The name Satoshi Nakamoto is beginning to ring familiar in the ears of the world’s top academics and economists. Despite their identity remaining unknown, due credibility is being given to their most recent innovation of the bitcoin payment system. Just this past week, UCLA Professor of Finance Bhagwan Chowdhry was called upon for a nomination into the Nobel Prize for Economics Sciences. Chowdhry described the invention of bitcoin as “nothing short of revolutionary”.
Chowdhry has been a vocal advocate for light regulations of bitcoin, stating:
Nobel Prizes are awarded for making fundamental breakthroughs with an original idea or invention. With the selection process culminating over the course of a full year, bitcoin enthusiasts will need to wait before they find out if their mysterious founder is awarded the coveted prize.
When we discourage innovation and proliferation of convenient, secure, and costless digital alternatives to money for fear of money-laundering and related crime, we are continuing to disenfranchise nearly 3 billion poor people in the world who would benefit the most from the financial inclusion that frictionless digital money and payments will generate for them.
Although the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences is not an official ceremony award, it has been treated as such by the organizing committee since the 1960s. The election process, which requires that an individual be privately invited to submit a nomination, is to be kept entirely secret until 50 years after the ceremony – a rule which Bhagwan Chowdhry clearly violated.
Chowdhry claims he first considered traditional choices for nomination when called upon, but soon found himself debating what would be the most disruptive area of finance to unfold in the coming years. Naturally, the inventor of the world’s first truly viable digital currency, Satoshi Nakamoto, came to mind. The disruptive potential of bitcoin, Bhagwan Chowdhry states, has the potential to spawn exciting innovations in the field of financial technology.
“He will most likely not appear in person − and reveal his true identity given that he has chosen to remain anonymous all his life − to accept the award in Stockholm, Sweden in the formal ceremony in December,” Chowdhry wrote. “I would be happy to go and accept the Prize on his behalf. What about the acceptance speech? That won’t be any problem either. He can write his speech, digitally sign it and send it to me securely. I would, of course, rehearse and deliver it on his behalf at the Prize ceremony.”
Just how immensely important is the invention of bitcoin? Satoshi Nakamoto set in motion the unraveling of the nation state and the end of central banking – two closely related institutions that have directed history for hundreds of years. When we come to understand the economic and technological implications of bitcoin, we begin to see clearly why this is indeed an innovation worthy of the coveted Nobel Prize.
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