Coinbase Files For IPO But Cites Bitcoin's Creator As A Major Risk Factor
Yesterday, cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to go public with class A common stock under the symbol COIN. In the filing, the Delaware-based company listed its risk factors, including the outing of Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonym used by the person or group of people who created Bitcoin.
As the filing specifically states, “the identification of Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous person or persons who developed Bitcoin, or the transfer of Satoshi’s Bitcoins” could adversely affect Coinbase. Moreover, it would likely adversely affect the Bitcoin market as well by effectively “centralizing” the coin, which would make the key selling point for cryptocurrency vanish into thin air.
While a Bitcoin crash due to revealing identities is a possibility, it does not seem reasonable. Though we do not know who Nakamoto is, it appears that they are no longer part of the Bitcoin development and thus are effectively out of the loop, making “centralization” less of an issue. If Nakamoto’s fabled million-Bitcoin collection were to be released, however, we could see a sharp decline in the value of Bitcoin for some time until they were bought up again.
Ultimately, Nakamoto understood the trust position that banks held in centralized currency, and they must know that they hold some similar position now. Thus, if not already, his Bitcoin and identity will go to the grave before they are ever released to the public. In any case, it is an interesting time to watch cryptocurrency with Coinbase going public and showing its hand, so keep an eye on HotHardware for updates.