According to Marshall Hayner, one of the first to introduce Bitcoin (BTC), Adam Back had a beer in London with Satoshi Nakamoto.
“Yes, I met him once”
Marshall Hayner, CEO of Metal Pay, told Cointelegraph A story he heard about Back at a party in Los Gatos a few years ago. The party was held to celebrate the creation of Blockstream and its successful capital raising.
Hayner said he was invited to the party by Blockstream CEO Austin Hill at the time. The community was small and narrow, with few people selected. Apparently, After a few drinks, the subject of Satoshi Nakamoto came up. This allegedly caused Back, who was often seen as a popular candidate for Satoshi, to say, “Yes, I did meet him once.”. When Back pressed for more details, he reportedly declined to provide more details and said:
“I don’t want to say too much. But he’s a British boy and I met him in London, went to the pub and had a beer. I think it could be an MI6.”
Hayner does not remember that Back said when this meeting took place, but assumes that it would have been somewhere between 2009 and 2010. It is interesting to note that rumors about Bitcoin from one or more secret services have been circulating for years.
Back and Maxwell deny it
Hayner recalled that there were also several people present who were closely associated with Back and Blockstream.. Among them were Austin Hill and Gregory Maxwell, a Bitcoin core developer already mentioned. Cointelegraph contacted Back, Hill and Maxwell to remember these events.
Back clearly denied meeting Satoshi Nakamoto and claims that he never told the story:
“No, I wouldn’t have said that because it’s not true; as far as I know, nobody (who doesn’t make up stories) claimed to have met Satoshi personally.” – He added: “Besides, I don’t know who Marshall Hayner is and I haven’t interacted with him on the subject.”
Maxwell’s answer matched that of Back. He confirmed to be present at the party, but denied having heard this story:
“I don’t remember Adam saying that, and I would remember if I heard it: it wouldn’t have been compatible with everything Adam had said before or since, and neither would it my understanding of the history of Bitcoin (I think as far as we know, nobody in the Satoshi community has known.
Maxwell added that he had consulted with his partner, who was also present at the party. They also didn’t remember that conversation.
Hill did not respond to the Cointelegraph request.
Why would Satoshi want to meet someone?
Before telling this story again, Hayner said Adam Back would never recognize it. If Hayner’s memory is correct, it would be Satoshi’s first confirmed “sighting”. Although Back Hayner’s confirmed memory was not confirmed, the story seems to confirm the often-mentioned British origins of the Bitcoin maker.
If Satoshi wanted to meet someone from the cryptocurrency community in person, perhaps to show their gratitude, there wouldn’t be many better candidates than Back, whose hashcash served as one of the main building blocks of Bitcoin.
This article was modified on July 20, 2020 at 4:30 p.m. ET.
After this article was published, Cointelegraph received an email from Austin Hill, in which he clearly denied Hayner’s account of the events and called his story a “lie”. Hill noted that the blockstream team had agreed from the start not to speculate about Satoshi’s identity, as “this violates Cypherpunk ideals.” He said that, to the best of his knowledge, Back had never deviated from this policy and that if he had, he would have “reprimanded Adam for violating the policy”.