Bitcoin creator could be a first-generation Hungarian

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The elusive Satoshi Nakamoto, known as the creator of Bitcoin – a virtual payment system – could actually be an American computer programmer of Hungarian parentage according to New York Times journalist Nathaniel Popper.

In his lengthy trail of investigative journalism, part of which was published last Friday, the author, who is currently researching a book on the history of Bitcoin, attempts to reveal the true identity of the man behind the software. Popper links a number of peculiar facts about Satoshi Nakamoto with reclusive programmer Nick Szabo who’s father fled communist Hungary and settled in the United States, were Szabo was born 51 years ago.

Szabo began working on a remarkably similar software in the late 1990’s known as bit gold, and as Popper notes, a number of similarities between Szabo’s and Nakamoto’s inventions are uncanny, such as smart contracts – a very specialized concept that has been attributed to Szabo and which also became an essential component of Bitcoin technology.

The original Bitcoin was released in 2009, born out of several decades of complex programming by what was most likely a team of programmers and not just one man. After Nakamoto faded into obscurity around 2011, the open source code he had allegedly developed was revised by a group of programmers who did not hide their identities, Popper says.

In a chance encounter with Szabo, Popper pressed him for information but Szabo denied any affiliation with Nakamoto or that he himself was Nakamoto. He did not deny, however, that he was heavily involved in building the foundation of what would become the virtual currency.

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