The unknown genius

The person who brought Bitcoin and Blockchain into the world is as unknown as it is powerful.

Whether it is a man, a woman or even a development team is in the dark.

Only one thing is certain: the inventor of the first digital currency, who has been hiding behind the alias Satoshi Nakamoto since 2008, is an English native speaker, a software genius and the richest person in the crypto universe.

He scooped a lot of Bitcoin in the initial phase and, according to an analysis by the cryptologist Sergio Lerner, still owns 1.1 million of them.

That means: every eighteenth Bitcoin in circulation belongs to the inventor, who therefore has crypto assets of currently 69 billion dollars.

Thomas Klemm

Editor in the "Money & More" section of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung.

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Dennis Kremer

Editor in the "Money & More" section of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung.

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Satoshi Nakamoto's revolutionary idea was to produce counterfeit-proof digital coins on computers and to have all transactions confirmed by network members. Commercial and central banks are superfluous in the decentralized system. Although conceived as an alternative means of payment, Bitcoin today is primarily used as an investment - including strong fluctuations.

Satoshi Nakamoto could cause the greatest turbulence - if he turned a large chunk of Bitcoin into dollars and the price then plummeted.

But maybe the great stranger is no longer able to do this.

He could long be dead like the IT experts Hal Finney, Dave Kleiman or Len Sassaman, who are traded as Bitcoin inventors along with others.

That in turn would mean that more than a million Bitcoin are practically inviolable.

And the amount of Bitcoin available is much smaller than the 21 million that the unfathomable Satoshi Nakamoto technically made possible.

The do-gooder

Vitalik Buterin is one of the biggest nerds in our computer world today. At seven he was adding three-digit numbers in his head within seconds. At ten, he sat in front of the computer and pondered programming languages. At 17, he finished third at the IT Olympics and had his father explain everything about the crypto currency Bitcoin to him. At 20, he presented his own blockchain called Ethereum, including the associated digital currency, Ether. Today, at the age of 27, Buterin is a billionaire. A large part of his crypto assets are publicly available, and he is very generous towards non-profit organizations.

Vitalik Buterin calls himself a "technology philosopher". That may sound presumptuous, but it has a real core to it. Born in Russia, raised in Canada, living temporarily in Berlin and now in Singapore, the youngster has original ideas, starting with the Ethereum blockchain, which is capable of much more than its Bitcoin counterpart. Digital contracts can also be concluded, for example insurance, shares in securities, real estate and works of art, and much more. For some experts, it is only a matter of time before Ether will replace Bitcoin as the number one cryptocurrency. Mainly because Ethereum will only use a fraction of the energy that the creation of Bitcoin eats in the future. The value of the bitcoin ecosystem is driven by currency, says Buterin,whereas the price of ether comes from the value of the Ethereum ecosystem.

If the cryptocurrencies continue to increase in value, Buterin will get richer and richer.

Or not?

The Russian thinks the crypto world is experiencing one bubble after the other.

Bitcoin in its current form is most at risk.

The inventor of ether doesn't really care.

The Bitcoin twins

Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss tried to be the first.

Years ago they wanted to set up a Bitcoin fund for private investors.

The American Securities and Exchange Commission rejected the request to make the Winklevoss Bitcoin Trust tradable for everyone: Market manipulation is not ruled out, investors must be protected, according to the SEC.

The first Bitcoin ETFs then appeared elsewhere, and even with the first American index fund called Bito, which went public in New York on Tuesday, the two pioneers have nothing to do with.

Bito differs from the Winklevoss fund in that it does not invest directly in Bitcoin, but in Bitcoin futures transactions.

The SEC thinks that's okay, as the US market for crypto futures has been regulated since 2017.