back to article I know identity of Bitcoin's SECRET mastermind, says Ted Nelson

Sociologist, philosopher, computer industry pioneer and inventor of the term “hypertext” Ted Nelson is claiming that he knows the identity of Bitcoin inventor “Satoshi Nakamoto”. In a rambling – and, let's face it, odd – 12-minute post on YouTube, Nelson spins out the suspense, throws in a dialogue with himself as Sherlock …

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  1. jake Silver badge

    Don't you just love ...

    ... Internet stalkers? Ted Nelson is a fuckwit of the first water.

    Not that bitcoin is worth anything, mind ... I certainly don't trust it for anything.

    1. Gene Cash Silver badge

      Re: Don't you just love ...

      Yes, he is, and for more than just this. Think what would have happened if Tim Berners-Lee had patented HTML? That's pretty much what Nelson did with his "Project Xanadu" - basically nowhere.

      Look at xanadu.com and tell me he's not a total crackpot.

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: Don't you just love ...

        But he could do cameo appearances in something like "Conspiracy Theory II - Serial Conspiracies LAIN"

        Could Tim Berners-Lee?

      2. gnufrontier

        Re: Don't you just love ...

        The mechanism that Tedd Nelson had as to how material on the net should be linked may not have materialized but that doesn't mean it is not a good idea. The same idea was behind namespaces in XML which has had some traction but has gone largely ignored as people have used XML in ways divergent from trying to solve the problem of disparate and redundant formats.

        Since I'm not sure how you define crackpot I can't speak to that "ad hominem" attack.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Don't you just love ...

          Thumbs up for Serial Lain reference.

    2. The Man Who Fell To Earth Silver badge
      WTF?

      Re: Don't you just love ... Er.....

      Has it dawned on anyone to ask Shinichi Mochizuki directly? Or is there a presumption that Shinichi Mochizuki would lie if asked, and thus dishonor himself?

  2. Natalie Gritpants

    He's wrong too, it was me.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      No! I'm Spartacus!!

      And so's my wife!!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: No! I'm Spartacus!!

        I thought your wife was Incontinentia Buttocks.

  3. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Holmes

    Dude!

    The ABC conjecture is very easy to explain.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abc_conjecture

    Proving it is hard. And Mochizuki's proof is apparently coming from the future, it's that kind of hard.

    More on Mochizuki's proof at here for example. Excellent for Sunday Mornings.

    1. pompurin
      Thumb Up

      Re: Dude!

      Thanks for that link. I found the article well put together. I love stories about 'rogue' mathematicians who come out with a genius idea that takes everyone else by surprise. I'm glad there are people like that out there. It reminds me of the Reinassance era when one person could discover something whereas now it feels a rarity. The Russian genius Perelman is also a fine example.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nope

    Bitcoin is far too practical and useful in the real world, to have ever come from the mind of a pure mathematician. The mathematics of the cryptography behind it is trivial, in comparison to the things their minds can grapple with. And Byzantine Generals is game theory, not number theory which is Mochizuki's field. Sorry Nelson, you're way off.

    1. Don Jefe

      Re: Nope

      Bitcoin is unstable and wholly impractical as a currency, it is only getting press right now because people think they can make some money speculating on it. It fits perfectly well that a mathematician may have developed something that only works in a highly developed set of circumstances that he assumes will never change.

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: Nope

        Paper Dollar is unstable and wholly impractical as a currency, it is only getting press right now because people think they can accumulate riches monetizing debt denominated in it. It fits perfectly well that a monetarist, a Keynesian and a string of clueless White House dwellers may have developed something that only works in a highly developed set of circumstances that they assume will never change.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Happy

          Re: Nope

          D.A.M: "Paper Dollar is unstable and wholly impractical as a currency..."

          I agree with your general perspective of how the government thinks currency and many other things *should* work, but I think there is a substantial amount of people that feel any physical representation of currency is more practical than a uint64_t or whatever bitcoin is represented as, in whatever database. I know the current economy might prove otherwise about physical currency, but look at the current economy :-/. I thought the dotcom bubble proved something, maybe not.

          The evolution of virtual currency should have to wait, at least until we've sorted out the mess we've made with the physical one, else we are just adding another problem to the ever growing mess. I'm not against the existence of virtual currency, I'm just currently against any further development of it. I hope someday soon my mind will be changed, but things aren't looking up.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Nope

            If you think paper money is "physical", and that Bitcoin is not "paper money", you miss the relation.

            Both had around the same strengths and weaknesses, just to a different value. Give and take, usually means we do not get a perfect result, just move the "weakness" of the system around.

            1. David Hicks
              FAIL

              Re: Nope

              "Both had around the same strengths and weaknesses, just to a different value. Give and take, usually means we do not get a perfect result, just move the "weakness" of the system around."

              LOL.

              'Fiat' money does not have the weakness that a bunch of internet crazies hold the lions share (~80%) of the currency in long-term dormant accounts, nor does it have a built in distribution limit. BTC has a lot of weaknesses and will never make a useful currency.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Nope

            If we'll wait for the current economical trouble causes to be fixed, we'll never get any fixes. Bitcoin isn't a currency like the Dollar, but an asset like Gold. That is: you mine it, you hoard it, you speculate with it, you hope that one day it will save your ass, and pray that the day when gold drops in price to match lead doesn't ever come.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Nope

      Having read the article linked-to above, I think that Nelson is wrong for a far more prosaic reason: Mochizuki doesn't seem to be the sort of person who would give a damn about using an alias.

  5. ACx

    So......

    No, he doesn't have a clue, but can get people talking about him.

    Okay......

    Nice journalism.

    1. keithpeter
      Windows

      Sunday afternoon reading

      http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/3.06/xanadu_pr.html

      http://www.ics.uci.edu/~ejw/csr/nelson_pg.html

      Don't ever work for Ted Nelson seems to be the moral here.

  6. Busby

    Presumably if this is correct the US Justice Department will already be working on an extradition request. Expect charges of money laundering, maybe criminal conspiracy charges etc. Since he's not as important as say HSBC then it really wouldn't surprise me.

    Also waiting for the usual nutcases that pass for elected officials there to start mouthing off about how this is a threat to society and must be stopped.

  7. Miaau

    Really behind it

    Milk Marketing board, you cannot trust them

    Copyright , Mr Tom Holt

  8. elreg subscriber
    FAIL

    Bitcoin? Definitely not Mochizuki

    Nelson's spaculation seems superficial and totally wrong to me.

    Mochizuki is 1st and foremost a matematician. His whole life work is about pure formalistic proofs of math theorems.

    Bit coin inventor is mostly a computer scientist / programmer. Bitcoin is code.

    Neither the math behnd bitcoin, not the code is difficult to understand. It is way below the complexity of what Mochizuki has been working on for years. It is not what motivates or interests him.

    But Nelson's video is entertaining in a way. Perhaps Nelson should be an actor. He definitely seems to be enjoying it and I have to admit I enjoyed some of the drama.

    1. Tom Maddox Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Bitcoin? Definitely not Mochizuki

      Mochizuki? Is that you?

  9. (gadfly)
    Windows

    Hopefully he's wrong, otherwise this is very bad news for Mochizuki.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    >"Australian writer Stilgherrian"

    Whuh? Who is this guy and what does he have to do with this story? Is he just some random person who approached you out of the blue to tell you what he thinks of Ted Nelson, or is he some expert in the field (and if so, what field?) who you approached for a comment (and if so, why)? Or what?

    1. gazthejourno (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: >"Australian writer Stilgherrian"

      Fair one - we've added a few words to describe Stilgherrian, who's reasonably well known in tech circles down in Oz.

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