Elon Musk, Tesla
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The price of Bitcoin has fallen sharply this week, wiping out more than $100 billion from the value of the combined crypto market. The price of Ethereum also crashed again, as some of the largest Ethereum competitors drove the market lower and the meme-based Dogecoin lost nearly 10%.
Now, Musk has studied the mystery of bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto, arguing that the true identity of the bitcoin inventor is not as important as the development of ideas that led to it — and naming crypto pioneer Nick Szabo as the driver of this development.
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“You can look at the evolution of ideas before the launch of bitcoin and see who wrote, you know, about those ‘unknown’ ideas — it’s OK,” Musk told podcaster and artificial intelligence researcher Lex Friedman, who asked if it was a trait or a bug in the identity of Satoshi Nakamoto. It’s an interesting kind of human history that there is a certain technology whose inventor is completely unknown.”
“Obviously I don’t know who invented bitcoin… It seems that Nick Szabo is probably more than anyone else responsible for the development of these ideas,” Musk said, adding, “He claims he is not Nakamoto… but it appears he is the one responsible for the ideas.” lurking behind it more than anyone else.”
Szabo is best known as the inventor of one of the predecessors of Bitcoin, Bit Gold, and digital smart contracts – which eventually evolved into a major part of the Ethereum blockchain. Szabo had previously denied being Satoshi Nakamoto, telling financial writer Dominic Frisbee in 2014, “I’m afraid you’ve misunderstood me as Satoshi, but I’m used to it.”
“Perhaps the individual characters are not as important as the characters involved in the development of ideas that led to things,” Musk told Friedman, asking, “It’s sad to think of history but probably most of the names are forgotten. What is a name anyway, it’s a noun, a noun connected. With an idea. What does that mean?”
The disappearance of Satoshi Nakamoto shortly after the launch of bitcoin has led to feverish speculation over the past decade about who was responsible for its creation and sparked a cryptocurrency gold rush that led to the creation of thousands of different coins.
Meanwhile, the Satoshi Nakamoto mystery has helped develop bitcoin as an independent, decentralized technology. Rival cryptocurrency innovators, such as Ethereum founder Vitalik Buterin, have struggled to escape the outsized influence of their projects, raising questions about centralization.
Musk also told Friedman that he does not understand Ethereum-based smart contracts — blockchain-based, self-executing contracts that run when certain pre-programmed conditions are met.
“I’ve never really understood how this whole smart contract is, you know, I’m too stupid to understand smart contracts,” Musk joked.
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However, Musk continued to predict that competing meme-based bitcoin, or perhaps some other cryptocurrency, would eventually become the official currency of Mars — something that Musk had previously hinted at with a proposed project to literally use his rocket company SpaceX Dogecoin on the moon.”
“I think Mars itself will need a different currency… I don’t know if Mars will use cryptocurrency as something, but maybe that seems likely, but it will be kind of a local thing on Mars,” Musk added, “The future of Mars has to depend on Mars”.
Last week, Musk, who this year called on dogecoin developers to upgrade the meme-based cryptocurrency in order to better compete with Bitcoin and Ethereum, in the crypto-level row on web3 — the idea of a decentralized, blockchain-based crypto-version that could replace the web 2.0 of Silicon Valley — revealing why he’s a “pro”.