Elon Musk has revealed that he also thinks that cryptocurrency expert Nick Szabo might be Satoshi Nakamoto, the mysterious creator of Bitcoin.
During a podcast with artificial-intelligence researcher Lex Fridman, Musk was asked to guess who Nakamoto might really be.
“You can look at the evolution of ideas before the launch of Bitcoin and see who wrote about those ideas,” Musk told.
“It seems as though Nick Szabo is probably, more than anyone else, responsible for the evolution of those ideas,” he said. “He claims not to be Nakamoto, but I’m not sure that’s neither here nor there. But he seems to be the one more responsible for the ideas behind Bitcoin than anyone else.”
Musk has had a complicated relationship with the cryptocurrency, at one point announcing that car-maker Tesla would accept Bitcoin as payment, only to reverse his decision, citing concerns over the environmental impact of crypto mining.
Bitcoin was first proposed in October 2008 by Satoshi Nakamoto, a pseudonym, which people believe could be a single person or several.
Nick Szabo graduated from the University of Washington in 1989 with a degree in computer science. He later received a law degree from George Washington University Law School.
In 2014, a team of linguistic researchers studied Nakamoto’s bitcoin whitepaper alongside the writing of Szabo and 10 other potential creators. The group reached a conclusion that Szabo was Nakamoto based on linguistic similarities.
“The number of linguistic similarities between Szabo’s writing and the bitcoin whitepaper is uncanny,” the researchers said, adding that “none of the other possible authors were anywhere near as good of a match.”
However, Szabo has dismissed the claims that he is the creator of Bitcoin. He said in 2014, “I’m afraid you got it wrong doxing me as Satoshi, but I’m used to it.”
Cover photo: Collage: 123RF/ekopramomo & IMAGO / ZUMA Wire
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