Over what now approaches a decade since Satoshi first published the Bitcoin white paper there has been continued speculation of who might be Satoshi. Over time, various people—myself included—have been imagined to be Satoshi for various reasons. Certain would-be Satoshis have made attempts to claim that they are Satoshi. Unfortunately some have even been so persistent in their claims that they have been able to confuse newcomers to the distributed ledger and blockchain space and have been able to get seats on conference panels using these claims. Last week was the most recent version of this with the release of an excerpt from a book that accompanied a website, allegedly in advance of a forthcoming book.
Let me be clear: All of the information that relates to me in this published excerpt from the book can be sourced either from the emails that I published previously in my “I am Not Satoshi” blog post or can be sourced from conversations that I had with Satoshi on public forums in the earliest days of the Bitcoin project. The author does demonstrate some knowledge around software development and debugging in his synthesis of Satoshi and I’s published interactions, but this proves nothing. The excerpt (and presumed forthcoming book) strikes me more like an extremely well researched piece of performance art or first-person fan fiction than any new revelation-containing update or direct claim of the Satoshi identity.
I would also expect the real Satoshi to both be capable of devising and have the desire to publish a much more challenging crypto puzzle than the one accompanying the excerpt on the website.
Unless the real Satoshi has since destroyed the relevant private keys, it should be really straightforward for the real Satoshi—should he/she/they ever decide to go public—to make it absolutely certain that their words are their own: sign a message with Satoshi’s PGP key or presumed early bitcoin key(s). That’s the only proof that I’ll accept, and I advise you to demand the same of anyone’s claim to the Satoshi identity.
The author of this excerpt has not done that, nor has anyone else since the real Satoshi went dark.