A group of crypto enthusiasts in Hungary built a bronze bust of the anonymous creator of bitcoin — but had to pay the sculptors in regular currency.
The statue, dedicated to the mysterious founder of bitcoin known by the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto, was unveiled Thursday in Budapest, the capital of Hungary.
“We think of Satoshi as the founding father of the whole cryptocurrency industry,” said Andras Gyorfi, editor of Kripto Akademia and the initiator of the statue project in Budapest. “He created bitcoin, he created the blockchain technology, he’s the god of our market.”
The concept of bitcoin was first floated in a white paper written by an anonymous figure under the pen name Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008.
The paper outlined the underlying technology of how bitcoin would work, and the currency launched in 2009, but it remains unclear who Nakamoto is and whether it’s even an individual or a group of people. The statue of the anonymous figure, erected in Graphisoft Park near the Danube River, includes a featureless, reflective face so that viewers can see themselves when viewing it.
“We are all Satoshi,” Gyorfi declared Thursday at an unveiling event before pulling a cover off the statue.
The face is wrapped in a bronze hoodie with the popularized bitcoin logo on the chest. Gyorfi said it’s the first statue in the world to pay homage to the anonymous creator. He added that the organizers of the project invited Nakamoto to the unveiling event, but no one in the crowd of several hundred came forward to stake a claim as the founder of the largest cryptocurrency in the world.
The mystery of Nakamoto’s identity is of such significance that Coinbase, the $51.7 billion cryptocurrency exchange, flagged as a risk factor in its filing to go public: “the identification of Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous person or persons who developed Bitcoin, or the transfer of Satoshi’s Bitcoins.”
Gyorfi said the statue was erected to show respect to Nakamoto, and to “raise awareness toward blockchain and cryptocurrencies.”
Along with contributions from other Hungarian bitcoin enthusiasts, Gyorfi said he collected around $10,000 worth of cryptocurrency donations to pay for the statue.