Researcher Re-mines Satoshi’s Bitcoin Blocks To Discover His Secrets

Sergio Dermain Lerner, a researcher known for looking at the mining patterns of the original Bitcoin (BTC) miner, has turned his attention on the Bitcoin blocks mined by Satoshi Nakamoto.

Lerner made a preview of his latest findings available to Cointelegraph. His research is based on the irregular pattern of the Least-Significant-Byte (LSB) of the nonce field of block.

This past June, Lerner published a blog that expanded on his original research from 2013. He suggested that for an unknown reason, Satoshi refrained from mining in the first five minutes of the block interval. Other researchers have also expanded on Lerner’s research. TechMiX showed that all the blocks mined by Satoshi could be grouped into five baskets, based on the frequency distribution of the Nonce LSB values. 

Nonce LSB value. Source: TechMiX.

A nonce gets incremented with every new attempt to solve a mining puzzle. Apparently, Satoshi’s equipment was not using the entire available nonce space, only focusing on a limited range. Lerner’s latest research indicates that Satoshi was decrementing the nonce value instead:

It turned out that re-mining reveals a strong tendency of the Patoshi mining algorithm to choose higher nonces when scanning the inner nonce. This tendency suggests the nonce was being decremented, which is the opposite that the Satochi client version 0.1 does.

This leads to a more interesting conclusion that perhaps will put an end to the discussion about the type of equipment that Satoshi Nakamoto used:

Since the nonce imbalance decreases when analyzing two subranges together, this suggests Patoshi was scanning the 5 subranges in parallel, but each subrange internally sequentially. This contradicts a theory that Patoshi deployed the first mining farm of 50 independent computers (or any other highly decoupled system) and supports the theory that Patoshi was simply multi-threading in a high-end CPU.

If Lerner’s conclusions are correct that would lend more credence to the hypothesis that Satoshi Nakamoto was a single person and not a team. This would also put another nail into Craig Wright’s claims of being a Bitcoin creator as he has indicated numerous times that he used dozens of computers to mine the early blocks.

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