No one knows exactly who Satoshi Nakamoto is (though many have tried to find out). That hasn’t stopped a UCLA finance professor from promising to get the pseudonymous bitcoin creator nominated for the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences—or, as it’s more commonly called, the Nobel prize in economics.
Bhagwan Chowdhry penned a piece in the Huffington Post announcing he’s been invited by the prize committee to submit a nomination, and that he intends to make Nakamoto his pick.
On paper, Nakamoto might be an odd fit with past winners such as Robert Shiller, a Yale professor known for his work on housing prices, or 2015 winner Angus Deaton of Princeton University, whose understanding of consumption patterns has great significance to global development. And compared to conventional payment networks like Visa and MasterCard, bitcoin is still much smaller in terms of transaction volume. But Chowdry argues that bitcoin and the potential it unlocked is “revolutionary.” Not only are transactions involving the digital currency faster and more secure than those made with fiat currencies, but the technology behind it, called the blockchain, could change the way we deal with financial contracts and keep information, as well as assets, secure.
Chowdhry has thought about the logistics, saying he’d be happy to accept the prize on behalf of the mysterious Nakamoto, while noting that Nakamoto can be contacted (and sent any prize money) via his bitcoin wallet address.
The Nobel prize nomination process traditionally is secret—the foundation stipulates that nominees’ names must not be disclosed for 50 years. But since Nakamoto hadn’t been formally nominated yet, Chowdhry probably didn’t broken any rules by announcing his intentions.