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Nick Szabo Net Worth, Crypto and NFT Investments

The net worth of Nick Szabo is estimated to be around $5 million. Popular as a computer scientist and cryptographer, Szabo is widely regarded as the father of cryptocurrency. He made the most of his fortunes from his career as a computer technology expert and cryptographer. His libertarian sentiments on economy and finance made him conceive the idea of a virtual currency. This virtual currency according to the idea of Nick Szabo would reduce exposure to the centralized financial system.

Nick Szabo

This led to the creation of BitGold. Although, BitGold failed to fully materialize, many refer to it as the precursor to Bitcoin and other crypto assets. This is due to the striking resemblance of the two projects. Also, some believed that Nick Szabo is Satoshi Nakamoto, the founder of Bitcoin. Many studies attempted to link several established dots between Nick Szabo and Satoshi Nakamoto. Some were able to establish a link between the two owing to certain evidence. However, Nick Szabo on various occasions debunked those claims. 

In the present crypto industry, Nick Szabo is a Bitcoin advocate. Aside from his bachelor’s degree in computer science, Nick Szabo received a Juris Doctoral degree from George Washington University Law School. Also, he holds an honorary professorship at the Universidad Francisco Marroquín.

Nick Szabo’s Net Worth

YearNet Worth
2023$5 million

Early Life

Nicholas Szabo, an American computer scientist was born on April 5, 1964. He studied at the University of Washington, bagging a bachelor’s degree in computer science in 1989. As a computer technology student, Nick Szabo developed an interest in cryptography. Beyond this, he also loves law and politics. His interest in politics and law was triggered by his father’s participation in the field. Driven by his passion for law and politics, he received a Juris Doctor degree from George Washington University Law School.

While growing up, his father equipped him with knowledge about how governments and power-concentrated authorities could abuse power. Nick Szabo’s father fought during the Hungarian uprising against the Soviet Union in the 1950s. In a revelation, the computer expert disclosed how his father often tell him about the abuse of power by authoritarian government. At a time, he reflected on the narrative of his father about how the government stole people’s belongings, oppressed them, and ended up killing them if they dared to revolt.

Nick Szabo believed governments would still continue to oppress the masses should they be in control of the financial system. With that, Nick Szabo became interested in changing the status quo. This idea gained more ground in Nick Szabo’s mind after he graduated from the University of Washington and worked on his first crypto project; ECash.

The project was regarded as the first major attempt towards designing a virtual currency. The Ecash was designed by David Chaum, a member of the Cypherpunk; a group Satoshi Nakamoto and Nick Szabo were rumored to be members. Cypherpunk is a group of intellectuals and experts that promoted the potential of using cryptography. They emphasized how the combination of cryptography and some other privacy tools can help foster social and political revolution. Over the years, many have used this group to link Nick Szabo with Satoshi Nakamoto.

The reason behind this comparison isn’t far-fetched as Cypherpunk became popular a year after Nick Szabo graduated from the University of Washington. Also, working with Ecash, which belonged to one of the Cypherpunk members, was considered as a ground for comparison. While working on the project, Nick Szabo discovered that the token was centrally controlled by DigiCash. At one point, Ecash grew in relevance that in 1998, Mark Twain Bank in the U.S. and Deutsche Bank offered the assets to their customers. However, the project crashed in 1998.

The centralized nature of Ecash was not up to the preferred standard of Nick Szabo. He realized how an individual could easily mess with people’s finances in the centralized structure. Then, he began to advocate for a decentralized and peer-to-peer system. While at the organization, Nick Szabo masked his identity by using pseudonyms online. However, he got sick of the whole idea as it was difficult to maintain. At one point, he admitted that he got distracted due to his efforts of wanting to hide his identity online.


Nick Szabo is widely regarded as one of the most successful cryptographers of his generation. This is due to the landslide feat attained by the smart contracts he invented. He proposed smart contracts in 1994 and then outlined them in a paper in 1996. During this period, he wrote numerous essays and academic papers that are connected to digital currency and cryptography. In 1998, he then wrote a paper about his concepts for “timestamped databases.” These timestamped databases could replace vulnerable written records with a digital alternative.

In 2005, he conceived the idea of virtual gold otherwise known as BitGold. He got inspiration from how gold was able to maintain its value because it can’t be forged. Nick Szabo then opined that if someone could create a virtual gold that cannot be forged, such assets will have a standard value. Some months later, Nick Szabo expanded the idea of BitGold via a post in his blog. This idea is widely regarded as the forerunner of Bitcoin.

Buttressing this idea, Nick Szabo discussed how fiats through the traditional finance system depend on a third party for value. In a bid to address this dependency, Nick Szabo worked on developing BitGold. Meanwhile, there are a host of similarities between Bitcoin and BitGold. The two rely on computing powers to generate bits that cannot be forged and are valuable. By that, these bits then become tradeable and their value is determined by the amount of computing power vested towards their creation. Additionally, these bits are time-stamped, and chained together to form an immutable chain. This chain helps retain the record of who owns certain bits in the form of a virtual ledger. 

However, there is one distinct difference that separates Bitcoin from BitGold. During the designing stage, Nick Szabo considered designing BitGold to power other currencies. With that, the cryptographer aimed to make it a high-powered money that will have similar use to gold. With the structure, he intended to aid the utilization of BitGold as an investment vehicle, a means of large transactions, and a reserve currency against which digital notes could be issued.

This structure of the BitGold is similar to how golf backed the U.S. dollar till the Bretton Woods agreement of 1944. For a while, Nick Szabo suspended his efforts on the development of BitGold. It took him about three years to speak about it again. This time, it was through a short essay titled Bit Gold Markets which he published in April 2008. Then, he addressed how BitGold miners set their computers to solve computationally intensive mathematical puzzles.

Ties with Satoshi Nakamoto

Many had pointed to Nick Szabo as Satoshi Nakamoto due to numerous similarities between the two. However, Nick Szabo, on various occasions, debunked having any connection with the anonymous Bitcoin founder. He once stated that either Hal Finney or Wei Dai could be the father of Bitcoin. There have been numerous attempts to investigate if truly Nick Szabo is the founder of Bitcoin.

In May 2015, Nathaniel Popper established a link between the two. In a publication in the New York Times, he disclosed that he suspects Nick Szabo is Satoshi Nakamoto after he spoke with programmers and entrepreneurs who were Bitcoin enthusiasts. He said most of them told him that Nick Szabo is most likely to be the founder of Bitcoin. On meeting Nick Szabo, Nathaniel Popper asked him if he was Satoshi. Nick Szabo admitted that his work with that of Satoshi bears a lot of striking resemblances, but debunked having any connection with him.

More so, his work with David Chaum on Ecash is one of the various pointers that connect him with Satoshi Nakamoto. This is due to the membership of David Chaum in Cypherpunk, a group Satoshi also belonged to. His invention of BitGold which preceded Bitcoin and his invention of smart contract are premises to connect the two. Also, the fact that the founder of Bitcoin requested for help in designing a BitGold prototype when he was working on the Bitcoin whitepaper is another valid premise.

This also coincided with Nick Szabo’s “code one up” message after he explained how BitGold could work, thereby requesting help to develop it. This was six months before the publication of the Bitcoin white paper. Like Satoshi, Nick Szabo has a professional and academic knowledge of computer technology and cryptography. With that, many individuals including Wei Dai believed that he has enough technical know-how to build the largest crypto by market cap.

At one point, when Wei Dai was questioned about those who had the technical ability to build Bitcoin, he revealed that Nick Szabo has what it takes. Also, Nick Szabo himself noted that during the time Bitcoin was developed, only he, Wei Dai, and Hal Finney had an interest in designing something similar to Bitcoin. Additionally, another link connecting the two is their libertarian views. Over the years, Nick Szabo made his libertarian views about economics, finance and politics known. Most of his Twitter and Blog posts heavily reflect these opinions. Similarly, Satoshi Nakamoto also shares these views. To some extent, in the 1990, there were few cryptographers who harbor libertarian political views. Most of them share these opinions and they were connected to Cypherpunk.

Likewise, several writing analyses carried out independently on two occasions pointed to Nick Szabo as the author of the Bitcoin whitepaper. Also, the analysis pointed out that Nick Szabo wrote the emails and forum posts. However, another one pointed to him as the author of the Bitcoin whitepaper but didn’t admit that he wrote the messages and forum posts.

In 2013, Skye Grey did an analysis of Satoshi Nakamoto’s writings and gathered all unusual phrases and neutral phrases relating to the Bitcoin developer. He created a writing profile for Satoshi Nakamoto with the phrases and then surfed the internet. This search led Skye Grey directly to Nick Szabo’s blog. Also, a study from Aston University further established similar claims. The study picked Nick Szabo out of eleven (11) candidates as one whose writing matched Satoshi Nakamoto’s the most.

The 1NS initials are another pointer that Nick Szabo could be Satoshi Nakamoto. The Bitcoin founder once told Hai Finney that his wallet address began with his initials 1NS. The initials left Bitcoin enthusiasts wondering if the NS could be Nick Szabo or Nakamoto Satoshi. Meanwhile, despite BitGold being one of the attempts at a digital currency that preceded Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto failed to cite Nick Szabo’s efforts.

From another angle, Nick Szabo spent most of his time designing a virtual currency similar to Bitcoin. Findings established that he intended to design a similar project the year Satoshi Nakamoto designed Bitcoin. Surprisingly, Nick Szabo was relatively silent when Satoshi Nakamoto eventually launched Bitcoin. It took Nick Szabo about twenty-nine months after the launching of Bitcoin to address the innovation publicly. He was so silent that he didn’t even discuss Bitcoin with its developers on any platform during that period.

Is Nick Szabo Pro Crypto?

Nick Szabo has been passionate about digital currencies even before the advent of Bitcoin. His interest in digital currencies, cryptography as well as blockchain could be traced to the early 1990s. Driven by this interest, he joined Cypherpunks, an online group that was committed to promoting the merits of cryptography to bring about social and political change. Around 1993, Szabo began to write numerous articles and academic journals about smart contracts, digital currency, and cryptography. It was during this period that he coined the term “smart contract” in a paper, describing it as programs that automatically execute certain instructions when predetermined criteria are met.

His aim was to develop the first digital currency that would thrive on cryptography and smart contracts. Szabo had no doubt that only the creation of digital currency could address the inefficiencies in the existing financial system. In a bid to achieving this, he worked on numerous projects, including eCash in the late 1990s.

His steadfast commitment to finding a better alternative to the banking system led to the development of BitGold, a decentralized digital currency. This project was one of the earliest attempts at creating a digital currency and had been described as a precursor to Bitcoin. It is worthy of note that both BitGold and Bitcoin share some similarities. As a critic of the centralized banking system, Szabo believed BitGold was going to remove the presence of intermediaries or third-party in transactions. Describing the project at that time, the crypto scholar said; “the problem, in a nutshell, is that our money currently depends on trust in a third party for its value. As many inflationary and hyperinflationary episodes during the 20th century demonstrated this is not an ideal state of affairs.”

Meanwhile, BitGold failed to fully materialize. Consequently, Bitcoin was developed by an anonymous Satoshi Nakamato. Reports suggested that Nakamato studied the BitGold whitepaper to further develop the crypto. This is due to the similarities shared by both projects. Even, people suspected Szabo could be the anonymous Bitcoin founder.

Findings from the Aston University Centre for Forensic Linguistics study showed that Nakamoto used latex to write the white paper. The same open-source document technology was also discovered to have been used in numerous Szabo’s public documents, thereby fueling insinuations that he is Nakamoto. More so, most of the terminologies used by Szabo in many of his public documents were also discovered in the Bitcoin white paper. Popular billionaire and Tesla CEO, Elon Musk fueled the controversy, naming Szabo as the anonymous creator of Bitcoin. Also in 2023, ChatGPT identified the foremost cryptographer as one of the leading candidates for the real identity of Nakamoto. Despite denying the rumored connection with Nakamoto or Bitcoin, Szabo said he has gotten accustomed to it.

Nick Szabo might have denied being the brain behind Bitcoin, but his show of support for the crypto project has been commendable. For instance, during the 2018 blockchain live conference in London, he defended the proof-of-work consensus mechanism utilized by Bitcoin. Recall that this mechanism has, over the years, been greeted with criticism, for having a strong inclination for a vast amount of energy.

Szabo admitted that other projects might have created faster and highly scalable systems, but that did not account for human nature. He said Bitcoin’s inefficiency was a sacrifice to work in a trustless and global environment, stressing that “secure and permissionless blockchains need armor, not fins.”

He added that, “If you look at the way attacks have happened in bitcoin, trusted strangers are security holes. Bitcoin is decentralized, almost hack proof. The vast majority of hacks have been on centralized exchanges that people use to trade. We’ve had some people saying we can improve the TPS or we’re going to be inspired by blockchain but not use a true blockchain. If you need trust, and global seamlessness, that’s a very penny wise and foolish approach.”

In 2019, the veteran cryptographer also graced the Bitcoin summit which unfolded at Tel Aviv University, Israel. At the event, Szabo delivered an explicit keynote on the usage of digital currencies worldwide. He predicted that countries that have been blacklisted from trade will turn to digital assets as an alternative. This statement was in response to a comment by the head of Israel’s national economic council, Avi Simhon who described crypto as “intrinsically inefficient.” As a strong believer in the potential of cryptocurrency, Szabo said even central banks across the globe would turn to crypto reserves in the future in order to supplement their national gold reserves.

Szabo’s contributions to the world of cryptocurrency cannot be overestimated. His BitGold project was said to serve as an inspiration for the development of Bitcoin. More so, he is credited for being the brain behind smart contracts which consequently emerged as the underpinning technology for Ethereum. Apart from his inventions, Szabo also contributed to the advancement of the sector by evangelizing digital currencies with his detailed articles and electric speeches. He was one of the keynote speakers at the 2020 Bitcoin conference.

Crypto and NFT Holdings of Nick Szabo

Certainly, Nick Szabo holds crypto assets, particularly Bitcoin in his personal portfolio. At the moment, it is impossible to affirm the aggregate value of his crypto holdings. This is because the veteran cryptographer lives a private lifestyle and has chosen not to discuss his crypto holdings in public. But, when we find credible information about the overall value of his crypto investments, we will surely update you.

However, it is not in doubt that Szabo holds Bitcoin in his crypto portfolio. As a major contributor to the development of the project, the BitGold founder was reported to have invested in it since its earliest days. Although information about the worth of his investment in Bitcoin at that time was unknown, we are confident that Nick Szabo must have made millions through the endeavor, thereby aiding his net worth. This is due to how the token had skyrocketed in value over the past few years. Just like other prominent Bitcoin investors, Szabo made fortunes through his early investment in the crypto.

Meanwhile, there are no indications that Szabo holds NFTs. He is yet to make any statement that indicates his interest in the digital assets. Perhaps, he might do that in the future.

Crypto Projects Featuring Nick Szabo

At the moment, none of the existing crypto projects has featured Nick Szabo. But, it won’t be surprising to see Wall Street Memes, a popular meme coin project feature the veteran cryptographer in its contents. Notable for its humorous memes on social media platforms, Wall Street Memes usually feature important persons within the industry. This project first attained relevance in 2021 following the success it recorded in the NFT market. Today, it has been able to cement its presence in the crypto industry, enjoying the backing of a vast social community.

Recently, Wall Street Memes was noticed by Elon Musk, thereby fueling predictions that the meme coin project might be the next cryptocurrency to fly high. Last May, it launched the presale of its token. Although, the presale is still ongoing, it has already raised millions of dollars from participating investors. Certainly, investors want to invest in the project before it is listed on crypto exchanges. You can also join the ongoing presale by visiting

Nick Szabo’s Net Worth – Our Verdict

Nick Szabo is better described as one of the influential pioneers and advocates of digital currencies. His ideas about how cryptography and smart contracts should run form the core foundation of today’s crypto projects. This means it is grossly impossible to discuss the historical development of digital currencies without acknowledging the efforts and contributions of the veteran. He is said to be the first person to propose the creation of digital currencies to address the lapses enveloped in the traditional banking system.

Nick Szabo lives a private lifestyle and thus has not been so active on social media platforms, unlike other notable celebrities. His last activeness on Twitter, for instance, was in 2021. Also, he has chosen not to disclose much details about his personal life, including the value of his crypto investment. At the moment, the estimated net worth of Nick Szabo is said to be around $5 million.

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When did Nick Szabo develop BitGold?

Nick Szabo developed BitGold in 2005. However, the project failed to fully materialize.

What is the estimated net worth of Nick Szabo?

The estimated net worth of Nick Szabo is $5 million.

Who coined the term “smart contracts”?

Nick Szabo is reported to have invented smart contracts in the early 1990s. He described them as programs that automatically execute instructions when predetermined criteria are met.