Bitcoin’s pseudonymous inventor nominated for a Nobel Prize
Bitcoin’s break into mainstream economics took a major step last month by being ruled tax-free in Europe by the European Court of Justice, which continued today with news that its unknown creator has been nominated for a Nobel Prize.
The nomination, from UCLA professor of finance Bhagwan Chowdhry, goes to Satoshi Nakamoto – widely credited with inventing Bitcoin after publishing a paper outlining the concept in 2008 and writing the original software behind the currency.
The problem, though, is that no-one is really sure who Satoshi Nakamoto is. The name could represent one individual or a group of people. The location and nationality of Nakamoto are not clear and, if the nomination went forward, it would be the first time the Nobel committee awarded the prize to an unknown person.
Writing about his choice of nomination in the Huffington Post, Chowdhry claims he is “completely serious” in nominating Satoshi Nakamoto:
“Beyond demonstrating the possibility of creating a reliable digital currency, Satoshi Nakamoto’s Bitcoin Protocol has spawned exciting innovations in the FinTech [financial technology] space by showing how many financial contracts – not just currencies – can be digitised, securely verified and stored, and transferred instantaneously from one party to another. The implications of this are immense.”
Bitcoin is likely too new a mechanic to be seriously considered by the committee for the prize, but Chowdhry’s claim nevertheless illustrates the changing rhetoric around the cryptocurrency as it becomes an ever more mainstream alternative to Fiat currencies.