Satoshi Nakamoto potentially solved the crypto trilemma

by on under Tech
8 minute read

Disclaimer: At the time of writing this piece Satoshi Nakamoto is officially an unknown entity, but there has been quite a few speculations about the identity behind the pseudonym. Might be a single person, might be a group of people.

In this post, we delve into the intriguing possibility that Yonatan Sompolinsky, a pioneer in the field of cryptocurrency, might be Satoshi Nakamoto. We explore how his work, particularly on improving the Nakamoto consensus and creating new protocols, has the potential to address the long-standing challenge of the crypto trilemma. Without further ado, let’s examine the evidence and see if Yonatan could be the person behind the pseudonym that revolutionized digital currency.

1. Timing

  • Satoshi disappeared from Bitcoin Talk forum, on December 2010. Bitcoin Talk was the main social space for Bitcoin at the time.
  • Yonatan joined Twitter on December 2010.
Screenshot of Yonatan's Twitter profile which displays join date of December 2010

Is it possible that Satoshi believed it would be in Bitcoin’s best interest for people not to associate him with it, prompting him to abandon his pseudonym? Perhaps, after leaving the forum, he chose to embrace his true identity and join the world of social media on the then-emerging platform, Twitter, to continue his work in the field. This shift in his online presence could have been a strategic decision to maintain a low profile while still contributing to the cryptocurrency community.

2. Crypto pioneer

Yonatan was there at the cryptos inception. He also authored GHOST protocol with Aviv Zohar on 2013, which later was referenced by Vitalik Buterin in Ethereum whitepaper. Because GHOST was published only four years after Bitcoin’s birth, I’d think Yonatan had to be working on the same concepts when Bitcoin was born.

3. Nakamoto consensus

The Nakamoto consensus is the underlying mechanism used by Bitcoin to maintain agreement among participants in the network. It relies on a process called Proof of Work, where miners compete to solve complex mathematical problems, ensuring the security and integrity of the blockchain. In order to improve the Nakamoto consensus in such a way as Yonatan has done, you must have a deep understanding of the consensus mechanism and its intricacies. Yonatan’s expertise in this area is so extensive that one might wonder if he was at least partly involved in creating the original consensus.

At this point I have to give first mention to Kaspa for this to make more sense. Kaspa is a cryptocurrency (layer 1) released in November 2021. Its current protocol, PHANTOM GHOSTDAG, is a scalable generalization of Nakamoto consensus. Next up in relatively near future of Kaspa the DAG KNIGHT protocol will be adopted. Both of these protocols have their roots in the Bitcoin whitepaper and the GHOST protocol, which Yonatan co-authored.

I’d say these are not trivial academic research papers, but see for yourself.

So what if Yonatan’s contributions to crypto industry starts with Bitcoin and then continues with iterative improvements on Nakamoto consensus over the following years reaching its full potential in DAG KNIGHT protocol? Wouldn’t it make sense for Satoshi to keep on working on the issues of the initial version? Could it be we should add 2008 Nakamoto consensus to the list above?

4. Pseudonym from an anagram

This might feel a bit far fetched, but it’s not rare to create a pseudonym with help of an anagram. So what would be the anagram in this case?

Yonatan Sompolinsky -> Onny Satosi Nakamoto

So Yonatan is from Israel and they speak Hebrew in there. If you pronounce ‘Onny’ in English it will sound like אני in Hebrew. אני means ‘I am’ in hebrew. Try with e.g. Google Translator:

5. Birthday

Yonatan’s birthday is the same as Satoshi (April 5th) had in their profile on e.g. P2P Foundation forum (one of the first places where Bitcoin was announced).

However it’s good to note the leading theory for Satoshi’s birthday. April 5th is a very significant date in U.S. monetary history. It is the date of Executive Order 6102 by Franklin D. Roosevelt. Private ownership or “hoarding” of gold coin, bullion and certificates were outlawed by the order. Only small amounts (valued under $100) were allowed, for use in industrial trades, or a few other exceptions. Americans were also required to cede any significant amount of gold to the Federal Reserve in exchange for dollars. Roosevelt then devalued those dollars to make it easier to repay the huge debt that had built up during the Great Depression.

Why would Satoshi pick that date from monetary history? It’s known Satoshi was concerned about the power of individuals to preserve their wealth and keep it safe from state intervention.

6. Personality

Yonatan’s personality fits with Satoshi

Yonatan is a humble human being and overall very likeable in interviews. He seems to not want to be in the spotlight, even though he has done a lot of groundbreaking work…

…just like Satoshi who hid behind the pseudonym.

7. The crypto trilemma

The crypto trilemma is a concept that addresses the challenges faced by decentralized digital currencies, such as Bitcoin. At its core, the trilemma highlights the difficulty of simultaneously achieving three essential properties for a blockchain-based system: decentralization, security, and scalability. In simple terms, it’s challenging to design a cryptocurrency that is fully decentralized, highly secure, and can efficiently handle a large number of transactions without compromising any of these key aspects.

Very plausible solution for the crypto trilemma has already been published, as you probably realised while reading that DAG KNIGHT publication above. Yep, it indeed could be a way to address the trilemma and therefore it is really groundbreaking. Many have spent countless hours on finding a way to overcome the trilemma and Yonatan Sompolinsky and Michael Sutton are the first ones to propose a complete solution backed up by academic research.

8. Miscellaneous

  • Yonatan: “I am not taking it lightly to build another coin” during an interview section related to Bitcoin LunarCrush Live with Kaspa! at 20:38
    • Could have been just a reference to oversaturated industry or maybe a slip of tongue because he had built a coin before (Bitcoin)
  • Yonatan replies to a couple of tweets pointed/related to Satoshi he wasn’t mentioned in
  • Kaspa has a hebrew message in its genesis (first-ever) block mentioning Silver and Gold, which is quite clear reference to Kaspa and Bitcoin.
    • In case you didn’t know, Bitcoin is referred as digital gold and Kaspa means literally silver in Ancient Aramaic
  • Oh by the way, did you notice it from the Twitter screenshot? He had “a real imposter” in his bio. Indeed, Satoshi Nakamoto is one of the best imposters of the century.

Okay, maybe that is enough. I know it is just speculation and it might be time to tighten up the tinfoil hat, but it’s still fun once in a while to play the guessing game.


While we may never know for certain if Yonatan Sompolinsky is the elusive Satoshi Nakamoto, the evidence presented in this article provides a compelling case for considering him as a strong candidate. His deep understanding of the Nakamoto consensus, his continuous contributions to the field, and his work on groundbreaking protocols all point to someone who has the knowledge and drive to tackle the crypto trilemma.

The DAG KNIGHT protocol, in particular, stands out as a potential solution to the long-standing challenge of achieving decentralization, security, and scalability simultaneously. If Yonatan is indeed Satoshi, it would make sense for him to continue refining and improving upon the initial concepts introduced with Bitcoin, working tirelessly to overcome the limitations of the original design.

Regardless of whether Yonatan is Satoshi Nakamoto or not, his work has undeniably played a significant role in advancing the field of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. His efforts to address the crypto trilemma have the potential to shape the future of digital currencies and pave the way for a new era of secure, decentralized, and scalable financial systems.

Thank you for reading and leave a comment on what you think!

This post was very much inspired by a Twitter thread from @crypto_nic47

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