The world’s richest man also confirmed that he is the elusive creator of the cryptocurrency that has taken the world by storm in the past decade. While on a podcast hosted by the artificial intelligence researcher Lex Friedman, Mr Elon Musk was asked about his theories on who Satoshi Nakamoto really is.
Nakamoto, a pseudonym, first introduced the invention via another mailing list, where they published a specification and proof of concept for the cryptocurrency.
They left the project in 2010 and remained tight-lipped on any particulars about their true identity.
The decentralised nature of Bitcoin means the developing team has drastically evolved, now incorporating anyone with the means.
Mr Elon Musk said: “Well, you can look at the evolution of ideas before the launch of bitcoin and see who wrote about those ideas.
“It seems as though Nick Szabo is probably, more than anyone else, responsible for the evolution of those ideas.”
Mr Szabo is a computer scientist who is known for his research in digital contracts and digital currency.
He helped develop an early form of cryptocurrency called “Bit gold”, which was considered a predecessor to Bitcoin.
Even though Bit gold never took off, Mr Szabo’s smart contract technology was also used as a foundational part of the ethereum blockchain.
According to the official Bitcoin site, Mr Satoshi’s identity had previously raised “unjustified concerns” amongst the developing community.
Their FAQ states these stemmed from a “misunderstanding” of Bitcoin’s open-source framework.
But Mr Szabo has previously ruled out these claims, along with another that he was an academic.
He told the New York Times: “Well, I will say this, in the hope of setting the record straight.
“I’m not Satoshi, and I’m not a college professor. In fact, I never was a college professor.”
Bitcoin operates as other cryptocurrencies do on a “blockchain”.
Each operator in the Bitcoin network may create an individual digital ledger that fits into a larger whole.
Transactions made with BTC are submitted to the network first for approval or rejection by its constituent parts.
A new “block” then joins the “chain” of older blocks, meaning there is no centralised control or need for a single overseeing figure.
As such, Mr Satoshi is no Steve Jobs, as he ultimately left the coin in the hands of the general populace.
Bitcoin’s site states his identity is now “probably as relevant today as the identity of the person who invented paper”.
Mr Elon Musk is known for his popular commentary on cryptocurrency. In March, he tweeted that Tesla customers can now buy their car with Bitcoin, which led to Bitcoin’s value shoot to a record high.
However, he later suspended vehicle purchases using Bitcoin due to climate change concerns.
An electricity consumption index from the Cambridge University’s Centre for Alternative Finance found that the process of mining the cryptocurrency – which involves using vast amounts of computer processing power – uses more electricity each year than Malaysia or Sweden.
The article originally published on Express.