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Identifying Bitcoin Creator Satoshi Nakamoto: The Nick Szabo Theory

Dec 22, 2019 | Cognition

Finding out who originally created Bitcoin is very important to some people, whereas everyone else isn’t too bothered. After 11 years, no one has come close to uncovering who Satoshi Nakamoto really is. One interesting theory points in the direction of Nick Szabo, as he would certainly have the necessary knowledge to create a cryptocurrency.

Who is Nick Szabo Again?

Well before there was ever any talk about Bitcoin, other projects aimed to bring forth a decentralized form of money. Bit Gold was one of the first projects in that regard, which was created by Nick Szabo. It is widely considered to be a predecessor to Bitcoin, even though its approach was not exactly the same as to how the world’s leading cryptocurrency operates today.

The reason why Szabo is so interesting in this form of money is due to his experience in cryptography and computer science. He is  the individual responsible for putting research into digital currencies and digital contracts. Those digital contracts are the predecessors of smart contracts. Nick Szabo also contributed to designing electronic commerce protocols between Internet users. This is also a concept currently found in various cryptocurrencies on the market today. 

The Link to Satoshi Nakamoto

With all of this knowledge and passion for the aspects that make Bitcoin such a powerful tool, it is not hard to see why some people think Nick Szabo is Satoshi Nakamoto. Simply because one checks a lot of the right boxes doesn’t mean there is an obvious connection, however. In this case, there has been a lot of circumstantial evidence at best, but nothing to conclusively confirm Szabo and Nakamoto are one and the same person.

The first piece of the puzzle comes in the form of the specific knowledge required to build Bitcoin. After learning from his previous ventures, it would make sense for Nick Szabo to improve upon his ideas with a twist. However, Sabo has always refuted any allegations of him being involved in the creation of Bitcoin or the writing of the whitepaper. 

Secondly, a “textual analysis” was conducted by researcher Skye Grey. After going through the Bitcoin whitepaper, Satoshi’s posts on Bitcointalk and his emails sent to other early adopters, some interesting correlations with Nick Szabo were discovered. It appears the writing style of both individuals is very similar to one another. Another piece of circumstantial evidence that can be interpreted in many different ways.

Thirdly, the Bitcoin whitepaper makes some interesting references to one of Szabo’s old projects. Despite not naming “Bit Gold” in an official manner, it is apparent that Bitcoin took a fair few ideas from this project. As Nick Szabo is the one responsible for creating and maintaining this project for several years, it leads many people to believe he is indeed Satoshi Nakamoto. A solid connection, were it not for Nick Szabo refuting those claims as well.

One often overlooked breadcrumb comes in the form of Nick Szabo’s own blog. Prior to the release of Bitcoin’s whitepaper, Nick wrote on his blog how he wanted to create a workable version of a hypothetical currency. Some people, including Nathaniel Popper, assumed this was a direct link to being Bitcoin’s infamous creator. It even received a mention in a New York Times article, yet it still remains circumstantial evidence at best. 

The Doubts Remain

As likely of a candidate Nick Szabo may be in some people’s opinion, it is impossible to prove he is Satoshi Nakamoto. Even if he were, one has to wonder what he has to gain from unveiling the truth. Satoshi hasn’t been  involved in Bitcoin’s development for many years now, thus exposing the creator wouldn’t make that much of a difference. It is a cryptocurrency by the people, for the people, the way money should have always been.

Images courtesy of their respective sources.

Fintoism is not providing financial or investment advice. All content published on this platform is for entertainment and educational purposes only.

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<a href="https://fintoism.com/author/oglock/" target="_self">JP Buntinx</a>

JP Buntinx

JP Buntinx is passionate about cryptocurrencies, fintech, blockchain, and finance. He currently resides in Belgium.

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