposed to. However, the overwhelming majority of criticism that the video has faced has been based on red herrings, straw men and ad hominems.
Almost every communication channel used by the cryptocurrency community reacted negatively to the video and, in the vast majority of cases, the strength of the arguments was not the reason for that.
The reason was much more simple:
People who fall in neither of those two camps simply don’t care about Bitcoin anymore, seeing that alternative cryptocurrencies have indeed fixed most of the problems that the first cryptocurrency observed.
Barely Sociable made his own summary of the community reactions today:
This situation has been very disappointing to watch unfold.