Who Is Nick Szabo, and Is He Satoshi Nakamoto?

Although he has repeatedly denied it, there is a decent chance that computer scientist and cryptocurrency expert Nick Szabo is, in fact, bitcoin founder Satoshi Nakamoto. Satoshi's true identity (or identities—there are some who believe that Satoshi is a nickname for a group of developers rather than a single founder) has remained one of the great mysteries of the cryptocurrency era. Nonetheless, many analysts and cryptocurrency enthusiasts are convinced that Nick Szabo is the true Satoshi. Here are some of the reasons why.

Bit Gold Project

One of the reasons that Szabo could be Satoshi is that the computer scientist created an important predecessor of bitcoin. Called "bit gold," this early example of a digital currency provided an important impetus for some of the developments that would later characterize bitcoin. Further, Szabo and Satoshi contacted the same group of people for feedback and advice with their respective cryptocurrency projects. According to Gizmodo, Szabo even backdated a blog post asking for advice on how to launch bit gold in order to make it appear that he wrote the query after Satoshi released a paper on bitcoin in 2008.

Writing Mannerisms

Gizmodo's report indicates that Satoshi and Szabo even have a similar writing style, citing Szabo's blog post and Satoshi's early paper on bitcoin. From research conducted at Aston University in Birmingham, England, to determine potential contenders for the real identity of Satoshi, a report concluded that Szabo's writing contains "striking parallels" to Satoshi's, including similar writing mannerisms and phrasings. Aston's Jack Grieve described the similarities as "uncanny."

Similar Arguments for Bitcoin

A report on Medium draws further parallels between Szabo and Satoshi. According to the report, "Szabo and Satoshi each give essentially an identically unique explanation" as to why bitcoin should have value. While it's possible that two independent cryptocurrency experts would arrive at a nearly identical arguments in favor of the world's most popular digital currency, again, the parallels between the two arguments have some analysts and others in the cryptocurrency community wondering if it might be more than a coincidence.

Of course, if Nick Szabo really is Satoshi Nakamoto, there is another question to be answered: Does it matter?

Investing in cryptocurrencies and Initial Coin Offerings ("ICOs") is highly risky and speculative, and this article is not a recommendation by Investopedia or the writer to invest in cryptocurrencies or ICOs. Since each individual's situation is unique, a qualified professional should always be consulted before making any financial decisions. Investopedia makes no representations or warranties as to the accuracy or timeliness of the information contained herein. As of the date this article was written, the author owns bitcoin and ripple.

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