Saturday, May 16, 2015

Is Bitcoin Creator Satoshi Nakamoto a Big Ron Paul Fan and Did He Endorse Ron Paul for President?

NYT reporter Nathaniel Popper believes it has unmasked Satoshi Nakamoto and that he is Nick Szabo:

As I had these conversations with the programmers and entrepreneurs who are most deeply involved in Bitcoin, I encountered a quiet but widely held belief that much of the most convincing evidence pointed to a reclusive American man of Hungarian descent named Nick Szabo.

Mr. Szabo is nearly as much of a mystery as Satoshi. But in the course of my reporting I kept turning up new hints that drew me further into the chase...

Many concepts central to Bitcoin were developed in an online community known as the Cypherpunks, a loosely organized group of digital privacy activists. As part of their mission, they set out to create digital money that would be as anonymous as physical cash. Mr. Szabo was a member, and in 1993, he wrote a message to fellow Cypherpunks describing the diverse motivations of attendees at a group meeting that had just taken place...

It is, though, Mr. Szabo’s activity in 2008, as Bitcoin emerged into the world, that has generated much of the suspicion about his role in the project. That spring, before anyone had ever heard of Satoshi Nakamoto or Bitcoin, Mr. Szabo revived his bit gold idea on his personal blog, and in an online conversation about creating a live version of the virtual currency, he asked his readers: “Anybody want to help me code one up?”

After Bitcoin appeared, Mr. Szabo changed the date on that blog post. It then looked as though it was written after Bitcoin’s release, rather than before, archived versions of the website show.

Mr. Szabo’s writing about bit gold from that time contains many striking parallels with Satoshi’s description of Bitcoin, including similar phrasings and even common writing mannerisms. In 2014, researchers at Aston University, in England, compared the writing of several people who have been suspected to be Satoshi and found that none matched up nearly as well as Mr. Szabo’s. The similarity was “uncanny,” said Jack Grieve, the lecturer who led the effort.

When I went back and read Mr. Szabo’s online writings, it was obvious that in the year before Satoshi appeared on the scene and released Bitcoin, Mr. Szabo was again thinking seriously about digital money.

He wrote frequently, over several months, about the concepts involved in digital money, including those smart contracts, a concept so specialized that Mr. Szabo is often given credit for inventing the term. Smart contracts later showed up as an essential piece of the Bitcoin software.

This is what Szabo wrote on his blog in December 2007:
This blog has never before expressed an opinion about a specific political election. Unenumerated takes a long view and electioneering is generally not the most effective means of political action. Occasionally, however, there is a remarkable exception. Ron Paul's candidacy for President of the United States is the most remarkable such exception of our era...
Among the makeup-encrusted crop of TV-hyped politicians, Ron Paul stands alone in working, not to propagate mass media mythologies, but to preserve and restore our genuine freedoms and our highly evolved traditions. Where other politicians go on and on about "freedom" in order to justify wars and suppressions that deprive people of their lives, liberties, and properties, Ron Paul throughout his long career has labored to preserve and restore our freedoms. Ron Paul has worked to heal the wounds to liberty and the damages to our essential institutions that were inflicted by barbaric politics over the last century: the wars, the ethnic cleansings, the nationalizations, and the corruptions that have worked in tandem to destroy many of the freedoms our forefathers held dear. From property rights to privacy, the rights to bear arms and defend ourselves and our loved ones, rights to speak freely via technology old and new, rights to be free from false arrest and torture, the list of freedoms we once held but are now losing is long. Without a libertarian surge, a rising of people to rebuke the evils of the century now thankfully over, the barbarity of that century will have become fixed as the only reality we know, and we will be plunged into a long dark age.


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