Satoshi Nakamoto, the inventor of bitcoin, has turned 44 today according to his own self proclaimed birthday.
April 5th 1975, like the name Satoshi Nakamoto, is not to be taken literally, but as highly symbolic expressions of two main things.
First, both Satoshi and Nakamoto are very common names or last names in Japan. Whoever invented bitcoin thus is basically saying the inventor is all of us.
That can be taken as effectively invoking god himself, or far more lightly and more probably, as a rallying cry of sorts in the style of “I Am Spartacus.”
When the genesis block was created, the person who mined it was performing a criminal act. The creation of a currency remains very illegal to today, in theory.
Now things are very different, but in December 2010 Nakamoto probably thought the US government was soon to go after him after Wikileaks announced they were to accept bitcoin.
This was at a time of popular resistance against the Iraq war when coders and millennials more generally expressed their anger through groups like Anonymous, then LulZec, in an atmosphere of peaceful, but chaotic revolt.
The banking and monetary system had just collapsed. Greece was going bankrupt. The Arab spring was in full swing. The young rose from left and from the right.
The government remained determined to silence any dissent. Wikileaks was effectively smeared. The Occupy Wall Street “kids” were forcefully dispersed, though largely thankfully peacefully. The Lulzec “kids” were arrested. The Arab spring turned to barbaric war. Bitcoin was declared dead after a hack in 2011.
Yet there was a deep thirst for a solution, and in the absence of any other viable proposed solution, the young, and students in particular, flocked to bitcoin.
It roared in 2013 and then kept roaring, but Nakamoto never returned. Does he live? One should think so if there is any objectiveness to the universe, or more colorfully, any beauty.
Yet he most probably is not 44. We suspect he is probably a British man who was a “traditional” university student in or around 2009 and now is likely maybe in late 20s or early 30s.
A genius in the true sense of the word in as far as his brain can process far more information and far more quickly than most, with his parents probably having a finance and tech background as well as perhaps a German or Austrian descent or at least familiarity with the Austrian school of economics.
We say the latter because Jeffrey Tucker, an economist of the Austrian School, gave an interesting presentation at Deconomy where he covers the political and intellectual battles that occurred in the 1800s when a debate on the “nature” of money was “settled,” with Tucker suggesting most of this debate was led by German intellectuals. Tucker says:
“In 1933… it was actually a remarkable thing. We had a president, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who came to power and immediately said the way to cure the Great Depression, which was affecting the economy, was to shut all the banks down, force everybody to give up their gold holdings – personal gold holdings – and once he did that, then he reduced the value of money from 1/20th an ounce to 1/35th an ounce, and what that did is it essentially stole 40% of the purchasing power of the American people.”
It was on the 5th of April 1933 that an executive order was made to seize everyone’s gold holdings and to make gold holding illegal save for some exceptions. It was in 1975 when this order was effectively rescinded, hence 5th April 1975 as Nakamoto’s own chosen birthday.
The symbolism here is greater than just this order for the debate in the 1800s and early 1900s wasn’t settled by reaching some truth, but by the replacement of Supreme Court judges and by the state effectively grabbing full control of money and through it, the economy.
The monetary collapse of 2008 made the invention of bitcoin the classic perfect timing and perfect place.
As those who lived through those days know very well, all were in search for a solution. Bitcoin, and the immense innovation it has unleashed, the party atmosphere in a global united community, gave hope to a generation that maybe there are in fact peaceful solutions to current problems through code we trust.
Happy Birthday Nakamoto. May you live 100 years more.