Bitcoin & Linux: No, Linus Torvalds is not Satoshi Nakamoto

A copy of the Linux source code appeared today, containing the words ” I Am Satoshi“, a reference to the creator of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto. However, this statement appears to be a joke at best and certainly does not come from Torvalds himself.

The message seems to be a joke

Rumors swirled earlier today that Linux inventor Linus Torvalds cryptically hinted that he was the inventor of Bitcoin. These rumors, however, are probably just that.

The words ” I Am Satoshi are included in a copy of the Linux kernel makefile under the ” name“. The file is included in what appears to be Linux creator Linus Torvalds’ GitHub repository.

While at first glance it seems that Torvalds himself posted this sentence as a joke, it is not certain that he actually did so. GitHub’s design allows other users to fork a repository and make changes that appear to belong to the original repository owner.

Earlier someone used a similar tactic to trick users into quitting Linux. The forked readme file says: ” Hey guys its me linus torvalds, author of the smash hit linux and goes on to promote Windows XP.

The most recent version of the Linux makefile in the main repository includes the words ” Gobble Gobble in the name field.

Torvalds has taken a hands-off approach to having the Linux kernel copy hosted on GitHub, with the master copy hosted on

Linus Torvalds is not Nakamoto

Although it is extremely unlikely that Torvalds is the real identity of the creator of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto, the two characters have been compared because they both created highly recognizable free software.

Additionally, some have noted similarities between Bitcoin and Torvalds’ Git version control system. Although Git is not a true blockchain, it is a ledger that uses cryptographic hashing and can be considered a distant relative of blockchain.

Torvalds is not known to have ever publicly commented on Bitcoin. In 2014, it was discovered that several developers, including Torvalds, were not collecting bitcoin tips sent to them through the Tip4Commit service, suggesting that the Linux founder is not interested in cryptocurrencies.

One of Torvalds’ contemporaries, GNU founder Richard Stallman, publicly criticized Bitcoin in 2020. He criticized the privacy of the coin and said that he avoided digital payments altogether.