Editor’s Note: The following article contains portions ghostwritten by an anonymous Cryptobellum reader who believes that Satoshi Nakamoto is actually Neuromation Chief Research Officer, Sergey Nikolenko.
By Sharon Moran
January 17, 2020
Nikolenko Nakamoto. Say that fast ten times.
Nikolenko Nakamoto. What similarities do you notice? Think about it, and I’ll come back to that in a moment.
Recently, a Cryptobellum reader sent me an email that contained an interesting, and I might add, never-before-explored theory: that Satoshi Nakamoto is actually Russian programmer, Sergey Nikolenko, who happens to be Chief Research Officer of Neuromation.
I offered my reader the option of guest writing and publishing the story on Cryptobellum himself. For personal reasons, he declined and prefers to maintain anonymity. That’s understandable, but I want to make it clear I didn’t come up with this theory and don’t wish to take credit for it. However, I definitely want to explore the possibility, particularly because Sergey Nikolenko is not one of the usual suggested candidates to the often-asked question, “Who IS Satoshi Nakamoto?”
I have written before about the possibility that TurtleCoin creator, RockSteady, was Satoshi Nakamoto. That article was part entertainment and part weak speculation. But Sergey Nikolenko as a possible identity for Satoshi Nakamoto has a bit stronger circumstantial proof than the RockSteady scenario. And that’s all really any one of us has when identifying the possible identity of Satoshi Nakamoto: varying degrees of circumstantial evidence.
A few things stand out between the two names. Both surnames, Nikolenko and Nakamoto, contain 4 syllables and follow a similar pattern: N_k___o. Also, each first name and surname when combined contain 15 letters. Obviously, that’s not conclusive proof, or even remotely close.
At this point, I probably sound the same as the conspiracy theorists who claim that Bitcoin is the result of four corporations working together-SAmsung, TOSHIba, NAKAmichi, MOTOrola! There are only 26 letters in the alphabet, so there’s bound to be coincidences which could explain the otherwise “uncanny resemblance” between the surnames Nakamoto and Nikolenko. But maybe not?
Again, circumstantial proof is all we have. At this point, I might add, circumstantial proof was worthy enough for New York Times journalist Nathaniel Popper to mention in his book Digital Gold: Bitcoin and the Inside Story of the Misfits and Millionaires Trying to Reinvent Money when he attempted to claim Nick Szabo was actually Satoshi Nakamoto,
“Then there were smaller eyebrow-raising details, like Satoshi Nakamoto’s initials being a transposition of Nick Szabo’s.”
The N_k___o pattern present in both Nakamoto and Nikolenko is much more “eyebrow-raising” than a mere transposition of initials.
Here is a link to Sergey Nikolenko’s personal website:
The format of the original Bitcoin whitepaper looks like it was written by someone within academia. Nikolenko did co-publish cryptography-related research papers while pursuing his Ph.D. in the months prior to Satoshi’s release of the Bitcoin whitepaper including the following:
Invariant-based Cryptosystems and Their Security Against Provable Worst-Case Break
Algebraic cryptography: new constructions and their security against provable break
New Combinatorial Complete One-Way Functions
Is Sergey Nikolenko Satoshi Nakamoto?
Is this the face of Satoshi Nakamoto?
Upon further investigation, it seems Sergey Nikolenko includes a thinly veiled confession admitting he is Satoshi in a Medium post he wrote which is a fictional account of a sentient AI named Xe.
“Xe signed most of them with just one word — Satoshi.”
Was Bitcoin’s Creator really a Cypherpunk?
Cypherpunks and Bitcoin maximalists envision a decentralized world in which greedy financial intermediaries are no longer needed, one where Bitcoin is globally adopted and a one world currency. But that doesn’t mean Bitcoin was created by a cypherpunk. There is evidence to suggest that the person who created Bitcoin wasn’t even aware of Wei Dai’s B-money proposal created a decade earlier. From the Investopedia description of B-Money,
“Dai has stated in recent years that “my understanding is that the creator of bitcoin…didn’t even read my article before reinventing the idea himself. He learned about it afterward and credited me in his paper.””
That’s seems like pretty curious evidence that perhaps the creator of Bitcoin was not one of the early well-known cypherpunks but a Russian programmer on the other side of the world pursuing a Ph.D. in cryptography- Sergey Nikolenko.
If that’s the case, global adoption of Bitcoin is almost a foregone conclusion because Nikolenko’s ultimate goal while masquerading as Nakamoto goes well beyond creating an electronic cash system devoid of intermediaries. That’s no small feat to achieve, but it could be just a stopping point along the way to a greater end goal. Let me explain.
Neurotoken is a cryptocurrency project which aims to harness the massive distributed computing power employed in cryptocurrency mining to train AI systems, which is a very compute intensive process.
This groundbreaking idea sets the stage for a future monetary system in which every worldwide transaction advances AI technology at exponential rates and democratizes their availability to all. In the long run as the technology advances, it’s expected that the marginal cost of goods and services would approach zero.
All human economic interaction at its most fundamental level is the exchange of knowledge. Money serves as an abstraction of human knowledge. At any given point in time the degree of human knowledge is limited, though it is constantly expanding.
Artificial intelligence is digitized human knowledge; blockchain is digital scarcity. When both of these are merged together the result is the cleanest abstraction of knowledge and most efficient currency that has ever existed.
Our current monetary system is a debt-based, inflationary system. Currency is constantly being created, and wealth distribution constantly skews to a smaller and smaller group until potential collapse. The near collapse that occurred in 2008 gave birth to Bitcoin.
In the Neurotoken AI-based monetary system a positive feedback loop is created as follows:
- Miners “knowledge mine” training AI models for Neurotoken
- AI models are sold for Neurotoken
- AI models are able to automate an increasing amount of production of goods and the provision of services
- The cost of goods of services decrease
- Demand for AI and Neurotoken increases
- Miners are incentivized to further mine and advance AI
I’ve written about before about OpenMined before and their efforts to decentralize artificial intelligence using homomorphic encryption and federated learning (although I’m not fully convinced centralized AI represents a greater threat than AI itself). But I never previously considered the powerful, unimaginable impact that proof-work mining combined with artificial intelligence could have.
Incorporating AI as the basis of a global monetary unit democratizes its availability to all and sets the stage for a world where every economic interaction has a positive effect on humanity. And maybe that was Satoshi’s vision from the start.
Disclaimer: As of the publication date of this article, I am not a holder of Neurotoken.