Elon Musk appears to concur with many others that ultra-secretive cryptocurrency specialist Nick Szabo is Satoshi Nakamoto, the enigmatic creator of the digital currency bitcoin. When asked about Nakamoto’s true identity, Musk said in a podcast published Tuesday that “you can look at the progression of ideas before the birth of bitcoin and see who wrote about those ideas.”
While the Tesla billionaire admitted that he “clearly” does not know who invented bitcoin, Szabo’s views appear to have played a key role in the development of the world’s most popular cryptocurrency. “It appears that Nick Szabo is responsible for the advancement of those concepts more than anyone else,” he remarked. “He claims he isn’t Nakamoto, but I’m not convinced that’s irrelevant. However, he appears to be more responsible than anyone else for the bitcoin ideas.”
Bitcoin was introduced for the first time in October 2008 by Satoshi Nakamoto, a pseudonym for what many assumed to be one person, or maybe several.
A group of language researchers looked into Nakamoto’s bitcoin whitepaper, as well as the writings of Szabo and eleven other possible founders, in 2014. They discovered that the results were unmistakable.
“The amount of language similarities between Szabo’s work and the bitcoin whitepaper is eerie,” the researchers wrote, adding that “none of the other putative authors was anywhere near as good a match.”
Szabo is also credited with inventing bitcoin, according to a 2015 New York Times storey. He has spoken publicly about bitcoin’s origins and blockchain technology, but he has frequently refuted accusations that he is the digital asset’s mysterious creator. His introduction of the “bit gold” cryptocurrency in 1998 is another reason he’s associated with bitcoin.
Musk stated that the identity of bitcoin’s originator holds no significance for him. “What exactly is a name? It’s only a term for a concept. What exactly does it imply?”
He backed up his claim by quoting Shakespeare, who said, “A rose by any other name would smell as good.”