According to the latest research from Sergio Demian Lerner, Satoshi likely restrained himself from mining Bitcoin in the first five minutes of the block interval.
Sergio Demian Lerner, a researcher known for his work on the mining patterns of the original Bitcoin (BTC) miner whom he identified as Patoshi, published a new blog post in which he discusses his new observations. This time Lerner focused on the Bitcoin block timestamps.
Apparently, Satoshi (we’ll be referring to the original miner as Satoshi) barely mined a block in the first five minutes. This cannot be random as the probability of a miner finding a solution to the hash puzzle in the first five minutes is 0.39. The probability of a dominant miner like Satoshi trying to mine in the five minutes without any success is almost zero.
Patoshi block timestamps (the X-axis shows buckets of 10 seconds each). Source: Bitslog.
It is not clear why Satoshi was not mining in the five minutes of the new block interval. One possible explanation is that he wanted to give an opportunity to other miners to mine some Bitcoins for themselves.
Patoshi mining. Source: Cointelegraph, Bitslog.
In the beginning, there were very few miners besides Satoshi and he possessed significantly more hashrate than the rest of the network. Sastoshi was fully aware that it was paramount for the success of Bitcoin to get as many people involved as possible. In a way, Satoshi might have been “spotting” other miners — first five minutes it’s all yours, but if there is no one to mine, he’d get the job done:
Later, Lerner agreed that the dynamic hashrate adjustment within a single block interval would have been “overkill.” Also, based on these observations, he concluded that up to block 16,000, Satoshi must have had about 99% of the total hashrate.
Satoshi’s share of Bitcoin hashrate. Source: Dan Held.
Seemingly, Satoshi’s goal was to provide just enough hashrate to make the network secure without disincentivizing other participants. According to the early Bitcoin developer Laszlo Hanyecz, Satoshi was paranoid about malicious actors attacking Bitcoin before it had a chance to gain enough strength, he even had a GPU miner ready to defend it.
This is one more interesting fact that we cannot fully explain that may suggest a certain amount of altruism on the part of the Bitcoin creator.