×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Is GWU Econ Prof. Nick Szabo Satoshi Nakamoto?

timothy posted about 5 months ago | from the x-files-pales-by-comparison dept.

Bitcoin 120

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.

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

120 comments

No.. (4, Funny)

TeknoHog (164938) | about 5 months ago | (#45583835)

..I am Satoshi Nakamoto.

Re:No.. (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45583879)

No. *I* am Satoshi Nakamoto

Re:No.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45584821)

I am Brian and so is my wife!

Re:No.. (2)

gapagos (1264716) | about 5 months ago | (#45586689)

No. *I* am your father.
Bitcoin: NOOOOOOooooooooooo!!!!!!!
Me: And Likecoin is your sister.
Bitcoin: Uh......

Re:No.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45583935)

No, I am Sparticus....I mean Satoshi Nakamoto.

sAtoSHi (-1)

tepples (727027) | about 5 months ago | (#45583983)

Why do I read "Satoshi" and think "Ash"? True, it comes from Pokemon but it makes sense in Bitcoin as well, as the smallest division of a bitcoin is called a "satoshi", and guess what the smallest particle of combusted plant matter is called.

Re:sAtoSHi (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45584071)

Weaboo fag detected.

Re:sAtoSHi (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45584175)

nothing says creepy like an adult pokemon fan

Re:sAtoSHi (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45585949)

and pederasts, though I suspect pokemon fan/pedo venn diagram just looks like a circle.

Re:sAtoSHi (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45588701)

surely not all pederasts are pokemon fans?

Re:sAtoSHi (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45585569)

Why do I read "Satoshi" and think "Ash"? True, it comes from Pokemon but it makes sense in Bitcoin as well, as the smallest division of a bitcoin is called a "satoshi", and guess what the smallest particle of combusted plant matter is called.

Because in the Japanese version, Ash was named Satoshi... :P
And, Misty was Kasumi. (Kasumi = Mist).

Re:No.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45584297)

No, I'm Charles Ponzi.

Re:No.. (1)

Teancum (67324) | about 5 months ago | (#45585195)

The only real way to confirm somebody is Satoshi is to log into the Bitcoin forums, use Satoshi's acccount, and "reveal" who they are. Then again, that might just be done by hacking into the forums (although the passwords are hash-encoded.... so it is a bit harder).

The main problem is that Satoshi has dropped off the radar and hasn't posted for a long, long time.... hence the speculation.

Otherwise, your claim is as good as mine and perhaps even stronger.

Re:No.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45585317)

Will the real Satoshi Nakamoto please stand up.

Re:No.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45586623)

BA ba-ba BA ba-BA ba-BAAAAAA!

i knew it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45586811)

when bit coin first came out i turned to my wife and said "this looks like tekno hog to me"

she said "no it is not tekno hog" and then laughed at me

well who is laughing now

Makes perfect sense.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45583857)

Nick Szabo is an anagram for A Biz Con

Re:Makes perfect sense.... (2, Funny)

nitehawk214 (222219) | about 5 months ago | (#45583997)

Nick Szabo is an anagram for A Biz Con

Close, try

A Biz Conks
Cask Biz On
Cask Biz No
Sack Biz On
Sack Biz No
An Biz Sock
Ask Biz Con
As Biz Conk

But my favorite is:
Ska Biz Con

Re:Makes perfect sense.... (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 5 months ago | (#45585271)

Sick boanz?

Zab no sick,
I nok scabz --
Za sock bin...

O, ick, nasz B!

K, I can sobz?

No, sick baz.
Zis no cab, K?
Ban sick-O'z.

K. C siz o bank?

OK, C. Biznas!

Re:Makes perfect sense.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45585299)

Nick Szabo is actually an anagram for "zaks b-coin" revealing that this "Zak" is the true owner of the stockpile

Its the NSA... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45583901)

...really people, we all know who the crypto guys are that require a traceable currency in a digital age.

Rumor says (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45584031)

Satoshi Nakamoto is Tyler Durden

TD = zombie (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45584171)

given:
1. In project Mayhem [maydaymystery.org], we have no names.
2. Tyler Durden's name is Tyler Durden.
one can logically conclude?

Re:Rumor says (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45584237)

Satoshi Nakamoto is Tyler Durden

Idiot, Tyler Durden is Cornelius.

Re:Rumor says (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45584547)

No, he's Keyser Söze.

SAY MY NAME (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45584187)

SAY MY NAME!

So you're saying... (4, Insightful)

thatkid_2002 (1529917) | about 5 months ago | (#45584189)

Satoshi helped found a completely un-innovative Litecoin derivative? I think that just about invalidates the analysis.

Re:So you're saying... (1)

Luciano Moretti (2887109) | about 5 months ago | (#45584765)

Diversifying his portfolio.

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

Re:So you're saying... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45585515)

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.

Re:So you're saying... (1)

Jeng (926980) | about 5 months ago | (#45586513)

It is one of the oldest ploys in the book.

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

Re:So you're saying... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45588095)

That ploy doesn't work against an unlimited budget. Everyone involved, buffoons included, gets added to the list of suspects. Once a suspect, all of their internet traffic starts getting recorded and analyzed. Every suspect makes a mistake eventually.

Re:So you're saying... (1)

aliquis (678370) | about 5 months ago | (#45586367)

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

Honestly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45584245)

Does it even matter? Have we not better, more enlightening topics to discuss. This is click bait, which, sadly, I have taken to comment upon.

Re:Honestly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45585013)

Does it even matter? Have we not better, more enlightening topics to discuss. This is click bait, which, sadly, I have taken to comment upon.

Ain't you any curious then?

proof in the coin (3, Interesting)

schneidafunk (795759) | about 5 months ago | (#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.

Re:proof in the coin (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45589633)

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

no... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45584269)

in death, we are all Satoshi Nakamoto

a story from ibtimes...wtff (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45584335)

Seriously...someone pulled a story from the pathetic gossip news site that does nothing but publish articles with inflammatory click bait headlines that either say nothing or almost nothing, but always without any fuckin sources to back them up. Great job, idiots.

Is he what? (5, Funny)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 5 months ago | (#45584363)

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...

Re:Is he what? (1)

DroolTwist (1357725) | about 5 months ago | (#45585547)

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?

Re:Is he what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45587509)

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

Hunganese?

Given that the Japanese people call themselves Nihonjin, and being less Eurocentric about deciding which name to place first, being Nihon + Hungarian would make him a Ni(*a bell rings*)

Re:Is he what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45586357)

he say you brade runner.

Re:Is he what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45587989)

Is GWU Econ Prof. Nick Szabo Satoshi Nakamoto what?

OK, the joke was that was all one person with a lot of names. I honestly didn't get it at first, since the question was clearly grammatically correct, and I'm a Grammar Nazi.

Re:Is he what? (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | about 5 months ago | (#45588603)

Is GWU Econ Prof. Nick Szabo Satoshi Nakamoto what?

OK, the joke was that was all one person with a lot of names. I honestly didn't get it at first, since the question was clearly grammatically correct, and I'm a Grammar Nazi.

Stop being a Grammar Nazi. It's outdated. Today we have Grammar Jihadists. ;-)

Can they prove it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45584397)

Originating article here [wordpress.com], since /. mods, and submitters, have issues...

"Reverse textual analysis" was used to identify the Econ prof. Ok. While I've heard of this before, namely to out J.K. Rowlings pen name, it's highly dubious that this could be used as a legal tool to 'get' to him. Unless there's some solid physical proof here, not 'generated results', this is conjecture.

Someone smart enough to 'create' bitcoin, just might be smart enough to know the value of anonymity, and that reverse analysis might be used to later identify them. Depends on your level of risk and paranoia I presume...

If I had to guess who the founder of bitcoin was.. (4, Funny)

idioto (259918) | about 5 months ago | (#45584533)

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.

Re:If I had to guess who the founder of bitcoin wa (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45586939)

I knew a mad physicist. He had finished his thesis and his "troubles" began in middle age. He could talk to you cogently and intelligently about almost any subject. But don't ask him about the ghosts at the end of the block conspiring against him, or why he sleeps in the bushes.

Actually, he only sometimes slept in the bushes. Some kind family member or friend would often put him up for the night. He looked like he lived in a dumpster, but actually smelled very clean, and had the whitest, most perfect teeth I'd ever seen (not dentures or caps, though... not _that_ perfect).

I sometimes thought he might be a Yogi or something, being of Indian descent. Or maybe Jesus incarnate.

Re:If I had to guess who the founder of bitcoin wa (3, Interesting)

idioto (259918) | about 5 months ago | (#45587199)

Yeah, I had my comment moderated as funny, which it is, but I'm serious about this guy if I had to pick someone I've met in my life it would be him (and I know a guy who has the Nobel Prize in Economics). But there are a few street people who are maybe so smart they get hay-wired.

This guy used to stand in alley with his eyes rolled up, between the bookstore and the music shop chanting "Help me gus! Save us gus!" I used to think he was saying God, not gus, but I asked him about it. I actually didn't know he could talk at all, but I worked at the music store, and he came in, and I thought I was going to have to call the police. Then he talked normally and spoke well, and I asked him about what he was doing. He clarified his chant, sort of, at least as far as what he was saying. He wanted to buy something for his recording studio, which was a tape 4 track and other stuff that was in his shopping cart, which he showed me. I was in high school then, and I dealt with him a few times, and I think he told me about his education because I complimented his intelligence (I don't normally do that, but relative to homeless people I knew, he was smart, just crazy) and maybe I just probed people better then. Anyhow, he told me about his thesis, which me talking about is almost like the tenacious D song where it's a tribute to the greatest song in the world. I didn't really have the capacity to understand it all then (I was in H.S. talking to a mad partial PHD) so I can't spit it out verbatim, but he had me convinced at the conclusion, even perhaps the state of his condition, by virtue of his passion and reasoning despite the general premise behind his hypothesis seemed flawed to me then, and it had driven him in to exile, and he chose to go to Palo Alto for whatever reason. I don't know if he knows how to program. Maybe he learned on the mean streets.

Re:If I had to guess who the founder of bitcoin wa (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45589387)

Yeah, I had my comment moderated as funny, which it is, but I'm serious about this guy

Your name here isn't helping with that...

Re:If I had to guess who the founder of bitcoin wa (1)

flargleblarg (685368) | about 5 months ago | (#45589547)

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 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. Anyway, after he was all done telling me this, he looked intently at me and said, "By the way, can you spare some change? I need about tree fiddy."

No (3, Funny)

porksauce (1302059) | about 5 months ago | (#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:No (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45584687)

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

Re:No (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45586299)

Oh lovely, nice one! But no paradox there, let me answer that: No (some can be answered with "nein" if it's in german, "niet" if in dutch", "нÐÑ" if in russian, "não" if in portuguese, "ããã" in japanese, and so on).

Re:No (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45586565)

Oh lovely, nice one!
But no paradox there, let me answer that:

No (some can be answered with "nein" if it's in german, "niet" if in dutch", "нÐÑ" if in russian, "não" if in portuguese, "ããã" in japanese, and so on).

There is indeed no paradox, "no" is the correct answer.

On languages: "niet" in Dutch means "not", "no" would be "neen". I'll correct your other language mistakes as soon as /. supports Unicode.

Re:No (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45586671)

Alternate Headline:

Is Satoshi Nakamoto someone other than GWU Econ Prof. Nick Szabo?

Does it really matter? (2)

tlhIngan (30335) | about 5 months ago | (#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.

Re:Does it really matter? (1)

Captain_Chaos (103843) | about 5 months ago | (#45586691)

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.

Re:Does it really matter? (1)

Tyler Eaves (344284) | about 5 months ago | (#45588369)

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

Not an econ prof. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45584995)

Not on GWU's faculty roster. Also, no evidence that he ever held the title of professor in the GWU economics department. May the Google be with you.

Don't even try (3, Interesting)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 5 months ago | (#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.

Why hide? (2)

jones_supa (887896) | about 5 months ago | (#45585057)

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

Re:Why hide? (3, Insightful)

Nyder (754090) | about 5 months ago | (#45585791)

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.

Re:Why hide? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45585851)

Maybe he anticipated becoming a target like E-gold? [wikipedia.org]
And just earlier this year, with Liberty Reserve...
The United States charged founder Arthur Budovsky and six others with money laundering and operating an unlicensed financial transaction company. [wikipedia.org]

You'd HOPE the federal government would have the decency to not prosecute a developer who isn't "operating" anything, just coding. But I wouldn't bet my life on it.

Re:Why hide? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45585973)

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.

Re:Why hide? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45589823)

Bitcoin was created by NSA. Your computer is not solving any complex puzzle competing with others, it is just NSA supplied data that your computer does deep packet analysis of. The coins are not "awarded" or competed for, it is just the hook NSA gives you so you share your computational resources.

Laugh as much as you can, but this is the real truth - it is not useless calculations, it is actually doing work for somebody else.

Re:Why hide? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45586813)

How stupid do you have to be to ask that question?

Re:Why hide? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45590317)

Avoiding gitmo.

Is this the Geek Enquirer? (1)

phorm (591458) | about 5 months ago | (#45585401)

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

Re:Is this the Geek Enquirer? (1)

Jeng (926980) | about 5 months ago | (#45586555)

Slashdot was founded on the unfounded speculations from random blogs.

Satoshi Nakamoto didn't develop Bitcoin... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45585729)

... it was another guy named Satoshi Nakamoto.

Re:Satoshi Nakamoto didn't develop Bitcoin... (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | about 5 months ago | (#45588829)

I think you mean "another guy who also wasn't named Satoshi Nakamoto".

Although thinking of it, maybe his name really is Satoshi Nakamoto, and he made up that pseudonym story so that no one would guess he was the one who created Bitcoin; after all, who would use his own name as pseudonym?

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...