Inventor of bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto, has been nominated by Bhagwan Chowdhry, a professor of finance at UCLA, to receive the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, despite possibly not existing.
Chosen by Chowdhry for his initiation of a revolutionary digital currency and the technology behind it, which is revolutionizing the economic and financial world, Nakamoto may be a pseudonym for a person or group of people behind the technology. In 2008, a paper was published on the concept of bitcoin under the Nakamoto name, and the software that it uses was written by the same person or group. Since then, many people have tried to uncover who the real Nakamoto is; however, all suggested candidates have denied their involvement.
Explaining his decision, Chowdhry said that Nakamoto has changed the way we think about money, stating “it is likely to upend the role central banks play in conducting monetary policy, destroy high-cost money transfer services such as Western Union, eliminate the 2-4% transactions tax imposed by intermediaries such as Visa, MasterCard and Paypal, eliminate the time-consuming and expensive notary and escrow services and indeed transform the landscape of legal contracts completely. Many industries such as Banking, Finance, Law will see a big upheaval. The consumers will be big beneficiaries and indeed the poor and marginal sections of the society will reap the benefits of financial and social inclusion in the coming decades. I can barely think of another innovation in Economic and Finance in the last several decades whose influence surpasses the welfare increases that will be engendered by Satoshi Nakamoto’s brilliant, path-breaking invention. That is why I am nominating him for the Nobel Prize in Economics.”
Established in 1968 by Sweden’s central bank, the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences is awarded alongside the Nobel Prizes and awards the same prizes at the same ceremony. How Nakamoto would receive the prize if he won is up for debate as it seems unlikely he would renounce his anonymity. Various solutions have been proposed and Nakamoto has communicated with people online before so it would be perfectly possible for him to do the same again. Chowdhry has also offered himself to stand in at the ceremony if required but this discussion is somewhat premature, as the award ceremony for the prize would not be until December 2016. However, it would be pleasing to see the inventor of digital gold receive a prize made from real gold.