Ted Nelson, who I have always been a fan of this brilliant and funny maverick, and pioneer of Xanadu, one of the very earliest conceptions of hypertext or what is now called the “world wide web”, thinks he knows who Satoshi Nakamoto is. I think he’s wrong and have my own suspicions, but it’s worth a watch, if nothing else to enjoy the always entertaining and stimulating Mr. Nelson.

So who is Shinichi Mochizuki? He was born in Japan, but was raised in the United States from the time he was 5, meaning he speaks perfect English with an American accent. He attended Exeter Academy and graduated second of his class (salutatorian) at Princeton, and probably first if he took his time and finished in 4 years, instead of his crazy 3 years. He is now full professor at mathematics at Kyoto University.

Here is his personal website.

As mentioned in the video, he’s pioneered a new mathematics called inter-universal geometry –  A brief introduction to inter-universal geometry(pdf) – by Shinichi Mochizuki, as well as introduce a new mathematical entity known as a Frobenoid.

In 2011, he claimed to have formulated a proof for the ABC Conjecture (source: Wikipedia):

The abc conjecture (also known as Oesterlé–Masser conjecture) is a conjecture in number theory, first proposed by Joseph Oesterlé (1988) and David Masser (1985) as an integer analogue of the Mason–Stothers theorem for polynomials. The conjecture is stated in terms of three positive integers, ab and c (hence the name), which have no common factor and satisfy a + b = c. If d denotes the product of the distinct prime factors of abc, the conjecture essentially states that d is usually not much smaller than c. In other words: if a and b are composed from large powers of primes, then c is usually not divisible by large powers of primes. The precise statement is given below.

The abc conjecture has already become well known for the number of interesting consequences it entails. Many famous conjectures and theorems in number theory would follow immediately from the abc conjecture. Goldfeld (1996) described the abc conjecture as “the most important unsolved problem in Diophantine analysis“.

In August 2012, Shinichi Mochizuki released a series of four preprints containing a serious claim to a proof of the abc conjecture. Mochizuki calls the theory on which this proof is based “inter-universal Teichmüller theory“, and it has other applications including a proof of Szpiro’s conjectureand Vojta’s conjecture.[1][2] Experts were expected to take months to check Mochizuki’s new mathematical machinery, which was developed over decades in 500 pages of preprints and several of his prior papers.[3] When an error in one of the articles was pointed out by Vesselin Dimitrovand Akshay Venkatesh in October 2012, Mochizuki posted a comment on his website acknowledging the mistake, stating that it would not affect the result, and promising a corrected version in the near future.[4] He proceeded to post a series of corrected papers of which the latest dated March 2013.[1]

Mochizuki is certainly a very impressive mathematician! If his proof of the ABC conjecture is legit, he will probably be awarded the Fields Metal or something equivalent. However, I am not as convinced as Ted Nelson that Mochizuki is Satoshi Nakamoto. I’ve seen several other very compelling theories as to the true identity of Nakamoto, and the leading one in my opinion, is he is a composite figure, composed of at least two or three people.

Great video review of Mochizuki’s work on the ABC Conjecture and Inter-Universal Geometry by Numberphile:


From iO9.com:

A partial solution to a centuries-old problem known as the twin prime conjecture now affirms the idea that an infinite number of prime numbers have companions — and that a maximum distance between these pairs does in fact exist.

Prime numbers are those non-composite numbers that can only be divided by one or itself. On average, the gap that separates these numbers gets larger as their values increase. But a neat quirk about primes is that every once in awhile they also come in pairs, so-called twin primes. These numbers differ from another prime by two. Examples include 3 and 5, 17 and 19, 41 and 43, and even 2,003,663,613 × 2195,000 − 1 and 2,003,663,613 × 2195,000 +1.

Ever since the time of Euclid, however, mathematicians have wondered if these twin primes keep on appearing for infinity. They have no doubt that primes themselves appear for infinity, but because mathematicians lack a useful formula to predict their occurrence, they have struggled to prove the twin prime conjecture — the idea that there are infinitely many primes p such that p+2 is also prime (i.e. the two number gap).

But now, as the Mathematician Zhang Yitang from University of New Hampshire in Durham has shown, there is a kind of weak version of the twin prime conjecture. He didn’t prove that a distance of 2 exists for an infinite number of primes, but he did prove that there are infinitely many prime gaps shorter than 70 million.

A gap of two is obviously far removed from a gap of 70 million. But considering that the previous estimate was infinity, Zhang’s assertion is incredible. As Maggie McKee noted inNature News, “Although 70 million seems like a very large number, the existence of any finite bound, no matter how large, means that that the gaps between consecutive numbers don’t keep growing forever.”

Zhang presented his research yesterday (May 13) to an audience at Harvard University, so his work will still have to withstand the scrutiny of peer review. But according to McKee, a referee with the Annals of Mathematics is recommending that his paper be accepted for consideration.


One of my favorite monetary thinkers, Jon Matonis, uses one of my favorite branches of mathematics, game theory (so you know – cooperation almost always trumps competition), to show why a government ban on bitcoin would backfire. Think of it like squeezing a balloon.  Squeezing it one on side, only results in the air expanding everywhere else. The same would happen to bitcoin, should the U.S. or other first world nation try to control or outlaw it. Any attempts to crack down on bitcoin will only results in other jurisdictions competing for bitcoin’s business.

From Forbes:

Aside from the impact on price, would a government ban on bitcoin, including a direct ban for law-abiding merchants, shrink the available size of the so-called bitcoin market? Is an officially “illegitimate” bitcoin a useless thing?

I maintain that a government ban on bitcoin would be about as effective as alcohol prohibition was in the 1920s. Government prohibition doesn’t even do a good job of keeping drugs out of prisons. The demand for an item, in this case digital cash with user-defined levels of privacy, does not simply evaporate in the face of a jurisdictional ban. One could even make the case that it becomes stronger because an official recognition that Bitcoin is not only a “renegade” currency but a “so-effective-it-had-to-be-banned” currency would imbue the cryptographic money with larger than life qualities.

Ironically, the ban would create something like the Streisand effect for Bitcoin generating an awareness for entire new demographic groups and new classes of society. Unlike alcohol, bitcoin itself might not be considered a consumption good but it certainly makes it easier to acquire and sell certain consumption goods.

The under-banked people of System D would awaken to using bitcoin for eliminating onerous fees or the risk of handling cash. The individuals seeking drugs without violence or prescriptions would understand the imperviousness of sites like the agorist Silk Road. The anti-banking crowd would race to get their hands on some bitcoin as a symbolic gesture to weaken bankers’ firm grip on payments. The pro-gambling casino people would all of a sudden realize how play money bitcoin bypasses the ridiculous and religious anti-gambling laws. The asset protection wealth managers would start to become fascinated with esoteric things like deterministic brainwallets and Tor.

Now with burgeoning covert and in-person exchange opportunities plus a variety of reliable exchanges operating outside of the U.S., the Bitcoin of our fictional story is far from fading into obscurity. Conversely, it is the ambitious opportunities for crony capitalism that fade into obscurity because a closed-loop bitcoin economy not requiring meatspace exchanges would emerge and accelerate.

One doesn’t drive Bitcoin underground. A free Bitcoin was designed to be ‘underground’ for its own survival otherwise it wouldn’t need such an inefficient, decentralized block chain. The low-cost and non-reversible bitcoin transactions that appeal to mainstream commerce are merely byproducts of a mutinous system that doesn’t rely on trusted third parties. Joel Bowman writing at The Daily Reckoning clearly recognizes that bitcoin’s future doesn’t depend on State legitimacy let alone low-cost sanctioned transactions:

In the end, bitcoin is a bet on the other side of The State’s coin; the free market side. It’s a bet that voluntary trade will, in the end, overcome neanderthalic force and coercion. It’s a wager that the conversation currently underway in the shadowy ‘black’ market is far more intriguing, far more complex, far more nuanced and exceedingly more interesting than the yip-yapping that distracts the undead, mainstream TV-consumer for an hour or so around feeding time every evening.

I would add that it’s also a bet on income and consumption privacy becoming the norm over ‘reportable earnings’ and invasive transaction tracking. It’s a bet that career mobility and independent contractor businesses will eventually outstrip the growth of the corporate wage-slave population. It’s a bet that the degree of an individual’s financial privacy is selected solely by the individual and not by what the State reluctantly permits.

Prohibiting bitcoin is the opposite of what a rational game theorist would conclude. But are our regulatory overlords smart enough to advocate a hands-off policy? If the State cannot plausibly ban bitcoin, why would they want to give it the additional power to grow and propagate? Bitcoin challenges the State as monetary sovereign and that has grave implications for their monetary authority and quasi-peaceful taxing authority. A savvy and smart regulator would seek to avoid the confrontation that “Old Bitcoin Radical” foresees.

Their best response to Bitcoin is irrelevancy, or failing that, extreme gold-like market manipulation for as long as possible. The end game for the State is perpetuating the fiat myth — their fiat myth not the populace’s cryptographic Bitcoin myth. They have always known that faith in money is a mass illusion, however they never considered that they wouldn’t be in charge of the illusion.

In the meantime, just enjoy the spectacle and relax people for mining bitcoin, holding bitcoin, sending bitcoin, and receiving bitcoin is not against the law inany country in the world.

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