Over the last few years Bitcoin has become a household name due to its value hitting a peak of $19,783 in December 2017. Currently it is floating around the $10k mark, but it doesn’t stop its popularity – especially in the digital currency ecosystem. Keen enthusiasts will know that Bitcoin’s developer, who has been away from the scene since 2010, used the alias of ‘Satoshi Nakamoto’ and now a Pakistani residing in the UK has come forth claiming to be the man who invented Bitcoin. The ecosystem though, is taking it with a pinch of salt.
Who is Claiming the Title?
Born Bilal Khalid, the Brit of Pakistani Origin later changed his name to James Bilal Khalid Caan inspired by the actor who play Sonny Corleone in the Godfather movie. Bilal is an alumni of Al-Khair University and a previous resident of Rawalpindi. Bilal now serves as an IT technician working for the NHS in the UK.
According to Caan, reasons for remaining anonymous are due to familial issues and claims that he didn’t want to be openly linked with something illegal in various countries. He also states that Bitcoin, despite being much more popular, greed is hijacking the cause which has forced his reemergence.
The Alleged Origins of Bitcoin
Caan’s father worked for UBL for 27 years and told his son stories of the founder of UBL and how he changed the banking industry. Later the same founder (Abedi) went on to found Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI). It went on to become the world’s seventh-largest bank. Caan goes on to recall how 1 million investors were affected when the Bank of England closed down the BCCI which was due to ‘brutal and dirty corporate world policies’.
Fast forward to 2005, and Caan arrived in the UK where he was unable to open a bank account because he didn’t have a permanent address. The feeling of powerlessness and humiliation made him invent Bitcoin so that the common person can have access to money without the involvement of ‘big banks’.
I wanted to empower the poor person, empower the little man, and create something that was accessible as the people’s money – the people’s bank with no boundaries, no nationalities, and no discrimination – where nothing was controlled by the government and where no one dictated and destroyed people for the sake of misplaced politics.
Choosing a Name for the New Currency and its Founder
In my experience, finding a good name is always hard as it needs to resonate with the user and be easily rememberable. Caan clarifies that the ‘bit’ in Bitcoin isn’t just from the ‘bit’ commonly used in computing vocabulary. He plucked the letters from the BCCI name as below:
Bank of CredIT and COmmerce INternational
Being a superstitious person, Caan was paranoid that his birth name Bilal Khalid was synonymous with bad luck. ‘Shekhu’ a nickname used by family members was to provide the base of the new name. A little magic of chaldean numerology plus inspiration from Satoshi Sumita (Governor at Bank of Japan) and voila! We have Satoshi Nakamoto!
Proving his Identity
Caan has penned a three-part series entitled ‘My Reveal’ in a bid to prove his identity. He meticulously shares details and various aspects of his life story to verify his claim of being the founder. In the beginning some coins now holding a value of just under $10 Billion were allocated to the inventor. It’s easy to prove ownership through these coins but Caan claims that he sent his laptop which had a military-grade encrypted hard drive to be repaired and the technicians had replaced it.
Caan goes to great lengths to prove he is the elusive Nakamoto but it is difficult to believe a story which leaves many questions unanswered. It is a good attempt but as history tells us, there are many other names that fit the bill better. Nevertheless My Reveal is an interesting read if not for its factual content, to see how much detail has gone into proving Caan is the real Nakamoto.