I doubt we'll ever know... but here's some ones that I've found so far...
This author's article speculates that it's an Easter egg that plays on several ideas:
• Halloween is the carnival time, a ritual day when one can pretend to be someone or something else, whether a comic book superhero like Batman or Superman, or another eternally popular choice for Halloween, a Ghost — a spirit, much like Satoshi, that is neither dead nor alive. • Halloween could be a reference to 'Hal' - Hal Finney
This author lists the possible reasons that others have speculated as being:
• Halloween originated as a celebration of death and renewal. The Celts celebrated the start of their New Year on November 1, so Halloween (or ‘Samhain’ as they would’ve called it) is equivalent to a New Year’s Eve party in those days. • Weese also draws parallels between Martin Luther and Satoshi Nakamoto, who both announced their ideas on October 31 to undermine the power of a central authority. While Luther undermined the Vatican in 1517, Satoshi’s innovation attempts to reduce the power of central banks. • Maybe it’s just a coincidence, but October 31 also marks the day that the National Security Agency’s (NSA) proposal for an implementation of anonymous electronic cash was received by Fried Frank LLC (a law firm focusing on antitrust and competition among other things) back in 1996.
Finally, you might be asking how was Satoshi's whitepaper received by his fellow cypherpunks on Halloween? Well, surprisingly, it didn't go as planned.
This author claims that Satoshi's whitepaper 'almost sunk without a trace' - claiming that Satoshi was forced to repost it on November 3.
However, for all we know the cypherpunx could have just been out trick or treating and just didn't see it.
I'm sure there's more crazy hypotheses out there though.
I think my favorite is the Martin Luther one.
One idea is that it's when the dead are meant rise up from our graves.
Well, us folks have all come alive now 👻
I believe it has nothing to do with Halloween. (Our modern conception of that holiday). It's about All Hallows Eve, though. I.e. the eve of All Saint's Day. That was the day Martin Luther chose to publish his 95 theses, which precipitated the Reformation. I believe Satoshi was mindful that the Bitcoin white paper would be as impactful on the direction of world history as the 95 theses.
Yep, that's its included too - it's my favorite actually!
BTW it seems Luther never nailed anything to any church door. Everything get embellished over time doesn't it.
The original Celtic pagan holiday was to ward off the spirits attempting to return home- Catholics appropriated the holiday as “all hallows Eve” preceding “all saints day”
Similar to Easter and Christmas- Catholic holidays are celebrated on previously pagan holidays.
The name Halloween comes from “All hallows Eve” (Catholic practice)
The modern theme of Halloween has reverted to its pagan roots, except for the name- and without spirituality or due respect for the dead- Which modern pagans (and some Christians) argue was the intention of Catholic leadership.
Satoshi mirrors Luther.
The "Challenge to Orthodoxy" theory draws a parallel between Martin Luther's 95 Theses and Satoshi Nakamoto's Bitcoin whitepaper, both of which were released on October 31st. The significance here lies in the act of challenging a centralized authority, as well as the methods employed to disseminate the revolutionary ideas.
  1. Central Authority: Luther aimed to reform the Catholic Church, a dominant centralized religious authority. Satoshi targeted centralized financial systems, namely central banks and financial institutions.
  2. Disintermediation: Both aimed to remove middlemen from essential human activities—Luther in the context of spirituality and divine grace, and Satoshi in the context of financial transactions.
  3. Public Discourse: Luther's theses were nailed to the church door, a public forum of sorts, and rapidly spread thanks to the printing press. Satoshi used a mailing list to share the whitepaper, leveraging the Internet to engage with the public directly.
  4. Democratic Access: Both innovations intended to democratize access to essential services. Luther's reformation made it possible for commoners to have a direct relationship with God without the mediation of priests. Satoshi's blockchain technology aims to make financial transactions possible without the need for banks or payment processors.
  5. Subversion of Existing Systems: Luther questioned the Church’s sale of indulgences, a significant revenue source. Satoshi's introduction of Bitcoin threatened the foundational aspects of modern banking, including the printing of money and the necessity of financial intermediaries.
  6. Date Significance: If the date was intentionally chosen to mirror that of the 95 Theses, it might have been a symbolic call-to-arms against modern, centralized financial systems, much like Luther's theses were against the Catholic Church.
  7. Global Impact: Both acts have had a profound global impact. The Reformation led to the creation of Protestant denominations and changed the course of Western history. Bitcoin and the technologies it spawned are redefining how we think about money and decentralized systems.
By releasing the Bitcoin whitepaper on the same date as Luther's 95 Theses, Satoshi might have been signaling the revolutionary potential of his creation, aiming to instigate a reformation of modern finance.
cause it's funny
You're right, it's a truly hilarious festival really.
However, it pails into insignificance when compared to another ancient festival. In it the high and mighty and the lowly agree to change places for one day. The wealthy act as the lowly for one day (even the priests I think) and the lowly lord over them - I'm not exactly sure what that festival was called - or where or why that took place. It might have served socially to be cathartic I guess...
Maybe someone can step in here - and enlighten us... Anyone?
Saturnalia. Which evolved into Christmas.
20 sats \ 1 reply \ @anon 30 Oct
Pick a number - it could be any!
Maybe to give the federal reserve something that scares the shit outta them
Because Friday the 31st is better than Friday the 13th.
Reformation Day. The church door at Wittenberg was a public postung ground, a public forum. That whitepaper was nailed to the modern digital door to reform a broken system.
Bitcoin is orange. Pumpkins are orange. William OF Orange. RLY MKS U THNK.
Incidentally, I am again recommending all Bitcoiners read Neal Stephenson's "Quicksilver"
Honestly, this is the first time I've ever thought about it (Halloween is not a big thing in my country) but it could be as simple explanation... he had time to write the paper that night while the kids where out trick or treating.
As a coder, I can relate to finding weird times to do deep work. I can recall many times working on some side project when everyone else is out partying or having fun. It's often those quite times with no one else around to bother you that you get your best work done.
Thank you, nice article!