Fourteen years after the launch of Bitcoin, the real identity of its aliased creator (or group of creators) Satoshi Nakamoto is still unknown. Crypto enthusiasts have been trying to dig out the identity veiled behind this name for years now. They have built several theories around every single publicly available detail attached to this pseudonymous identity, including his/her/their birthday.
Nakamoto registered his/her/their birthday as April 5, 1975, on the P2P Foundation. This is the platform where he/she/they first mentioned the conceptualization of the Bitcoin blockchain.
If the date is valid, the blockchain creator just turned 47 this year. If it isn’t, we are left with the obvious question, why did they list this specific date? Well, there are several theories floating around out there, but one seems to hold more weight than others.
On April 5, 1933, President Franklin Roosevelt signed the Executive Order Number 6102, which is also known as the Gold Confiscation Act. It deemed the “hoarding” of gold coins, gold certificates, and gold bullion by American citizens illegal.
According to this mandate, Americans were allowed a roughly one month to surrender the gold assets they owned to The Federal Reserve for a mere $20, which would be worth $436.5 today. They were only allowed to retain gold worth less than $100.
The motive behind this order was simple — to curb the household accumulation of gold. This is because, at that time, the USA followed the ‘gold standard’ for its currency. This meant that the value of the US dollar was pegged to the amount of gold held by the Federal Reserve.
According to the Federal Reserve Act of 1913, 40 percent of all notes in circulation were to be backed by gold. However, this policy impeded expansion as a fixed exchange rate had to be adhered to irrespective of the economic situation. This directly affected employment and further dented the country’s financial performance.
By redirecting all this gold to The Federal Reserve, Roosevelt was able to increase the supply of money during the Great Depression. And while this significantly reduced the nation’s debt, the order also deprived the people of their hard-earned money, which they were preserving in the form of gold. It is widely believed that Satoshi Nakamoto chose this specific date to condemn the distressing event.
Interestingly, the listed birth year, 1975, coincides with the year President Gerard Ford flipped this order. In 1975, the people of the USA could once again own as much gold as they liked without the intervention of any regulating body.
It is also very likely that it is for the same reason that Bitcoin has been labelled ‘digital gold’ by the proponents of cryptocurrency. While it is impossible to ascertain whether April 5, 1975, marks the legendary creator’s true birthday or mourns a tragic event, this is the most plausible connection between the two.
(Edited by : Shloka Badkar)
First Published: IST