(CBS Local) — The popular digital currency Bitcoin has become a financial gold mine for investors in 2017, with its value skyrocketing to nearly $20,000. The cryptocurrency has made its creator, who reportedly owns 980,000 Bitcoins, one of the richest people in the world as their digital fortune is now worth $19.4 billion. There’s only one problem, no one knows who the creator of Bitcoin actually is.
The tech billionaire, who has gone by the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto, has kept his or her identity a secret since the creating Bitcoin in 2009. Nakamoto’s worth now makes them the 44th richest person in the world, according to Forbes.
While some people like tech mogul Elon Musk have publicly denied they are the mystery inventor, others have been proven to be imposters. Australian businessman Craig Steven Wright was reported to be the creator in 2015 but failed to pass a cryptocurrency security check the real inventor would have been able to complete.
Bitcoin’s appeal stems from its ability to work without relying on banks or governments to complete a transaction. It also reportedly allows for its users to remain anonymous while carrying out business online. The digital money has caught fire with online buyers who wish to keep their identities as secret as “Nakamoto.”
“Bitcoin was designed by paranoid geeks for paranoid geeks,” NYU professor of finance Aswath Damodaran said, via the New York Post.