In this week’s bitcoin review, we recap how MtGox and the hunt for bitcoin’s creator have managed to dominate headlines again.
This week in Satoshi Nakamoto: Is it Nick Szabo?
It’s a new month, so it’s time for a new bitcoin creator candidate and MtGox scandal. Up to bat for Satoshi Nakamoto this week is Nick Szabo.
Szabo, a respected blogger, was identified as a potential creator of bitcon after a forensic linguistics study said his writing patterns had an “uncanny” likeness to that of the original bitcoin paper. The Aston University study matched a different, independent study from December that also identified Szabo as a possible author.
Reaction on Twitter and Reddit has been mixed — while Szabo has been on the top of many people’s lists for some time, he’s also repeatedly denied it and people who know him are stepping forward to support his denial. While the study possibly matches Szabo to the paper, it doesn’t mean he’s the sole creator either. Another commonly held belief is that Satoshi Nakamoto might be a group of people under that pseudonym — if so, Szabo might just be a piece of that puzzle.
Meanwhile, MtGox continued its struggles in court. Last week, it was rumored that the exchange’s CEO Mark Karpeles would be arrested if he attended a hearing about the exchange in the US. He obviously didn’t attend, but his legal team is pushing ahead in the U.S. courts and is trying to recover $5 million that had been seized by the Department of Homeland Security. In Japanese bankruptcy court, the MtGox team asked to switch to liquidation proceedings rather than restructuring, lessening the chance of recovering any of the missing money.
The market this week
Bitcoin didn’t stay below $400 for long. The price has climbed more than $100 this week, closing some days as high as $530. The market closed at $494.10 on Thursday, but had fallen to $478 at 9 a.m. PST.
For background on why we’re using Coindesk’s Bitcoin Price Index, see note at bottom of the post.
Here are some of the best reads from around the web this week:
- Don’t hold your breath for bitcoin purchases on Amazon — the e-commerce titan said it doesn’t have any plans to “engage” in bitcoin commerce.
- If you’re bitcoin mining, it might help to have your dad’s power plant be the one to generate the electricity.
- It’s been a week for bitcoin documentaries. CNBC has a great one here while there’s also a more stylized documentary, The Rise and Rise of Bitcoin, circulating the film festival crowd.
- Dogecoin, meet Dogecon. The shiba inu and comic sans-loving altcurrency is hosting a meet up next week in San Francisco. I’ll be attending, but City AM is right to question whether Dogecoin is starting to cannibalize itself.
Bitcoin in 2014
The history of bitcoin’s price
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A note on our data: We use CoinDesk’s Bitcoin Price Index to obtain both a historical and current reflection of the Bitcoin market. The BPI is an average of the three Bitcoin exchanges which meet their criteria: Bitstamp, BTC-e and Bitfinex. To see the criteria for inclusion or for price updates by the minute, visit CoinDesk. Since the market never closes, the “closing price” as noted in the graphics is based on end of day Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) or British Summer Time (BST).
Feature image from Pond5/StevanoVicigor