Who Created Bitcoin? This Guy, Shinichi Mochizuki, Could Be the Real Satoshi Nakamoto


Did this guy create Bitcoin? The creator of the cryptocurrency released the idea under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto and has remained elusive ever since. Could he be Japanese mathematician Shinichi Mochizuki?

bitcoin guy
Credit: Kyoto University

The guy who created the term hypertext in 1963, Ted Nelson, thinks he has cracked the case, saying: 

"I feel a special kinship to him. I do not have his brains or his capabilities…but I know how it feels to be the only person in the world who understands something, both the escatcy and bitterness of it, being all along amongst beatiful stuff, having no one else to share it with and other sneering."

Nelson's justification for his pick is summed up by Quartz

1. Mochizuki is the kind of genius who could create bitcoin. Whoever created Bitcoin has the intellectual might of Isaac Newton, says Nelson. Mochizuki's work as a mathematician has cracked some of the simplest and toughest problems in his field, attracting global media coverage. "It's not like I'm accusing him of a crime!" Nelson tells Quartz. "I'm accusing him of greatness."

2. Mochizuki, like the creator of bitcoin, is fond of dropping brilliant works on the internet and stepping back. Bitcoin was released by a pseudonymous programmer (or programmers) under the name Satoshi Nakamoto, who then disappeared from the internet. Nelson compares this to Mochizuki's style of delivering his work not through academic journals, but simply by dropping it on the internet and walking away. (Notably, this is one area where Nelson gets his bitcoin history wrong: Satoshi Nakamoto didn't just drop bitcoin onto the internet and disappear. He, she or they, engaged with the community for some time over chat and email before disappearing.)

3. Mochizuki could easily have written all the correspondence associated with Satoshi Nakamoto. Despite being a Japanese professor at a Japanese university, Mochizuki's English must be quite good, says Nelson, because he was the salutatorian of his graduating class at Princeton, and he completed his undergraduate education in only three years. (Nelson doesn't note this, but it's reasonable to expect that Mochizuki is actually a native English speaker; he moved to the US with his parents when he was only five years old.)

What do you think?

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  1. Internet: Hey! Who dropped BitCoin on my foot? Pick it up!

  2. What do I think? Here’s what I think: Why go to all the trouble of mining BitCoin when we can just pick up this Mochizuki guy and work him over until he spills the goods.

    1. Because mining SHA hashes is an NP-hard problem. There is no “hack” or backdoor, and brute-forcing is required to find a valid block. Simply finding the mathematician responsible isn’t going make bitcoins appear, much like kidnapping the two Belgians responsible for the AES algorithm will allow one to break into AES-encrypted data.

      1. Because mining SHA hashes is an NP-hard problem.

        This is one of those situations in which a little knowledge is worse than none at all.

        It is unknown how difficult inverting a cryptographic hash is (i.e., finding some string that hashes to a given value). It could be Theta(2^n), or it could be simple based on some as-yet unknown mathematics.

        It is *not* known to be NP-hard: if it were, you could reduce some NP-complete problem to it, i.e., express some NP-complete problem in terms of inverting a hash. If you can do this, please go publish a paper about it and get yourself an award.

        Just say that inverting cryptographic hashes is believed to be hard: that’s what a cryptographic researcher would say.

        1. You sound like a dildo. You talk like a fag and your shit’s all retarded.

        2. Just say that inverting cryptographic hashes is believed to be hard: that’s what a cryptographic researcher would say.

          It’s believed to be hard because it is hard. I understand what you’re saying, that with a revolutionary new mathematical system for solving problems, it may become easy.

          Which leads us inexorably to the next question, how ‘hard’ is it to come up with a new mathematical system for solving problems?


    2. Hard to tell when these guys are lying. The don’t expose a lot of eye.

  3. I think his odds are above average. Possibly way above average (especially since the average odds are about 6 billion to 1).

  4. Chuck Schumer can finally put a face on his outrage.

    1. It’s sad that government will strangle this in the cradle.

      1. They’ll try.

    2. *Sigh*

      Any day I don’t see the names “Schumer” or “Reich” in print, I consider a gift from God. Oh well, there’s always tomorrow.

    3. Little-known fact: When Chuck’s outrage mixes with extreme surprise, he lactates out a firehose-stream of man-milk that can pierce 6-foot-thick concrete walls. Truth.

  5. Assuming the US Govt, has not already come to the same conclusion, I can only assume it would be VERY BAD for the real Mr. Bitcoin to please stand up, please stand up.

    1. This page is on his website.

      Classic Japanese eccentricity? Paranoia? Or another clue?

      1. The dude is so much smarter than I am, I don’t know that I can presuppose much of anything about him. Almost another species at that point, and I’m fairly bright.

      2. That hasn’t been updated in eight days. I hope he’s okay.

      3. Hmm, fascinating. It smacks of a dead-man’s switch.

        I’ve had a fascination with dead-man’s switches in all areas of computing, including all of my critical digital storage devices.

        Methinks it’s something that will report differently if he doesn’t do some kind of regular update.

  6. You know which other Japanese person did something the USG didn’t like?

      1. *raugh*

  7. Domo arigato, Mr. Nakamoto.

    1. Can’t touch his mustachio.

  8. I don’t understand the love this place has for it. It’s fiat currency. Sure, the rules are laid out, and it’s not by the government, but at the end of the day, it’s still fiat currency.

    1. I find the whole idea fascinating (perhaps because I don’t really understand it!). But is Bitcoin truly fiat money? Are clamshells fiat money in primitive tribes? (these are sincere questions — I’m trying to ask them before someone jumps on you with both feet).

    2. It may be a fiat currency, but it is still fascinating because it is one that does not come with the usual risks of using government fiat currency in transactions.

    3. And what’s wrong with fiat currency? Find a problem with it, which does not ultimately come down to state monopoly over its production and management.

      Say you were the manager of a pure fiat private currency competing in a market with others like it; how exactly would you go about inflating too quickly, without going out of business? Your job is to inflate at precisely the rate that real value is added to the economic system, thereby keeping the perceptual unit value of your currency stable over time.

      You’d have fun explaining over and over to people, how even though you literally print your own salary, the reason you’re not absurdly rich is that your profits are directly tied to how productive everybody else is. And how it’s a really difficult business, with huge overhead — and that you don’t actually ever use that supercomputer for playing video games. And how it would be so much easier if you could just have a monopoly like they had in the old days.

      And by the way, bitcoin is not fiat currency in any sense other than that it is not backed by an arbitrary physical substance. Its supply is, by definition, completely inelastic, which makes it an investment at best, which could never compete with a halfway well-managed currency. But as there aren’t currently any of those around, maybe it will do all right.

    4. It’s not a fiat currency, it’s an unbacked currency. Only an institution of violence such as a state can create a fiat currency.

      And the enthusiasm is a result of the reality that digital currencies are historically unique and have an opportunity to establish themselves as a legitimate free-market currency in spite of state efforts to control them. While they may not have any intrinsic value, they offer advantages (avoiding taxation/inflation being the big one, though immediate transfer & anonymity are also up there) that even a free-banking gold standard can’t match.

      1. This. There’s a difference between Fiat currency and a form of currency not backed by… gold.

      2. This is correct. Fiat is by definition granted by a decree or “fiat” of a ruling authority. Read RA Radford’s article on the Nazi prison camp economy. (removing the fact they were in prison) The camp operated it’s own economy without labor value of money and with no fiat on the particular currency or its value.
        Here is the link

  9. OT but it would be nice if H&R would put up a post about the Oklahoma tornado, it’s already being hailed as the worst ever and one of our satellite offices is down (everyone ok though).

    Here’s a time lapse video of the big one-

    And a pic of some of the disaster aftermath-

    Hope all the Reason folks in the area are ok…

    1. Sweet Jesus I read it was 2 miles wide and from that footage it looks like it could have been. It was hard to even make it out it was so big. Like a rolling boiling fog.

      1. Another pic of the rubble.

        This looks like about 50 houses that are now piles of debris.

        Maybe five or six blocks worth of neighborhood gone, maybe more.

    2. CLIMATE CHANGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    3. I am glad to hear that there are no reports of death or serious injury. But looking at that picture, good grief, how could anyone have survived that? There must have not been anyone home.

      1. Yeah, so far the casualties seem minor but watching the videos and seeing the pictures I can’t imagine it staying that low.

        Just unreal.

        1. Sadly, they’re now reporting at least 20 dead.

          I got used to tornado watches and warning every week when I lived in the Midwest. It got to where I wouldn’t even go into my basement unless I thought I saw cows flying over.

          1. I was in Nashville when the one went through downtown, and I saw enough heavy shit floating through the sky to send me to the basement. I’ve been through four hurricanes and I’ll take a hurricane ANY day over a tornado.

            Tornado’s are fucking crazy.

            1. Yeah. I hate hurricanes though. And I’ve never been through a bad one. First was Irene, power out for 4 days. Then Sandy, which didn’t do anything here in MD, but it freaked me out, because I’m sitting at home alone and it was headed right for us. So I went inland about 50 miles and got a hotel room. Next morning, tried getting into my puter at home, and it was still on. Drove home, nothing, not even any large limbs down. I felt like a wuss then, but I was freaking out before I left.

              Tornados, I’ve seen several of them, up pretty close a couple of times. But never had them damage my home. Although severe wind storms tore the shit out of my garden a few times and really pissed me off.

              When we have one of our feeble little T-Storms here in MD, and people say, wow, what a bad storm!, I have to laugh. I tell them that in the Midwest, you know it wasn’t bad when you come out of your basement and all your neighbors houses are still there.

            2. I reside in the region known as the Midwest and I have never even had a tornado come close to my vicinity. And I really want to see one so I go outside every time I hear sirens. But nothing ever happens. Y’all pussies.

            3. I was in Fort Worth for the big bad that rolled through in 2000. It was eerie in the downtown area in the aftermath–entire buildings without glass on three sides, streets littered with glass shards and paper and all manner of other debris.

              1. And just a note that the FW twister in 2000 was nothing compared to this OK one.

    4. Jesus, the aftermath photo looks like Sim City when you do those ‘bulldoze tile’ thingies.

      Man I hope they find those missing kids.


  10. (Nelson doesn’t note this, but it’s reasonable to expect that Mochizuki is actually a native English speaker; he moved to the US with his parents when he was only five years old.)

    Unless Mochizuki either didn’t learn another language prior to moving to the United States or his parents spoke to him in English since infancy, the fact given above still wouldn’t make him a “native English speaker,” just a very fluent speaker.

    1. Thank you, I was just about to post this.

  11. “delivering his work not through academic journals, but simply by dropping it on the internet and walking away”

    This is how academics should operate, always.

    1. But then how would they know how prestigious they are?

      1. By all of the letters after their name, of course.

      2. By their prestigiousness.

    2. Unfortunately, the way academics work is that you walk around with a monstrous ego over a piece of paper, even if you haven’t accomplished anything of significance for decades, or ever.

      That guy is an anomaly. Obviously he’s some sort of anti-government extremist wack-o, who’s helping people do bad things by avoiding taxes and other activities that could harm the children. Let’s hope the fiend if brought to justice soon, and that this illegal bit-coin scheme is snuffed out by our heroic elected betters.

      1. It’s interesting–I know a lot of people with Ph.D.s, and the ones who work for a living applying their skills in science seldom (almost never) make any kind of big deal about how smart they are. The ones in actual academia, as you point out, are more prone to it.

  12. “Who Created Bitcoin?”

    It was Al Gore.

    I thought everybody already knew!

  13. That’s Uchiha Itachi, and we’re all under the spell of his Sharingan.

    1. A Naruto reference on H&R. I’m stoked.

  14. Sometimes man, you just have to roll with it.

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