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Bit Gold Designer Nick Szabo Makes Rare Appearance At Las Vegas Bitcoin Conference

Last Updated March 4, 2021 4:45 PM
Justin OConnell
Last Updated March 4, 2021 4:45 PM

Nick Szabo, who designed an early Bitcoin-like digital currency called “bit gold,” made an appearance on Thursday at the D Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada for the Bitcoin Investor Conference 2015. Szabo, in his speech, made it clear he understands the uncertainty in the price of Bitcoin. That’s why he wants to bring the power of Bitcoin and the block chain to the world of traditional investments.

“The current answer is colored coins,” Szabo told conference  attendees. “However that does not trust minimize cash flows.” He believes such technology is the “next generation of putting assets on the block chain.” That’s why Szabo is working on this.

“We are gonna ‘trust minimize’ cash flows,” he told the audience. “And like Bitcoin, it should be trustworthy everywhere on the globe.”

Szabo’s vehicle into traditional investments from Bitcoin, which he is working on with his partner Donald McIntyre, “will be like holding a traditional investment, but it acts like a Bitcoin.”

Nick Szabo has found himself very much at the center of the Bitcoin community. Blogger Skye Grey linked  Nick Szabo to the Bitcoin whitepaper, claiming that he is Satoshi. Szabo is a long time decentralized currency philosopher and even published a paper entitled “bit gold” which many consider a precursor to Bitcoin. Szabo has denied being Satoshi Nakamoto. Nathaniel Popper wrote in the New York Times that “the most convincing evidence pointed to a reclusive American man of Hungarian descent named Nick Szabo.”

Read More: 10 People Called The Inventor of Bitcoin

During the speech, Szabo recounted his work on bit gold.

“Our basic methodology was applying computer science to minimize vulnerability to strangers,” he told the crowd at the D Hotel, a Bitcoin supporting hotel in Las Vegas.

“With the rise of the Internet and Moore’s Law making things cheap, the tools of computer sciences became very valuable for changing the world,” he recalled. “We wanted to solve very ambitious problems like how to privatize money and how to non-violently enforce property and contracts.” For him, in envisaging bit gold, all third parties were merely security holes.

“The goal was trust minimization,” he said. They turned to gold as inspiration. This makes sense considering Szabo’s libertarian leanings.

“Bit gold was pretty much a transparent attempt to take the economic properties of gold, but improve the security properties,” he explained.

“Gold has been very insecure,” he opined before recounting a historical outline of gold’s insecurity.  “The Spanish looted the Aztecs, the English looted the Spanish, FDR confiscated gold. There are a lot of situations where gold was not secure enough to use.” Bitgold was an expression of the belief that the tools of computer science could improve thereupon. Szabo sees many parallels between Bitgold and Bitcoin.

“We can look at when Satoshi came out with bitcoin that there’s a lot of parallels to that and Bitgold,” he spoke.  In his opinion, Bitcoin gives users “independence from financial institutions and it gives you seamless transactions across borders.”  It allows people to minimize bureaucratic forms and tip easier. Combining social networks with Bitcoin excites Szabo.

“[I like the idea of] using social networks as a user interface to the block chain,” Szabo said. “The block chain is kind of a back office thing we don’t see directly. So you need user-friendly interfaces for that and smart contracts also.”

On Ethereum

“Ethereum has a better smart contract language than bitcoin,” Szabo told the crowd during his address. “Satoshi was very conservative with smart contract language because he wanted Bitcoin to be used first and foremost as a currency.”

For these reasons, Szabo believes “Bitcoin the currency is a better currency than ether.”  Szabo is very optimistic for the future of Bitcoin for one simple reason:

“It’s still better than the competition,” he said.

Image from Shutterstock.