Bitcoin and its blockchain technology have become something of a revelation to the greater economic community, particularly over the past year. The digital currency has shown months of stability as a store of value while it has been the Year of the Blockchain on Wall Street and in major financial corporation worldwide. 2015 has been a very solid comeback year for Bitcoin, but will 2016 become the year of global recognition via a Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences?
Meet Bhagwan Chowdhry. He is the Professor of Finance at UCLA Anderson School, and he was recently tasked with a special honor. Writing about the turn of events in a self-authored article for the Huffington Post, he was not tabbed to win the Nobel Prize himself. He was thought of highly enough to nominate someone for the award in the field of economic achievement and development for 2016. He says he is proudly nominating Bitcoin’s creator, Satoshi Nakamoto.
“I started thinking whose ideas are likely to have a disruptive influence in the twenty-first century,” says Chowdhry. “The name of the inventor of Bitcoin suddenly jumped up in my consciousness and I have not been able to get it out of my mind since then, Satoshi Nakamoto.”
This honor follows up a year of positive commentary and investment in Bitcoin’s blockchain technology, which was previous dismissed, along with the digital currency as recently as two years ago. Last month, The Economist chose to feature Bitcoin and its tech for their October 31st cover story “The Trust Machine – The technology behind bitcoin could transform how the economy works”. Multiple Fortune 500 corporations from Visa to Santander to UBS has begun projects seeking to dissect this revolutionary technology for their own gain, without the Bitcoin digital currency, thank you very much.
Satoshi Nakamoto has not previously followed the standard protocols for such recognition within the establishment’s paradigm for official acclaim. His legendary white paper was not submitted to the Journal of Finance, American Economic Review, or other old standards. Why would the Prize Committee for the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel accept such a submission from out of left field? Chowdhry thinks they should simply due to its excellence of execution of its intended functions.
“The invention of bitcoin, a digital currency, is nothing short of revolutionary.Bitcoin, the currency, sometimes referred to as Digital Gold, on the other hand, is digital and exists purely as a mathematical object. It offers many advantages over both physical and paper currencies. It is secure, relying on almost unbreakable cryptographic code, can be divided into millions of smaller sub-units, and can be transferred securely and nearly instantaneously from one person to any other person in the world with access to internet bypassing governments, central banks and financial intermediaries such as Visa, Mastercard, Paypal or commercial banks eliminating time delays and transactions costs.”
He goes on to list the laundry list of other Bitcoin benefits, which far outstrip any features a gold bar or a U.S. Dollar can provide a user. From its ability to “destroy high-cost money transfer services such as the Western Union” through the mitigation of their impressive fee structure to its innovations in smart contracts to the potential to greatly change the influence of central banks in the future of monetary policy.
Chowdhry sees this road to Providence as far from a slam dunk. Besides the lack of any previous submission through the accepted channels, the award winner needs to provide a phone number, in order to be called. It would seem Satoshi Nakamoto would not be available by such 20th-century means, not be available to receive the prize, which should be similar to the 8 million Swedish krona (Approx. $917k USD) that has been awarded, previously.
The 2015 award in Economics was given to Angus Deaton of Princeton University, NJ, USA “for his analysis of consumption, poverty, and welfare.” Suffice to say his contributions to economics may pale in comparison to what Satoshi Nakamoto has provided to the world’s economic future through Bitcoin and the future application of Bitcoin’s “distributed consensus.”
This is a long process, there are hundreds of other people respected names in Economics who will be making their own nominations, and the winner will be announced next October. Satoshi Nakamoto winning the 2016 Nobel prize in Economics would be considered quite a long shot. Alas, it may be no more of a long shot than President Barack Obama winning the Nobel Peace Prize back in 2009. We can all safely say stranger things have happened.
Would you like to see Satoshi win the award? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.
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