Bhagwan Chowdhry, a UCLA professor who holds a PhD in finance from the University of Chicago, was asked to nominate someone for the 2016 Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, or the The Nobel Prize for Economic Sciences, according to his column with the Huffington Post.
Chowdhry’s nomination went to Satoshi Nakamoto, which is a pseudonym for a person whose identity is uncertain, according to Bitcoin News Service. No one knows who he really is, or if he is a real person. Some have speculated that it could be a group of people. Bitcoin was introduced to the world in a 2009 paper, hosted by bitcoin.org, that was authored by Satoshi Nakamoto. The bitcoin creator designed the currency so that he would be the beneficiary of what is currently valued at several hundred million U.S. dollars in bitcoin.
Reports suggest that Nicholas Julius Szabo could be Satoshi Nakamoto, but this is far from certain, reports Bitcoin News Service. New York Times reporter Nathaniel Popper has reportedly suggested that Szabo was a member of an online community called Cypherpunks that was involved in “early experiments in digital money that predated bitcoin.”
“There are still real questions about whether Nick is Satoshi. He himself says he’s not Satoshi,” Popper was quoted. “But there’s no question that Nick was involved in a lot of the important experiments that in the end made bitcoin possible.”
Bhagwan Chowdhry also states that bitcoin has sparked a revolution of thought in other areas of finance, including what he calls the “FinTech space.” Block chain technology used to transfer bitcoins can be applied to other financial instruments as well. The professor points to groups like Stellar.org and Ethereum.org as examples of “open, decentralized, public infrastructure” for transacting money and financial contracts.
Further, the professor feels that Bitcoin will eventually “destroy” companies like Western Union and eliminate “transaction tax[es]” imposed by MasterCard, Visa, and PayPal. Chowdhry also states that the technology has the potential to “transform the landscape of legal contracts completely.” He feels that poor and marginalized segments of populations stand to benefit most from the creation of bitcoin. Chowdhry feels that bitcoin and the accompanying technology is the most important innovation in economics and finance in several decades.
Chowdhry suggests that if Satoshi Nakamoto doesn’t provide a bitcoin address upon receipt of the prize, that the money could be forwarded to him and that he could square up with Nakamoto at a later date.
[Feature Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images]