Coinbase sent the mysterious creator of bitcoin a copy of its public filing in a symbolic gesture

Coinbase Founder and CEO Brian ArmstrongSteven Ferdman/Getty Images

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Cryptocurrency exchange platform Coinbase symbolically sent a copy of its public filing to the mysterious creator of bitcoin alongside its lawyers and other people helping with the listing. 

The company previously confirmed it had filed to go public in December and on Thursday revealed the documents to go public via a direct listing for the first time. 

The digital trading platform lists Satoshi Nakamoto — the pseudonym used by the individual or group of people who developed bitcoin — as one of the recipients of the public filing.  The name "Nakamoto" first came into the spotlight in 2009 when bitcoin was invented.  The name appeared on a white paper, outlining the principles of a cryptographically secured and decentralized peer-to-peer digital payment system.

Coinbase public filingCoinbase public filing

In the years since, bitcoin has largely dominated the cryptocurrency world, rising over 400% in the past year along to easily remain the largest digital coin by market cap. 

While Coinbase trades other digital currencies, including ethereum, litecoin, and tezos, bitcoin has been perhaps the most important contributor to the company's success. Ahead of its direct listing, Coinbase was valued above $100 billion.

Coinbase is likely set to continue to boom alongside bitcoin, as the valuation did not include 2021 numbers — which have seen the digital currency hit all-time highs. Other companies, including electric carmaker Tesla, have also invested in the digital currency.

In the letter from the founder and CEO of Coinbase Brian Armstrong, he celebrated the mainstream appeal of currencies like bitcoin. 

"Coinbase is building the infrastructure to power the cryptoeconomy, helping bring the benefits of this new technology to the world," Armstrong said in the letter.

Over 100 million people currently use digital currencies, according to a February report from Crypto.org. Coinbase is the largest US based digital currency trading platform, housing over 20 million users.

Bitcoin's success could be linked to Nakamoto's anonymity

In its filing, Coinbase lists the identification of Nakamoto as a potential risk for the trading platform, saying it could lead to the deterioration of bitcoin prices. The company also said it could be negatively impacted if Nakamoto transferred his bitcoins — of which he is rumored to have over one million, valued at $30 billion in total.

There has been much speculation over the years as to the creator of bitcoin's identity — with fingers pointed at bitcoin developer Nick Szabo, entrepreneur Craig Wright, Tesla CEO Elon Musk, and even 70-year-old Dorian S. Nakamoto, named "Satoshi Nakamoto" at birth. 

Despite mainstream interest in the mystery surrounding the creator's true identity, Nakamoto's anonymity is linked to the currency's success.

By maintaining anonymity Nakamoto could potentially avoid adverse legal consequences. The untraceable nature of bitcoin has also led to its use for illegal goods and services on the dark web. In January, US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen suggested cracking down on digital currencies like bitcoin, due to their use in illegal financing.

Furthermore, one of bitcoin's founding principles is that it is a decentralized currency that is not beholden to institutions or individuals.

In his original bitcoin proposition, Nakamoto wrote: "What is needed is an electronic payment system based on cryptographic proof instead of trust, allowing any two willing parties to transact directly with each other without the need for a trusted third party."

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