Elon Musk has chimed in on the true identity of Satoshi Nakamoto, the unidentified person or group credited with inventing bitcoin.
During a podcast with Lex Fridman on Tuesday, Musk addressed the mystery of the bitcoin creator’s identity. During the interview, the host asked Musk if it was a “feature or a bug” since bitcoin’s creators had never identified themselves, prompting Musk to provide his thoughts on the matter.
Musk claimed that computer scientist Nick Szabo is most “responsible” for bitcoin’s development. He, however, denied being the founder of the crypto.
“You can look at the evolution of ideas before the launch of bitcoin and see who wrote about those ideas,” Musk said on the podcast.
“Obviously, I don’t know who created bitcoin for practical purposes, but the evolution of ideas is pretty clear before that. It seems as though Nick Szabo is probably, more than anybody else, responsible for the evolution of those ideas.”
“He claims not to be Nakamoto, but that’s neither here nor there. He seems to be the one more responsible for the ideas behind bitcoin than anyone else,” Musk added.
Szabo has long been considered a possible replacement for Nakamoto. In the late 1990s, the computer scientist invented “bit gold,” a forerunner of bitcoin.
In 2014, a group of linguistics professors from the UK compared the bitcoin whitepaper attributed to Nakamoto to the writings of 11 people suspected of being the originator. The researchers concluded that Szabo was the most obvious candidate. However, Szabo has constantly denied being the developer of bitcoin. “Not Satoshi, but thank you,” he stated in a 2014 tweet.
While several people have been named as viable possibilities, including Musk, the exact identity of bitcoin’s creator has yet to be discovered. During the podcast conversation, Musk denied again that he is not the actual Satoshi Nakamoto.
“I’m not,” Musk said. However, when asked if he would tell the truth if he was, the billionaire responded with a laugh and a simple, “Yes.”