The following Reddit post is from Mike Hearn. Mike wrote the post after his email conversations with Satoshi were released to the web with his consent by someone under the name of CipherionX.
The veracity of the emails were called into question by a small group of people and Mike wanted to put the rumors to rest with a statement.
I saw that some questions are cropping up repeatedly. Although I stay away from the Bitcoin community these days, this is material of historical interest so I might as well clear things up.
There is no significance behind timing. I thought these emails had been published already, because I had forwarded them to a project that was archiving Satoshi’s emails years ago. When CipherionX asked me for these emails again, he told me they’d actually never been uploaded anywhere and so I forwarded them once more.
The emails are real. As others have noted, I quoted parts of them in various conversations stretching over many years. It would have required vast planning to have set up such a forgery and there is no reason to do so.
The name “Ripple” was acquired from Ryan Fugger and used to reboot the project after years of stagnation. The original Ripple was an attempt to do something similar to the Lightning network (decentralised netting of debts) but – like Lightning – Ryan never found a way to do it in a decentralised manner. His RipplePay implementation was just an ordinary centralised web app, which is probably one reason why it never took off. It didn’t have any kind of custom token: debts could be denominated in any units you liked. Before Bitcoin, Ryan’s Ripple was really the only project trying to do anything innovative with money on the internet. I first found Ripple in 2006 and had significant email communications with Ryan starting around 2007. Satoshi was obviously well aware of it, which did not surprise me. It was a tiny community back then. My interest in digital money goes back a lot further than most people’s does.
The fact that GPUs, FPGAs and ASICs could be applied to mining was obvious from the start. Anyone who understands computer engineering would have thought of it immediately. The reason ASICs took years to appear on the scene had nothing to do with obscurity of the idea, it was because fabbing custom ASICs is expensive and could only be justified when the price got high.
Satoshi did not leave the community because of Gavin’s CIA visit. He had already stopped posting publicly by the end of 2010 but was willing to continue emailing back and forth with me for months after. I realised this situation probably wouldn’t last which is why I kept peppering him with technical questions.
I no longer have the keys that were referenced in my initial emails with Satoshi. That’s why the remaining coins are unspent. At the time bitcoins had no value at all and nobody else was using the system, so I didn’t bother backing up the wallet and eventually lost it. Back then there were no forums, no markets, no exchanges, no usage at all as far as I could see and Satoshi did not seem to have any interesting in marketing either. Months would go by and nothing seemed to happen. It was just an interesting science project on SourceForge, one of many, which seemed destined to sink into obscurity just like Ripple had. I don’t beat myself up about it. I did pretty well out of Bitcoin in the end.
I hope CipherionX continues with his project to build an archive of Satoshi’s early writings. I’m sure there are many other interesting conversations Satoshi he had with people that might be shared.