Details of previously unknown correspondence between the Creator of bitcoin Satoshi Nakamoto and the recipient of the first transaction Hal Finney became known. This is written by CoinDesk, which had three letters dated the end of 2008 and the beginning of 2009.

These letters were provided to the publication by New York Times reporter Nathaniel Popper, who received them while working on the book “Digital Gold: the Bitcoin and the Inside Story of the Misfits and Millionaires Trying to Reinvent Money.”

Finney’s widow Fran confirmed that she passed these letters to Popper.

On November 16, 2008, Satoshi shared a preliminary version of the bitcoin code with several cryptographic mailing list members, including Finney. On November 19, Finney writes to Satoshi and asks what scale the bitcoin network can grow to:

“How big do you see the network? Dozens of nodes? Thousands? Millions? […] Is it possible to scale it to such an extent that it can be used for almost 100% of the world’s financial transactions? Or do you see this more as a kind of “root” subset of transactions that will have special requirements, while other transactions will use a different payment system, which may be based on bitcoin?”

letters from Satoshi Nakamoto

For Finney, this was not a purely technical question. He was convinced that bitcoin’s scalability would determine its value over time. He later wrote that if bitcoin becomes the dominant payment system, its value “should be equal to the total value of all capital in the world.” Based on this, Finney predicted that bitcoin could grow to $10 million per coin.

In the first half of December 2008, Satoshi added Finney to the bitcoin repository on Sourceforge:

Satoshi added Finney to the bitcoin repository on Sourceforge


The next two emails, which Finney was the recipient of, were written by Satoshi himself. The first of them is dated January 8, 2009. In it, Satoshi announces the release software of bitcoin version 0.1. The email was sent a few hours after the publication of a similar announcement in the cryptographic mailing list.

The next two emails

A letter that Satoshi Nakamoto sent to Hal Finney on Thursday, January 8, 2009. According to Satoshi’s reply, Finney said that he would study the code over the weekend.


Satoshi Nakamoto

On the same day, a discussion between Satoshi and Finney took place on the newly created bitcoin mailing list on Sourceforge and private messages via email. The latter, in this case, instead of your mail used a Gmail account. Also, most of the data from the email headers were erased.

During these discussions, on the evening of January 11, Satoshi sent Finney 10 BTC, which was the first transaction in bitcoin’s history.


In January 2009, the time zone corresponded to the GMT+8 time zone in Satoshi’s emails. If we assume that bitcoin’s Creator, as his name suggests, is from Japan, we can assume that this is the time zone of the country where he is located. However, at that time, Japan was ahead of GMT by 9 hours. Curiously, the e-mail server, Finney, had received the two letters before the server Satoshi.



According to one version, the sender’s system clock was knocked down, but researchers note that discrepancies are not observed in all emails. It is possible that Satoshi (or the group of developers who used this alias) worked on several computers, some of which were misconfigured.

Another theory is based on the assumption that Finney and Satoshi are one person. Assuming that Satoshi’s email address was linked to the account for convenience, this may explain why the server received emails before the server Finney himself denied claims that he is Satoshi Nakamoto.

Recall that according to a recent study, Satoshi Nakamoto was developing bitcoin while in London.