Elon Musk Knows Who Created Bitcoin

Elon Musk thinks he knows who created Bitcoin or at least who is the father of the space, laying the groundwork for the cryptocurrency

By Doug Norrie | Updated

This article is more than 2 years old

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Ever since Bitcoin first launched back in 2008, the prevailing mystery around the technological revelation was just what person (or persons) was actually responsible for its creation. The name Satoshi Nakamoto is credited with the establishment of Bitcoin, but that’s long been known to be an alias for either an individual or a group of folks. Well, it seems like Elon Musk sure thinks he knows who is responsible for creating Bitcoin, or at least getting the block rolling. The SpaceX and Tesla founder said as much during a recent interview and had no issue naming names. 

While speaking on the Lex Fridman Podcast (via Futurism), Elon Musk was asked about a variety of topics and some of them involved pieces in the crypto space. This included theorizing on who created Bitcoin, asking Musk if he had a guess as to who might be responsible. Musk pointed to computer scientist Nick Szabo who is on record as one of the early pioneers in the space. Musk said, in part, “…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.”

Before answering this question, Fridman did ask Elon Musk if he was actually Satoshi and if Musk has the one who had created Bitcoin. Musk was definitive in his statement saying, “I’m not.” To his credit, Fridman did ask Musk if the latter would even tell us if he was. Musk said he would, but who really knows on that front. The whole point of secrecy is to stay secret no matter the line of questioning. That being said, there is no evidence at all that Musk had a hand in the cryptocurrency’s creation


While Elon Musk still says that he doesn’t know the actual identity or identities of Satoshi, he is giving Nick Szabo full credit for laying the groundwork for what would become Bitcoin in the end. Szabo is credited with developing the concept of a smart contract, the program that catalogs and records events on a blockchain. This is part of the basis and backbone of the Bitcoin ecosystem. And prior to the launch of Bitcoin, Szabo had been responsible for the creation of bit gold, one of the first decentralized currencies. 

Though Elon Musk is crediting Nick Szabo as being something of the father of this space, possibly even Satoshi himself, Szabo has long denied claims that he is who created Bitcoin. He’s on record in multiple instances refuting the idea that he is who created the system. Again, considering one of the major points of Bitcoin is anonymity it would make sense that even its founder(s) would remain in the shadows, but there is no firm evidence Szabo is the dude. 

For what it’s worth, Craig Wright has made claims that he is the inventor of Bitcoin and even went to court to prove the case in order to prove as much. This was related to a cache of 1.1 million Bitcoin, valued currently at around $52 billion dollars that he and his business partner David Kleinman were at odds about. These were part of the original block mined by Satoshi. He won the case, but many in the community are skeptical of his claim. 

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