On Thursday, members of a cryptocurrency community in Hungary unveiled a statue honoring the Bitcoin digital currency’s anonymous founder.
The life-size bronze bust, engraved with the name “Satoshi Nakamoto,” a pseudonym used by the unidentified Bitcoin developer, sits atop a stone plinth at the Graphisoft business park in Budapest.
“We think of Satoshi as the founding father of the whole cryptocurrency industry,” Bitcoin journalist and head of the project Andras Gyorfi told the Associated Press. “He created Bitcoin, he created the blockchain technology, he’s the god of our market.”
The sculpture is a mirrored surface that allows visitors to see their own reflections in Nakamoto’s face, alluding to enthusiasts’ long-held belief that “We are all Satoshi,” and that the cryptocurrency belongs to everyone who uses it. A hoodie with the Bitcoin logo on the chest is also worn by the faceless bust.
The statue was created by sculptors Réka Gergely and Tamás Gilly. According to the AP, it was funded with $10,000 in cryptocurrency from the community and announced at a Budapest Blockchain conference in May.
“It was a big challenge. It is very difficult to make a portrait sculpture of a person that we don’t know exactly what they look like,” Gilly said in an interview. “I hope that through the language of sculpture I have managed to convey the basic idea of the Bitcoin, that it belongs to everyone and no one at the same time”.
Gyorfi informed the news outlet that he invited Nakamoto to the unveiling ceremony in the hopes of discovering the creator’s true identity, but it’s unclear if he showed up.
The hunt for Nakamoto’s identity is as ancient as the cryptocurrency itself, and it’s still cloaked in mystery and rumor.
The “Bitcoin white paper” was released in 2008 and disseminated among cryptography circles. It was named “Bitcoin: a Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System.” Satoshi Nakamoto is the author of the paper, which is the first time the name has been linked to the cryptocurrency.
30,000 lines of code debuted in 2009, signaling the start of the open-source crypto. After a year, Nakamoto vanished from the internet, claiming in an email to a Bitcoin Core developer that he had “moved on to other things.”
Early Bitcoin miner Hal Finney, Australian entrepreneur Craig Wright, engineer Dorian S. Nakamoto, and even Tesla CEO Elon Musk have all been suggested as the anonymous Nakamoto. These ties have never been proven, and the men have either categorically refuted or repudiated allegations that they are the founders of Bitcoin.
When crypto exchange company Coinbase filed for an IPO in February, it symbolically mailed a copy of its filing to Nakamoto, rekindling curiosity in the crypto’s founder’s identity. The corporation said in the filing that exposing Nakamoto’s name would jeopardize Bitcoin’s value.
Bitcoin was a key player in ushering in the era of decentralized finance by eliminating banks and government organizations from transactions and opening the path for other crypto currencies like Ethereum and Dogecoin. El Salvador has become the first country to recognize Bitcoin as legal cash.