YouTube podcaster Lex Fridman interviewed the world's richest man, Elon Musk for the third time recently in December. After discussing a variety of crazy topics, later in the interview, they began to talk about Bitcoin.
Once the conversation got going, Lex decided to ask Elon an interesting question: Who is the real Satoshi Nakamoto?
Being the richest man in the world, Musk has been accruing knowledge for decades as a programmer and successful businessman. He mastered the C++ programming language in the early 2000s when he co-founded PayPal with Peter Thiel. As many Bitcoiners know, expert C++ coding skills are a requirement for any Satoshi candidate, since the mysterious creator coded the entire versions of Bitcoin solely in C++. Lex actually first asked Elon if he was Satoshi. Elon responded by noting that if he was Satoshi, he would've told the world by now.
The Real Satoshi
After putting an end to the theory that the Tesla CEO is Satoshi, Lex asked Elon who he thought Satoshi was. Musk took a long 30-second pause, then began to eloquently explain that the one-person most responsible for the core ideas behind Bitcoin is an American computer scientist and cryptographer named Nick Szabo. Szabo is famously the inventor of the crucial blockchain coding concept known as "Smart Contracts." Without smart contracts, Ethereum and many of the other top altcoins wouldn't even exist.
However, more importantly, Nick is also the inventor of the widely accepted precursor to Bitcoin known as Bit Gold. It happened to have an extremely similar design to Bitcoin (along with the fact that the names are nearly identical to each other). Nick also used terms like "bit gold miner" and "chain of digital signatures" in bit gold, which Satoshi also frequently used. Not only that, research studies like this have shown that he is the most likely author of the Bitcoin whitepaper. Furthermore, Reddit sleuths discovered that he's the only Satoshi candidate with coding quirks that match Satoshi. People on the internet also point out that Nick's initials (N S), are Satoshi's initials backwards (S N).
Nick first unveiled Bit Gold in a private mailing list called "Libtech" that he started in 1998 with famous programmers Wei Dai, Hal Finney and economists George Selgin and Larry White as recipients. Nick described all four men as inspirations for his continued work on Bit Gold.
In fact, in 2008, on his stunning blog called Unenumerated, Nick penned a new post called "Bit gold markets." In this piece, Szabo described ways in which he could create markets for his cryptocurrency. Most peculiarly, he asked for help coding a market for bit gold in the comment section of the same blog post, saying "I suspect this is all obscure enough that (a) it may require most people to sit down and work it out for themselves carefully before it can be well understood, and (b) it would greatly benefit from a demonstration, an experimental market (with e.g. a trusted third party substituted for the complex security that would be needed for a real system). Anybody want to help me code one up?" This took place in April, 2008 (Szabo changed the post date to make it appear like it was released in December). Satoshi released the whitepaper on Halloween 2008, meaning Nick's comment was a full 6 months before. Even stranger, Satoshi didn't cite Bit Gold in the Bitcoin whitepaper despite the similarities. Satoshi even ignored Hal Finney when Hal told him that Bitcoin had many similarities to Bit Gold.
Oddest of all, Satoshi cited B-Money by Wei Dai in the whitepaper over Bit Gold, even asking Wei Dai himself in an email if the citation for B-Money was correct.
A CoinGeek Conclusion
Elon Musk didn't outright say that Nick was Satoshi, but he hinted at it. Regardless, it certainly isn't Craig "Faketoshi" Wright. Speaking of the famous fraud, Craig and Calvin's media cult called CoinGeek released an article dismissing Musk's statements about Nick as false. They also asserted in the article that Craig is the real Satoshi and Nick doesn't qualify. I find that claim incredibly fascinating, given Craig hasn't written a single non-plagiarized academic paper on crypto, and Nick Szabo has over 20+ published pieces.
There will soon be a follow-up to this article responding to CoinGeek's piece.