New evidence shows Bitcoin pioneer Hal Finney was running a 10-mile race while Satoshi Nakamoto was replying to emails and dealing on Bitcoin.
For years, computer scientist Hal Finney was rumored to have created Bitcoin. Besides Satoshi, he was the first to download and run Bitcoin’s program and get it. Finney rejected the theory until his 2014 death.
Cypherpunk and Bitcoin custody fi Casa co-founder Jameson Lopp doesn’t believe the rumors either. Lopp presented additional evidence in an October 21 blog post that challenges the notion.
Hal Finney’s Race and Satoshi Nakamoto’s Bitcoin Transaction
Lopp’s main evidence is a Santa Barbara 10-mile race on Saturday, April 18, 2009. Race data shows Finney ran the “Santa Barbara Running Company Chardonnay 10 Miler & 5K” at 8 am Pacific time and finished in 78 minutes.
Timestamped emails between Satoshi and Mike Hearn, one of the first Bitcoin developers, coincide with the race. Lopp said, “It turns out that early Bitcoin developer Mike Hearn was emailing back and forth with Satoshi during this time,” citing archived emails Hearn had released.
We can conclude from this. Mike received Satoshi’s email at 9:16 am and 9:16 am Pacific, 2 minutes before Hal finished. “For the hour and 18 minutes Hal was running, we can be sure he wasn’t using a computer,” Lopp said.
Hal Finney pictured running the 10-mile race on April 18. Source: PhotoCrazy The Bitcoin transaction
Lopp also cited on-chain data to support his claim. Nakamoto sent Hearn 32.5 BTC in one transaction, according to their emails. Lopp cited this transaction on block 11,408, mined at 8:55 am8:55 am California time, 55 minutes into Finney’s race.
Lopp iterates that Nakamoto confirmed this transaction and another involving 50 BTC in the 6:16- 6:16 pm email while Finney was running.
The analysis also shows that Satoshi was writing code and posting on forums when Hal Finney’s ALS had already damaged his keyboard skills.
Fran Finney, Hal Finney’s ex-wife, wrote on August 22, 2010, that the couple attended the 2010 Singularity Summit in San Francisco on Aug. 14-15 and that Finney’s ALS had slowed his typing from a “rapid-fire” 120 words per minute to a “sluggish finger peck.”
Bitcoin benefits from Satoshi’s anonymity. People can be criticized and politically attacked. Myths endure.
Lopp reported that Nakamoto did four code check-ins and wrote 17 forum posts during Aug. 14-15, 2010. Lopp also found significant inconsistencies between Finney’s Reusable Proofs of Work and the Bitcoin Pioneer client codes.
However, Lopp recognized that the “evidence” may be disputed. Hearn disclosed the emails in 2017, seven years after other Bitcoiners lost his trust over scaling conflicts. Lopp suggested Finney may have pre-written the emails and transactions or that there was more than one Satoshi Nakamoto.