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Bitcoin Privacy The Almighty Buck

Is GWU Econ Prof. Nick Szabo Satoshi Nakamoto? 120

Posted by timothy
from the x-files-pales-by-comparison dept.
Pseudonymous Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto (whether that name represents one person or several) is believed to hold many millions of dollars in Bitcoin. Various attempts have been made to pin down Nakamoto's identity; the IB Times reports today that a (sadly anonymous) analysis points to George Washington University economics professor Nick Szabo, based on textual analysis and some other clues, such as Szabo's expertise in digital currency and his role as founder of GoldCoin. Szabo's blog Unenumerated is fascinating reading, whether or not this analysis is right.
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Is GWU Econ Prof. Nick Szabo Satoshi Nakamoto?

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  • No.. (Score:5, Funny)

    by TeknoHog (164938) on Tuesday December 03, 2013 @11:13AM (#45583835) Homepage Journal
    ..I am Satoshi Nakamoto.
  • by thatkid_2002 (1529917) on Tuesday December 03, 2013 @11:40AM (#45584189)
    Satoshi helped found a completely un-innovative Litecoin derivative? I think that just about invalidates the analysis.
    • Diversifying his portfolio.

      Betting entirely on Bitcoins as becoming the de-facto virtual currency is risky.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        You'd think he'd diversify into traditional investments, or a range of cryptocurrencies with actually noteworthy features like Peercoin, Primecoin, or Zerocoin. Not yet another alt coin clone with absolutely nothing creative at all.

        I'd suspect it was Satoshi if he blew us all away with in-chain smart contracts, not just following the botnet-friendly Scrypt crowd.

        • by Jeng (926980)

          It is one of the oldest ploys in the book.

          You never suspect the genius when he acts like a buffoon.

      • by aliquis (678370)

        Betting on the latest started up one because "Bitcoins have become so expensive already! This one is cheap!" seem like a worse idea.

  • Satoshi Nakamoto is people!
  • proof in the coin (Score:4, Interesting)

    by schneidafunk (795759) on Tuesday December 03, 2013 @11:46AM (#45584251)

    We'll find out who he is when the original bitcoins are used. In the meantime, an anonymous blogger making speculative claims is not really news.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Can you elaborate on how using the coin will reveal the true identity of the person currently holding them?

    • How do know the original coins are being used?

      • It's referred to as the 'genesis block', which was created by Satoshi Nakamoto. So far, those bitcoins have not been circulated and are still 'owned' by Satoshi Nakamoto. He could come out of obscurity tomorrow by using one of those bitcoins and adding a message to it.

  • Is he what? (Score:5, Funny)

    by wonkey_monkey (2592601) on Tuesday December 03, 2013 @11:56AM (#45584363) Homepage

    Is GWU Econ Prof. Nick Szabo Satoshi Nakamoto?

    Is GWU Econ Prof. Nick Szabo Satoshi Nakamoto what? Apart from of mixed Hungarian and Japanese descent...

    • Is GWU Econ Prof. Nick Szabo Satoshi Nakamoto?

      Is GWU Econ Prof. Nick Szabo Satoshi Nakamoto what? Apart from of mixed Hungarian and Japanese descent...

      Hunganese?

  • by idioto (259918) on Tuesday December 03, 2013 @12:11PM (#45584533) Homepage

    When I hear about bitcoin's founder I am reminded of a homeless man I met in Palo Alto in the 1990's, in his 30's or 40's. He used to stand on the street chanting weird things and you would think he was insane, which he was. But if you talked to him, you'd realize he was pretty smart too. Anyhow, he told me about how he was getting his P.H.D. in Economics from Yale, but they rejected his thesis which was basically about private currency, as his professors equated it with counterfeiting and he subsequently went semi-mad according to him. This guy was a smart homeless guy but also a little crazy, his shopping cart had various gadgets powered by car battery, and I think there was a reason he was hanging out in the valley at that time. Find him, and you will find the creator of bitcoin.

    • I thought your story was going to go like this...

      When I hear about bitcoin's founder I am reminded of a homeless man I met in Palo Alto in the 1990's, in his 30's or 40's. He used to stand on the street chanting weird things and you would think he was insane, which he was. But if you talked to him, you'd realize he was pretty smart too. Anyhow, he told me about how he was getting his P.H.D. in Economics from Yale, but they rejected his thesis which was basically about private currency, as his professors e
    • Oh yeah, Zed Shaw saw that guy today. https://twitter.com/zedshaw/status/408018099284090880 [twitter.com]

      Asian guy with dreds walks in with a car battery and a charger, sits down, plugs the charger in, and hangs out while the battery charges.

  • No (Score:3, Funny)

    by porksauce (1302059) on Tuesday December 03, 2013 @12:16PM (#45584617)
    According to Betteridge's Law, any news headline in the form of a question can be answered "No." Therefore we know it's not Nick Szabo.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Coming up on Slashdot next: "Can every headline question be answered No?"

  • Is there an rss link for that blog? I can't find it.

  • by tlhIngan (30335) <slashdot@wor f . n et> on Tuesday December 03, 2013 @12:35PM (#45584873)

    I mean, The Winklevoss twins (of Facebook fame - yes those two) have claimed repeatedly that they own around 10% of all bitcoins out there spread through various safe storage locations.

    If that's true (that would be around 2M bitcoins), that would put their holdings at over $2B.

    • that would be around 2M bitcoins

      I think it's safe to assume that they meant 10% of all currently existing bitcoins, which, if true, would currently amount to around 1.2 million bitcoins.

    • On paper, but kinda not really. Trying to cash out even 1% of those would have the price under $100.

  • Don't even try (Score:4, Interesting)

    by slashmydots (2189826) on Tuesday December 03, 2013 @12:47PM (#45585025)
    We were wondering if he was Satoshi...2-3 years ago on the bitcoin forums. It's so comical how the rest of the web is playing catch up and pretending like these are new discoveries.
    • The arguments for Nick being Satoshi, other than the fact that he's one of the few dozen people with the skills and interests to do the design right, came down to

      • "he uses this set of technical terms, and so does Satoshi" and
      • "he also uses a few other sets of phrasing in his academic papers that Satoshi uses" and
      • "pay no attention to the US-vs-UK spelling differences."

      But the technical terms that the current speculation mentions are all standard terms in the field, like "trusted third party" (which was pr

  • by jones_supa (887896) on Tuesday December 03, 2013 @12:49PM (#45585057)
    What is the motivation to hide behind a pseudonym as the creator of Bitcoin?
    • Re:Why hide? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Nyder (754090) on Tuesday December 03, 2013 @01:45PM (#45585791) Journal

      What is the motivation to hide behind a pseudonym as the creator of Bitcoin?

      I can think of a few things. Reporters bothering you, other idiots bothering you. Become a target for people to steal your bitcoins. Government might become more interested in you (NSA). And worse, relatives asking for money because they think you are rich.

      Ya, I think I'd stay anonymous also.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      It may also be part of the social design of Bitcoin: people may be slower to adopt a cryptocurrency if they know the identity of the obscenely rich creator.
    • by SEE (7681)

      Well, mostly, because this way people don't send me fundraising letters.

      • Have you looked at the block chain records of the richest people in bitcoin?

        You can attach messages to transfers, and these people are spammed to death with microscopic transactions with begging messages added.

        I wish people spamming me would attach pennies.

  • NO? Then how about we stick to news (for nerds) and not unfounded speculations from random blogs.

    • by Jeng (926980)

      Slashdot was founded on the unfounded speculations from random blogs.

  • It's Kevin Spacey.

  • Did anyone think to ask this guy directly before posting an article about him?
    • If the person you want to write about is the real Satoshi, he'd obviously say no.
      If the person you want to write about the real Satoshi, he'd probably also say no. He might also ask you not to hassle him.

      • by Zeinfeld (263942)

        I thought he was you actually.

        In the future everyone will be Satoshi Nakamoto for 15 minutes.

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