A tweet from 2010 may provide evidence that Hal Finney is not Satoshi Nakamoto.
In a recent Cointelegrpah interview, Laszlo Hanyecz, who worked closely with Satoshi Nakamoto in 2010, said that Satoshi had no familiarity with the Mac ecosystem:
“He didn't have a Macintosh. He didn't know how to build it for Mac.”
Consequently, Satoshi asked him to develop a MacOS version of the Bitcoin client, which he eventually did.
Both Finney & his wife owned a Mac in 2010
However, a 2010 tweet from Hal Finney tells us that both Finney and his wife owned a Mac:
Hal Finney Tweet June 8 2010 Tweet. Source: Twitter.
Although this is by no means incontrovertible evidence, it puts a dent in the theory that Hal Finney was either Satoshi or part of a team behind the pseudonym. However, there are ways to explain this inconsistency.
If there were several individuals behind the creation of Bitcoin (BTC), it is possible that Hanyecz only communicated with one of several individuals. Perhaps the person overseeing development of the client at that stage did not have a Mac. Another possible explanation is that Satoshi did not believe development for the Mac ecosystem was a top priority, due to its limited market share. He may have therefore decided to delegate this task to Hanyecz so that he could focus on more urgent tasks himself.
These theories seem to fall short when we consider that Hanyecz describes Satoshi as someone who was very controlling and borderline paranoid. It seems unlikely that he would delegate the development of the Mac client to an outsider if the team included Hal Finney — a seasoned developer who was likely capable of taking on the task himself.
Original Bitcoin tweet
Hal Finney’s famous tweet about mining Bitcoin also does not make sense in this context.
Hal Finney Tweet From January 10 2020. First-known Tweet to Mention Bitcoin. Source: Twitter.
Satoshi's writings confirm that the author was very careful to not reveal any personal information about themself. Would this same individual or team member make such a public statement about running Bitcoin? In addition, Finney had years to delete those tweets, but he never did.
While this does not help solve the Satoshi mystery, it may allow us to eliminate one of the community’s most popular candidates.
Cointelegraph news editor Jeffrey Albus contributed to this article.