Did Mathematician Shinichi Mochizuki Invent Bitcoin?

It's hard not to be curious about the true identity of Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto, since he or she basically just stuck around on the internet long enough to introduce Bitcoin/get everyone all riled up and then disappeared. But Ted Nelson, the sociologist who invented the term "hypertext," thinks he knows who Nakamoto really is, and in the video below he calls out Japanese mathematician Shinichi Mochizuki.

It's just a hunch, though. Nelson recently read an article on Project Wordsworth about Mochizuki, and after that, "It was obvious, like a pie in the face." Basically Nelson thinks Mochizuki fits the description because he speaks fluent English, is creative enough, and is enough of a genius to have made Bitcoin happen. Nelson adds that Mochizuki has a history of making mathematical discoveries and then just leaving them on the internet for people to find rather than publishing them formally.

Quartz points out that people are already criticizing the theory, including data haven and security expert Ryan Lackey. He commented:

Does the proposed candidate have any documented experience as a software developer? He appears to just be a mathematician, which is very helpful but not sufficient to have built the first version of Bitcoin. Bitcoin has both some theoretical breakthroughs and extensions to existing protocols (Wei Day's bmoney, Hal Finney's RPOW, etc.), but is implemented fairly reasonably in code.

I see absolutely no reason to think this mathematician was Satoshi.

Other internet speculators have already landed on Mochizuki as a candidate, though Adam Penenberg came across other solid contenders in a Fast Company piece a few years ago. Nelson told Quartz that he will donate one Bitcoin, currently about $123, to charity if Satoshi denies that he invented Bitcoin. [Quartz]

Image credit: Shutterstock/123dartist