Summary: 15. Nick Szabo, a virtuous thinker and one of the great founders of Bitcoin Nick Szabo is the person most like Satoshi Nakamoto. He published the prototype of Bit Gold in 1998, during which he absorbed the idea of Wei Dai B-money. Wei Dai advocated that the verification result (ledger) be open, which is the ...

15. Nick Szabo, a virtuous thinker and one of the great founders of Bitcoin


Nick Szabo is the person most like Satoshi Nakamoto. He published the prototype of Bit Gold in 1998, during which he absorbed the idea of Wei Dai B-money. Wei Dai advocated that the verification result (ledger) be open, which is the idea of the current Bitcoin public ledger. The verification method mentioned in Nick's Bitgold is Hal's independent third-party verification. By contrast, Wei Dai's approach is a bit even better. Wei Dai's original B-money idea was published as a story on a website run by Nick. In 2002, Adam published Hashcash and proposed the calculation method of proof of work and difficulty coefficient, which also absorbed to Bit Gold. According to the negative feedback principle of automatic control, Satoshi Nakamoto developed the calculation of the difficulty coefficient into the automatic adjustment of the difficulty coefficient of 2016 blocks, which is very exciting and ensures the linear currency issuance of the Bitcoin system. Satoshi Nakamoto's improvement on Bitcoin is using economic means to deal with the Byzantine Generals' problem. Nick agrees with this. Studying Nick Bitgold's white paper, we seem to see Bitcoin. Like Satoshi Nakamoto is programming with the Bit Gold white paper as a task book. Of course,if this is the case, Bitcoin has long been born, indicating that there is still a problem. Satoshi Nakamoto saw the Bit Gold scheme in 2015; otherwise, it would not be said that Bitcoin is the realization of Wei Dai's and Nick's ideas. In addition to the Byzantine general problem mentioned by Nick, Bitgold also has an incentive problem. It is the relationship of production. For technical personnel with Western education, this is also a cross-border area challenging to break through in concept. Satoshi Nakamoto's epiphany was stimulated by the financial crisis that started in 2017, and he finally figured out what he didn't understand about Bitcoin.

There are traces of the development of cryptocurrency research. Nick has absorbed the nutrition of the cypherpunk community and Bitgold represents the highest level in the circle and is a relatively complete design idea. Nick is worthy of being a master of thought. In the comments of the Bitgold article, many people have concluded that he is Satoshi Nakamoto because it is too similar. Reference (8) at the end of this article are my reading notes, a study BitGold’s white paper, and an analysis of the differences between Bitcoin and Bit Gold.

Wei Dai comments on Nick: "Szabo is one of the few people that has the breadth, depth, and specificity of knowledge to achieve what Satoshi has, agreed. He is the right age, has the right background, and was in the right place at the right time. He ticks a lot of the right boxes." (1) What does "specific knowledge" mean here? Wei Dai said only he and Nick could develop Bitcoin, which is what specific knowledge means. Only this tiny circle of people can set it. Guessing Nick is Satoshi Nakamoto and Guess Hal is Satoshi Nakamoto are not outrageous, but Nick is closer. The gap between the masters is insignificant if Hal is one step away from Bitcoin; Nick is only half a step away.

Nick was born in 1964, graduated from the Department of Information Engineering at the University of Washington in 1989, and was 45 years old in 2009. Exceeds our previous estimate of Nakamoto's 33-34 years old. Nick has passed the best age for program development. If he is not a programmer who has been developing programs and has program works, by the age of 45, his thinking will become more mature, and his skills will be rusty. Nick isn't easy to independently develop high-level programs like Bitcoin; Because the programming level of development of Bitcoin is world-class. Dan Kaminsky is a security expert known for discovering vulnerabilities in the bottom layers of the Internet in 2008. "When I first looked at the code, I was sure I was going to be able to break it," Kaminsky said, but he failed. He believes that the programming style is rigorous. "The way the whole thing was formatted was insane. Only the most paranoid, painstaking coder in the world could avoid making mistakes."(2) It is the most significant gap between Nick and Nakamoto, that is, the gap in programming ability.

In addition to the security technology of programming, Nakamoto's research on cryptography has also been highly praised by experts. There are three references in the Satoshi Nakamoto white paper to the work of Stuart Haber, a researcher at the H.P. Lab at Princeton. Haber is the director of the International Association for Cryptography Research and knows bitcoin inside out. He said: "Whoever did this had a deep understanding of cryptography" (2). Read Nick's article and feel his flaws in programming and cryptography. He is different from Hal. The Hal RPOW system was compiled by himself. After Satoshi Nakamoto published the Bitcoin code, Hal quickly downloaded it and communicated with Satoshi Nakamoto. Nakamoto told Adam and Wei Dai about the code download website by email. Neither Back nor Wei Dai seemed to move. And Nick didn't show enthusiasm either. Searching the cryptography mailing group did not find any of Nick's articles. It appears that he is too far away from cryptography.

Nick can't develop it himself; it can find someone. But others can only be the program realization of his thoughts. If he implements his complete program of Bit Gold, his verification is still inspired by Hal to be verified by a trusted third party, which is still far from the level of Bitcoin verification. Only the programmer himself has a deep understanding of Nick's thinking and can make improved innovations. But he and Wei Dai both say that few people have this knowledge. Who can help him do it? The procedural ability stumped Nick. He was still looking for suitable developers in the second half of 2008 when Satoshi Nakamoto's Bitcoin was about to come out. After Satoshi Nakamoto's Bitcoin came out, he deleted the job posting from his blog. Can find The post outside is turned around by many hands. Interested readers can refer to Reference (3).

The reason for the deletion of the blog post has led to speculation from the outside world and even doubts about his character. The reason is straightforward. Satoshi Nakamoto made Bitcoin, which is better than his Bit Gold vision. He cannot think and develop products that surpass Bitcoin, so he deleted the post looking for someone to represent his attitude. Thirteen years have passed, and there is not a project that exceeds Bitcoin. A master is a master; whether Satoshi Nakamoto or Nick, the masters have first-class judgment. Nick stopped thinking about redevelopment. It is where Satoshi Nakamoto is awesome. Due to the extreme that you can not go beyond, it can only be the improvement of the details. The world also once had a person called Steve Jobs, who designed the phone, and the late are following. Introduced The phone was in 2007; he was 52 years old, through the vicissitudes of old and mature. And Satoshi Nakamoto is only 33-34 years old.

Nick is characterized by conception; solid programming skills illustrate Satoshi Nakamoto. Nick is a prolific writer covering computer science, law, politics, economics, finance, history, and biology. The web.archive.org website shows Nick made 803 saves unenumerated between February 3, 2006, and August 23, 2022. (4) That is, published almost 803 posts. In addition to the white paper, the text left by Satoshi Nakamoto is a nearly 80,000-word customer service post and email. The quality of the posts can't keep up with the white papers. The release time of the two versions of the white paper differs by a few months, but there are few changes and almost no changes to the text. Indicating that the white paper is hard work; maybe the moneymaster helped. In other words, the English level of the posts that Satoshi Nakamoto writes casually is in the vernacular, unlike Nick's eloquent article, so Satoshi Nakamoto doesn't like to write essays. Satoshi Nakamoto thinks his programming skills are better than writing papers. He said this in a forum reply to Hal,(5) he had said the same in an email to Martti, an early participant in Bitcoin. Nakamoto programming is better than writing articles because the instruction set of the code is small, and the writing format is formatted. The language instruction set is too large; the changes are too significant and challenging to manipulate. Who would feel that programming is easy and writing is difficult? Nick will not. Satoshi Nakamoto is also fluent in English, so why would he find it difficult to express himself? It is what behavioral analysis is all about. Decryption is an exciting thing.

In addition, Nick does not hide. People who like to use blogs want more people to know about them. He can openly find someone to program and realize his Bit Gold; why would he create a false identity for himself for Bitcoin? Unreasonable. He is an open person who prefers to communicate openly rather than privately. In an obscure corner of his blog, I finally found an email nszabo@law.gwu.edu, probably his email. There is no public key for PGP encryption on it. This behavior is very different from Satoshi Nakamoto. Satoshi Nakamoto will not disclose any more information, and hidden people will not start blogs introducing their thoughts and opinions. All of Satoshi Nakamoto's posts are meant to answer Bitcoin's questions. Satoshi Nakamoto likes to communicate privately by email, and their emails are encrypted. Disclosing his email address also reveals his own PGP encryption public key. The advantage of this is that it will keep spam out. The style of writing is easy to hide. They are a generation that grew up playing role-playing games. To judge Satoshi Nakamoto by his writing style will fall into his pitfall. The way of behavior is that the habit is not easy to hide, and the two people's behavior styles are very different.

There is another difference. Satoshi Nakamoto is a freelancer. He advocates laying down to win and asking everyone to save some Bitcoins from the beginning and do it himself. Nick is still teaching and learning at the university, outputting ideas, and not lying down to win.

There is no evidence that Nick is involved in mining. Will he still need to work if he has more than 1 million Bitcoins?

Nick's denial of being Satoshi Nakamoto, like Hal, is sincere. I have always guessed that they know who Satoshi Nakamoto is, and they want to protect him or respect the privacy of others. It is the idea of cypherpunks, and they have noble morals. Adrian Chen asked Nick on Twitter who Satoshi Nakamoto is. He said: "I'm not going to comment any further on this, as I think he has made a great contribution and so I want to respect his desire for privacy." (6) A "respect" implies that he knows who Satoshi Nakamoto is. If it's just to satisfy people's curiosity, I don't put much effort into it. However, I said earlier that this is the call of the times, and someone needs to wake up this Chosen Son.

Nick's 2011 article "Bitcoin, what took ye so long?"(7)Written very well and profoundly, answering questions from the outside world. Showing what a master's mind and insight are, Nick Szabo's knowledge and character are role models. Reference (8) is the original text of Bitgold; you can appreciate the style of master Nick.

His actions and thoughts were consistent, so the evidence of his remarks was adopted as additional evidence. Nick is too old; also, Satoshi Nakamoto is not short of money, is a freelancer, good at hiding, sending emails to encrypt, and not good at writing articles, all these characteristics Nick does not have.

Conclusion.

Satoshi Nakamoto: Male, 33-34 years old, prodigy, American, living on the West Coast, a cypherpunk. Not short of money. Freelancer. There is no Satoshi Nakamoto among the suspects of the deceased Satoshi Nakamoto. He has excellent programming and product design skills and an understanding of the community. Good life; there is a good moneymaster and schemer. Satoshi Nakamoto has a deep understanding of finance. Influenced by the Austrian School of Economics. He likes to live freely. Founder of Cryptoeconomics. Chosen son with a mission. Satoshi Nakamoto's role-playing doesn't have such a large span of character and behavior. Good at hiding and sending emails to be encrypted, but not good at writing articles.

We are getting closer and closer to our goal. Confirmation is much more complex than denial, and deciphering the story is an exciting journey.


References

1. frizzers March 21, 2014

https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/YdfpDyRpNyypivgdu/aalwa-ask-any-lesswronger-anything?commentId=kro6CDWaeQojqZnvb

Szabo is one of the few people that has the breadth, depth, and specificity of knowledge to achieve what Satoshi has agreed. He is the right age, has the right background, and was in the right place at the right time. He ticks a lot of the right boxes.

2. The Crypto-Currency

By Joshua Davis

October 3, 2011

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2011/10/10/the-crypto-currency

3. Who is Nick Szabo, The Mysterious Blockchain Titan

Stefan Stankovic

Who is Nick Szabo, The Mysterious Blockchain Titan

He also started to collect and publish his ideas on a well-respected blog, "Unenumerated"

"Bit Gold would greatly benefit from a demonstration, an experimental market (with e.g. a trusted third party substituted for the complex security that would be needed for a real system). Any body want to help me code one up?" he asked in the comment section his blog.

4. https://web.archive.org/details/http://unenumerated.blogspot.com/

Saved 802 times between February 3, 2006, and August 17, 2022.

5. Bitcoin P2P e-cash paper

Satoshi Nakamoto satoshi at vistomail.com

Fri Nov 14 13:55:35 EST 2008

https://www.metzdowd.com/pipermail/cryptography/2008-November/014853.html

It's very attractive to the libertarian viewpoint if we can explain it properly. I'm better with code than with words though.

6. Adrian Chen

@AdrianChen

his is what Nick Szabo wrote when I asked him about Satoshi in 2011:

12:11 AM December 3, 2013, Twitter Web

7. Bitcoin, what took ye so long?

Nick Szabo

https://unenumerated.blogspot.com/2011/05/bitcoin-what-took-ye-so-long.htm

8. Bit Gold

Nick Szabo

December 29, 2005

https://nakamotoinstitute.org/bit-gold/

Bit gold

A long time ago I hit upon the idea of bit gold. The problem, in a nutshell, is that our money currently depends on trust in a third party for its value. As many inflationary and hyperinflationary episodes during the 20th century demonstrated, this is not an ideal state of affairs. Similarly, private bank note issue, while it had various advantages as well as disadvantages, similarly depended on a trusted third party.

Discuss The point of not trust in a third party is Nick's catchphrase. The earliest white paper of Bitcoin was called the cash system without trust third party, and then Satoshi Nakamoto changed the title to Peer-to-peer cash system. Satoshi Nakamoto changed it to be accurate. Bitcoin has to trust a third party; only that third party is the programmer and the computing power contributor. Satoshi Nakamoto's initial article title made the same statement as Nick, which Nick influenced, and Satoshi Nakamoto did not think carefully about it at first.

Precious metals and collectibles have an unforgeable scarcity due to the costliness of their creation. This once provided money the value of which was largely independent of any trusted third party. Precious metals have problems, however. It's too costly to assay metals repeatedly for common transactions . Thus a trusted third party (usually associated with a tax collector who accepted the coins as payment) was invoked to stamp a standard amount of the metal into a coin. Transporting large values of metal can be a rather insecure affair, as the British found when transporting gold across a U-boat infested Atlantic to Canada during World War I to support their gold standard. What's worse, you can't pay online with metal.

Discuss The gold standard is the theoretical basis. It is 1914.

Thus, it would be very nice if there were a protocol whereby unforgeably costly bits could be created online with minimal dependence on trusted third parties, and then securely stored, transferred, and assayed with similar minimal trust. Bit gold.

Discuss Bit gold. 1. Immutable, 2. Expensive digital, 3. Online creation, 4. Minimal trusted third party, 5. Secure storage, 6. Transfer, 7. Minimal inspection. 4 and 7, Bitcoin does better. All the requirements of Bit Gold are well realized.

My proposal for bit gold is based on computing a string of bits from a string of challenge bits, using functions called variously "client puzzle function," "proof of work function," or "secure benchmark function.". The resulting string of bits is the proof of work. Where a one-way function is prohibitively difficult to compute backwards, a secure benchmark function ideally comes with a specific cost, measured in compute cycles, to compute backwards.

Discuss Bitcoin goes one step further in verification. That's still Nick's thinking.

Here are the main steps of the bit gold system that I envision:

(1) A public string of bits, the "challenge string," is created (see step 5).

(2) Alice on her computer generates the proof of work string from the challenge bits using a benchmark function.

Discuss This is the difficulty setting.

(3) The proof of work is securely timestamped. This should work in a distributed fashion, with several different timestamp services so that no particular timestamp service need be substantially relied on.

Discuss Satoshi Nakamoto was unfamiliar with this and used four citations.

(4) Alice adds the challenge string and the timestamped proof of work string to a distributed property title registry for bit gold. Here, too, no single server is substantially relied on to properly operate the registry.

Discuss This is distributed bookkeeping.

(5) The last-created string of bit gold provides the challenge bits for the next-created string.

Discuss Bitcoin is better for this.

(6) To verify that Alice is the owner of a particular string of bit gold, Bob checks the unforgeable chain of titles in the bit gold title registry.

Discuss The Bitcoin public key and private key method realizes this verification

(7) To assay the value of a string of bit gold, Bob checks and verifies the challenge bits, the proof of work string, and the timestamp.

Discuss The Bitcoin bookkeeper implements this verification.

Note that Alice's control over her bit gold does not depend on her sole possession of the bits, but rather on her lead position in the unforgeable chain of title (chain of digital signatures) in the title registry.

Discuss Bitcoin's implementation method is different and more ingenious.

All of this can be automated by software. The main limits to the security of the scheme are how well trust can be distributed in steps (3) and (4), and the problem of machine architecture which will be discussed below.

Hal Finney has implemented a variant of bit gold called RPOW (Reusable Proofs of Work). This relies on publishing the computer code for the "mint," which runs on a remote tamper-evident computer. The purchaser of bit gold can then use remote attestation, which Finney calls the transparent server technique, to verify that a particular number of cycles were actually performed.

Discuss Transparent verification is not as good as Bitcoin

The main problem with all these schemes is that proof of work schemes depend on computer architecture, not just an abstract mathematics based on an abstract "compute cycle." (I wrote about this obscurely several years ago.) Thus, it might be possible to be a very low cost producer (by several orders of magnitude) and swamp the market with bit gold. However, since bit gold is timestamped, the time created as well as the mathematical difficulty of the work can be automatically proven. From this, it can usually be inferred what the cost of producing during that time period was.

Discuss The whole method was modified by Satoshi Nakamoto. Satoshi Nakamoto believed that he realized Wei Dai and Nick's ideas, and Satoshi was correct.

Unlike fungible atoms of gold, but as with collector's items, a large supply during a given time period will drive down the value of those particular items. In this respect "bit gold" acts more like collector's items than like gold. However, the match between this ex post market and the auction determining the initial value might create a very substantial profit for the "bit gold miner" who invents and deploys an optimized computer architecture.

Discuss What is this structure, Nick did not say. Satoshi Nakamoto is a concrete realization.

Thus, bit gold will not be fungible based on a simple function of, for example, the length of the string. Instead, to create fungible units dealers will have to combine different-valued pieces of bit gold into larger units of approximately equal value. This is analogous to what many commodity dealers do today to make commodity markets possible. Trust is still distributed because the estimated values of such bundles can be independently verified by many other parties in a largely or entirely automated fashion.

Discuss This is reflected in Bitcoin's wallet design.

In summary, all money mankind has ever used has been insecure in one way or another. This insecurity has been manifested in a wide variety of ways, from counterfeiting to theft, but the most pernicious of which has probably been inflation. Bit gold may provide us with a money of unprecedented security from these dangers. The potential for initially hidden supply gluts due to hidden innovations in machine architecture is a potential flaw in bit gold, or at least an imperfection which the initial auctions and ex post exchanges of bit gold will have to address.

Discuss This has been inherited in the early bitcoin issuance. Has it been resolved yet? No, nor has it been a problem. For the understanding of gold, Satoshi Nakamoto obtained nutrition from Nick. Wei_Dai's transparency is openness, and Hal's transparency is trusting a third party. Wei_Dai is more transparent than Hal.