Elon Musk may be a lot of things, but he is not the founder of Bitcoin. The influential figure behind PayPal, Tesla, SpaceX, OpenAI, Neuralink, SolarCity, and The Boring Company had to confirm Tuesday that he was not also responsible for the 2008 creation of the world’s biggest cryptocurrency.
Musk responded on his Twitter page to a story in BGN India that claimed he was Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudoynm of the anonymous founder of Bitcoin. The article points to a former SpaceX intern’s account of how Musk and Nakamoto share a lot in common, like a mastery of the C++ programming language.
“Experience aside, Elon is a self-taught polymath,” Sahil Gupta said in a Medium post. “He’s repeatedly innovated across fields by reading books on a subject and applying the knowledge. It’s how he built rockets, invented the Hyperloop (which he released to the world as a paper), and could have invented Bitcoin.”
It would be a cool story if so. Bitcoin has set investors’ tongues wagging as it edges past the $10,000 mark this week, while two hard forks called “Bitcoin Cash” and “Bitcoin Gold” have brought new ideas to the table. The potential for a global cryptocurrency system that enables simple payments seems closer than ever.
Sadly, it’s not true:
It’s very much the sort of story that would be in keeping with Musk’s other ambitions. With plans to transition the world onto renewable energy, explore faraway planets and manage the development of super-advanced A.I. systems, creating a currency free from the constraints of a national economy seems like the sort of thing that would appeal to Musk.
Musk has encouraged such rumors before. He posted a tweet back in March 2014, one week after Newsweek ran a cover story claiming to have identified Nakamoto:
With the amount on his plate, though, it’s hard to see how he would find the time to manage such a project.