NB: At Radnode, we take all technical orientated aspects seriously, however, are not afraid to be another source of fun and humour within the Radix community. With this said, I thought that a light-hearted initial blog post would be a good way to get the ball rolling with the recently released blog. It comes with a major disclaimer: This article is meant to be felicitous at best, so please read it with a pinch of salt (no matter how fitting it may be 😄). Let's dive straight into it!
There's an awful level of mystery and speculation around Bitcoin, and its creator, Satoshi Nakamoto, who authored its whitepaper and deployed bitcoin's original reference implementation.
Bitcoin falls firmly within the bracket of that old adage: First, they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, ...then you win. As we all know, Bitcoin has taken years and many development iterations to get where it is today, both technologically and from the point of view of adoption. It has, without a doubt, revolutionised the way we view many aspects of liberty, whether that be financial sovereignty, freedom of choice and an alternative system to all that seems corrupt and broken.
"Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks" [The front-page article of the Times Newspaper, Jan 3rd, 2009. The headline was encoded into the Bitcoin genesis block, the first block to be mined on the Bitcoin blockchain on precisely the same day as the Times article publication]
One of the many widely accepted theories is that Satoshi is of Commonwealth origin due to findings that:
Satoshi published the Bitcoin whitepaper in 2008 but had initiated its development the year prior. Bitcoin is written in C++, a popular, performant and versatile programming language. Satoshi is considered an excellent programmer among peers, with a very solid understanding of the fundamentals and libraries of C++ itself.
Based on the subsequent and current success of Bitcoin, it comes as no surprise that the following questions for many springs to mind:
The motivation around the decision to publish a liberating financial system under anonymity is actually relatively straightforward. Satoshi, if a genuine non-governmental entity at the time of Bitcoins conception, knew full well that any contender of our current financial system, a system considered by many to be heavily manipulated and teeming with corruption, would threaten its beneficiaries into engaging in retaliation against a rival of such potential and that the apparent first target would be a founder.
In its initial stages, Bitcoin was intended to operate under the radar; however, Wikileaks started to accept donations via Bitcoin, which brought attention that subsequently prompted what was to be one of Satoshi's last posts on bitcointalk.org. This clearly illustrates concerns around possible targetting:
"It would have been nice to get this attention in any other context. WikiLeaks has kicked the hornet's nest, and the swarm is headed towards us." [Posted by Satoshi on bitcointalk.org, Dec 11th, 2010]
Many theories surrounding Satoshi's real identity include a wide range of candidates, ranging from the NSA and government agencies, famous billionaires, late and great innovative cypher-punks, and current prominent members of the crypto community to coding cartel bosses.
Traces and clues to Satoshi Nakamoto's unmasked identity are elusive, to say the least. To add extra complexity to the analysis process, The pseudonym of Satoshi Nakamoto has been inactive on forums and on the development of Bitcoin for over a decade.
Satoshi's last activity involves emails sent on Apr 26th, 2011, informing fellow members of the Bitcoin development community that Satoshi's involvement in Bitcoin had ceased to exist and that "other projects" were of greater priority and focus. Satoshi handed over the key used to send notifications across the network, and the lead development role was subsequently taken on by Gavin Andresen, a direct collaborator of Satoshis. Now, the keyphrase "other projects" is of utmost importance as the notion that Satoshi is still active; however, in other crypto-related circles, maybe even in plain sight, it is, of course, entirely possible and probable.
The question is, who in the cryptosphere displays behaviour consistent with a visionary mastermind, with traits and interests that could possibly line up with the timelines, motives and underlying methodology of the development of Bitcoin?
Enter Dan Hughes.
I can hear those who aren't YET acquainted with Radix: "So who is this Dan Hughes you speak of?". Dan is the incredibly determined, extraordinarily persistent, keyboard wielding father of the most exciting and hopeful tech in the crypto space today, Radix DLT.
Dan is a veteran Software Engineer from Stoke-on-Trent in the United Kingdom. This area has historically experienced extreme economic innovation and adversity during its industrial phases of steel, coal, and pottery. The region has been subject to repeat failures in governmental economic policy throughout modern history. One would think that such regional disadvantages would be a significant obstacle to ambition and innovation... Not for Dan Hughes! Dan has built a career in software development in several different industries.
According to Dan's LinkedIn, his career started out in the gaming industry, where he contributed to the development of PC and console titles. This first entry under his LinkedIn job history is senior dev for Software Creations between 1996 and 1998, from which he clearly succeeded, as, by the year 2000, he had worked his way to architect and team leader via various companies and projects within the same industry. Dan's bio states that working on gaming titles helped him "hone a number of skills" and that "games are commonly boundaries of the hardware that they are running on, and as such developers of titles need to be able to think astutely and out of the box".
By 2003, Dan seemed to change direction by starting his own freelance business, not within the gaming industry but specialising in mobile SKUs. By 2005 he was running a company called KDB Technology, where he held positions of CEO, CTO and Chief Architect. KDB Technology provided "NFC technology and contactless payment services such as mobile wallets." to the likes of mobile OEMs and operators such as Nokia, Sony Ericsson, T-Mobile, and Samsung. Dan is obviously a diverse and well-travelled character in the tech space. His bio states that this diversity has allowed him to "consistently deliver a number of firsts within a large number of fields, from mobile services, telecoms, financial systems to my current projects in distributed ledger technologies".
Slash of Guns N' Roses and Lemmy Kilmister of Motorhead were born in Stoke... this place is undoubtedly a source of talent!
That's a brief history of Dan's pre-Radix career, but he's not all work and no play. His Twitter (consider following, if not already!) bio reveals that Dan is a petrolhead. As you dive into his tweets, it's totally apparent that he's an avid tinkerer and fan of sporty cars.
Dan loves his Japanese sports cars, notably Nissan GTRs with an extra sprinkle of British power mods, courtesy of Litchfield Motors. In fact, I tested his loyalty to the mighty GTR last year in a tweet:
Dan looking rather pleased behind the wheel of a V-Spec Nissan R32.
So now we know a bit more about Dan Hughes. I think it's time to turn to the relevant subject of crypto and, most importantly, his involvement in the space.
As we've gathered from Dan's career history and interests, he's a curious guy. He likes to look under the hood to see how everything works and apply optimisations, even if new knowledge and technical skills need to be honed and used to achieve such outcomes. One would be absolutely correct to think that he would be a perfect match for the crypto space. According to Dan's LinkedIn bio, Luckily, he discovered the crypto space and digital currency movement via Bitcoin in 2012.
According to a recent interview with Forbes, Dan stated that he "downloaded the 15-page document that became known to blockchain followers as the Satoshi White Paper". I suspect that his inquisitive nature resulted in hours of both theoretical and codebase dissection. The Forbes interview also reveals that Dan spotted limitations in the overall design: "Hughes played around with the code, trying to modify its architecture in a process known as forking. He probed at the pitfalls and realised that the more people used bitcoin for transactions, the slower the system would become." which led him to start tinkering with his own solutions to Bitcoin's bottlenecks and consensus mechanisms. This is how Radix was born...
Most would assume that Radix is brand new out of the gates; oh no, this project has been in the works for years, through many iterations of trial and error, tribulations and breakthrough moments.
During this period, Dan's obsession with the challenge of cracking his findings surrounding scalability issues went to the extent he decided to ditch the furniture in the dining room of his house (much to the despair of his wife) in favour of servers, white-boards and a desktop setup that would be perfectly suitable for a NASA launch.
Dan Hughes, whilst developing Radix at his trusty steed.
Self-explanatory... patient wife, but let's be honest, we don't know the details of any possible side effects of this bold move 😄
I'm not sure how many nights Dan spent on that couch, as the dining room configuration stayed the same for 6 (yes, SIX!) years in which Dan worked on a scaling solution every day. Most daily work stints regularly turned into nocturnal slogs. Putting the basic framework together for what was to become Radix was a serious effort in itself.
Dan worked relentlessly on his solution to the scaling problem. This solution leveraged temporal proofs, which he named "Tempo" whilst living off savings and investment returns that he'd previously built up and even published a whitepaper related to its inner workings. The development of Tempo, however, did not come without challenges. After 18 months of work on an iteration of Tempo, he realised that it contained a number of issues and needed to start over from scratch. Now that's a hard pill to swallow! Dan previously stated in an interview that "there have been times when it's been quite depressing, and I spent the weekend in a bottle of whiskey", but he picked himself up and created a new iteration of Tempo, to quote: "Open a new file. Learn new lessons. Start again". We can all agree that this is an absolute testament to Dan's resilience and determination.
If you'd like to delve into the remarkable story of Tempo and its evolution, it's in the following article on the Radix Blog: Tempo - Consensus Lessons Learned.
To cut what has been a painfully long story (for Dan) short, Cerberus, the consensus protocol that underpins Radix, is the product of many assiduous development iterations and years of research carried out by Dan himself.
Within a few years, what was initially a curiosity of one engineer had turned into a fully-fledged team working on a project called Radix. By 2020, Radix was ready to raise funds to continue its efforts to revolutionise (and enable) the DeFi space. A token sale took place in Q4 2020, which resulted in a £9.3 million fundraise. What a transition!
In just two years, the following and growth of Radix have come in leaps and bounds: By 2022, third party developer activity is setting the scene via 1500 unique Scrypto repo clones, partnerships are in full swing, the Radix Telegram already has over 20000 members, with Discord closely following this trend with just over 16000 members and the official Radix Twitter account has over 163000 followers. Radix has also attracted some incredible advocates (Radvocates) such as Lawrence Okolie, undefeated WBO Cruiserweight World Boxing Champion (Lawrence knows that this is a protocol that packs a punch - bad pun? I'm sure you'll get over it 😅) and another Radvocate, by the name of CryptoDog who went to the bonafide, legendary status by getting an XRD tattoo!
The XRD Tattoo - Go follow him @CablingDog (the cable is obviously made of the same steel as his balls - rib cage tattoos HURT!)
As of late, Dan has also been showboating via his Cassandra flexathons; decentralised apps built upon Radix, ranging from a Twitter-inspired dapp capable of handling everything from a simple tweet to fully-fledged multimedia embeds to a Web3 Netflix clone called Radflix:
Web3 Radflix demo, because why not!?
To say Radix has experienced stellar growth is a complete understatement.
Seriously, if you haven't already checked out Radix, wow, you made it this far into the article without knowing the context, good job; secondly, do yourself a favour and visit: radixdlt.com. There are so many components that aren't to be missed, including but not limited to its:
Exceptionally secure Rust based smart contract programming language (Scrypto).
Incentivised smart contract blueprints model.
Insanely high scalability (duh!).
So by now, you're probably asking yourself, how the heck is Dan Hughes related to Satoshi in any shape, way or form? Challenge accepted:
Let's get down to brass tacks and talk about the name "Satoshi Nakamoto". In Japan, Satoshi is usually a name given to baby boys and means "clear thinking, quick-witted, wise", and Nakamoto is a surname which means "central origin" in Japanese culture. Many of us choose usernames based on interests, which guides me to the natural tendency to conduct a search for famous people by the name of "Satoshi". The results are in: Most Famous People Named Satoshi. Notice that the 14th person on this list is Satoshi Motoyama. Sounds very similar to Satoshi Nakamoto, doesn't it? Delve into Satoshi Motoyama's wiki. You'll discover that he is a Japanese professional racing driver and team manager who came to prominence whilst racing for NISMO (Nissan's motorsport division) between 1995 and 1997. He's best known for being the three-time champion of the GT500 class of the Super GT series and has most notably raced in Nissan Skyline GTRs over his career (that's right, the same Skyline GTR of which Dan is a huge fan). In 1998, Motoyama even raced for a British motor racing team by the name of TWR. Strange coincidence, no?
As of late, Dan has been involved with Michael Johnston Racing by converting what was already a head-turning fire-breathing Ginetta into a fully functional Radix marketing machine.
The Radix Ginetta all ready for action on the Silverstone circuit.
Could Dan, an avid fan of sports cars and GT racing, have used what could possibly be an inspirational figure that is Motoyama, as the basis of his pseudonym of Satoshi Nakamoto? ...Maybe.
Okay, so you might suspect that the similar names of the two Satoshi's could just be a lucky, coincidental find. Maybe you're now questioning what's behind the shuffle from "Motoyama" to "Nakamoto"? Well, findings suggest that the Japanese word "Nakamoto" roughly translates to "central origin" or "(one who lives) in the middle". Stoke-on-Trent, the very origin and place in which Dan Hughes was born, bred and is currently based, is in the "midlands", the central part of England. Could this be an intentional remix of two words to convey a hidden message?
Already spooky? Well, it's about to get spookier!
As mentioned earlier on in the article, we know the theory that Satoshi's real country of origin is one of the Commonwealth is widely accepted, and Britain is indeed in the commonwealth. Britain is also within the GMT timezone.
So far, we have made connections between the pseudonym of Satoshi Nakamoto and Dan Hughes's interests, alongside matching geographical origins. Let's now discuss more technical relationships:
As we have already covered, Dan has vast technical experience in the financial industry via his involvement in developing NFC payment systems for high profile companies. Satoshi was absolutely familiar with financial systems' theories and pain points and could foresee issues such as double-spending, composability and possible attack vectors. This knowledge and experience, when coupled with programming expertise, presents us as a prime candidate for the inception of payment solutions such as Bitcoin.
Dan's career has also been spent mainly within the gaming industry. C++, the programming language used within Bitcoin, is the most widely and heavily used language in the gaming industry and, alongside C, has been the standard language of choice for decades. C++ is used in the source code of many major game engines, such as Unreal and Unity. Satoshi was a seasoned C++ pro; to quote this Quora answer:
I think Nakamoto was a good programmer, and I believe most programmers who have been “around” since at least the mid 1990s would recognise the style and be delighted by the feeling that they have “seen this before” in favourite pet projects or other software systems they have worked on in the past.
As mentioned previously, Dan was working as a senior game developer during the mid-nineties, so again, we have a match!
The technicals also line up, but how could such a busy person such as Dan even find the time in the day (or night!) and focus in order to spend so much time on a project such as Bitcoin. Can this technical match be supplemented with the corresponding Bitcoin development timelines? ... challenge accepted:
We already know that Dan had built up a war chest of savings while running KDB Technology. He stated that he was living off this, alongside proceeds from investments, for a significant period of time whilst developing Radix. Dan's LinkedIn clearly illustrates that his first freelance venture started in 2003; he then founded KDB technology in 2005 and subsequently stepped down in 2012. Many of us know from experience that running both freelance and incorporated businesses can be taxing at the best of times, especially when they are first established. With that said, they can also be incredibly rewarding in terms of financial sovereignty and autonomy. The latter years of Dan's ventures could have provided him with plenty of time and resources to set aside time, draw inspiration and push ahead with creative output. This period of time also coincides with Satoshi's most active years. It's perfectly possible that by 2009, Dan could have provided himself with the flexibility required to develop a large side-project such as Bitcoin.
By 2012, Satoshi was out of sight, but definitely not out of mind, and as stated, was working on "other projects". At the same time, Dan Hughes was firing up the furnaces with the goal of solving the scalability challenges of Bitcoin. Again, very coincidental timing.
To also note, Dan has historically been a real presence on the well-known forums and Satoshi's sanctuary, Bitcointalk.org, posting under the username "fuserleer". His profile position is ranked as "legendary", which indicates his engagement levels.
In 2017, the Tempo Whitepaper was published. Upon reading the whitepaper, I noticed that Dan uses double space breaks, a writing trait that is also present within the Bitcoin whitepaper. Dan's writing style is an exact match to that of Satoshi.
Side-by-side illustration of the Bitcoin and Tempo whitepaper double space breaks.
Now, let's talk agenda. What could possibly motivate a person to create such an ambitious movement as Bitcoin? Satoshi obviously had a great moral compass and a deep dislike for the injustices of society. Could socioeconomic observation, previous adversities and points of view encourage critical thinking and solutions for the issues of many?
As discussed earlier in this post, Dan's stomping ground, Stoke-on-Trent and northern England, in general, has constantly been left to pick up the pieces throughout economic cycles and experiences a wide wealth disparity compared to southern England and London in particular. Stoke-on-Trent is ranked within the bottom 10 UK cities for business start-up rates, and its largest employer is the council itself. It's an area of the UK where the economy comprises investor-owned businesses and interests, most of which are actually located outside of the region.
Some claim that Governmental attitudes to northern regions of England are devastating and that these regions are shouldering the brunt of austerity era Britain. Government support has been thin on the ground following the 2008 crash, and investment is lacking, despite its residents having plenty of ideas and initiative.
You can imagine how post-2008 policies of bailing out banks with taxpayer money and widening wealth gaps through quantitative easing would stir up feelings of resentment and injustice for the people in these northern regions. If we revisit the famous encoded message within the first Bitcoin block, "Chancellor is on brink of second bailout for banks", it's clear that Satoshi shared the same resentment at the time.
This article shows a very consistent and robust case for a connection between Dan Hughes and Satoshi when considering logical matches between the possible background of the Satoshi Nakamoto pseudonym alongside Dan Hughes's interests, their congruent geographical origins and foundational technical parallels.
On the other hand, this article also shows that you can literally connect everything and anything on just a shoestring.
Regardless of the connection or conjecture, both Satoshi Nakamoto and Dan Hughes are masters of their art and have already massively contributed to one of the most significant technological, economic and social advances in decades.
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