Nobody knows who invented the digital currency Bitcoin.
The developer used a pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto, and since then there’s been a lot of inconclusive internet sleuthing.
Shinichi Mochizuki Shinichi Mochizuki gained fame last year for figuring the famous ABC Conjecture.
Our Walter Hickey explained what this was all about last year.
In short, the abc conjecture — proposed in 1985 — explores the relationships between prime numbers.
It’s been described as the most important unsolved problem in Diophantine Analysis, a branch of mathematics that — by working with some of the most simple number systems (like ax + by = 1 or xn + yn = zn) explores some of the deepest relationships in maths.
So if you’re looking for an instant “real world application,” hit the back button — but if you want to see why one equation can tell us so much about how numbers work, read on.
The abc conjecture is as follows.
Take three positive integers that have no common factor and where a + b = c. For instance, 5, 8, and 13.
Now take the distinct prime factors of these integers—in this case 2, 5, and 13—and multiply them to get a new number, d.
In most cases, like this one, d is larger than c. The conjecture states that in rare instances where d is smaller than c, it is usually very close to c. The conjecture also shows that there are a finite number of instances where d is smaller than c.
Mochizuki claims to have cracked this conjecture in a 500-page proof.
Anyway, Ted Nelson’s conclusion is somewhat circumstantial, but mainly revolves around the idea that Mochizuki perfectlyf its the profile of the Bitcoin creator (a total genius who delivers a flash of something amazing, and that goes quiet again).
The Register summarizes Nelson’s three points:
- Mochizuki can rightfully be identified as being smart enough to have conceived of Bitcoin;
- Mochizuki doesn’t use the conventional scientific peer review process. Rather, his habit is to publish, and leave it to other mathematicians to sort their way through his reasoning; and
- Bitcoin would fit Mochizuki’s work-rate.
We’ve reached out to Mochizuki via to see if he really is the Bitcoin creator.
Here’s Nelson’s video: