Creator of Smart Contracts
Nick Szabo is a Blockchain and cryptocurrencies pioneer. He holds computer science and law degrees, as well as an honorary professorship and doctorate in social science. He is known in the crypto-world for applying his knowledge and experience to research into digital contracts and digital currency. A result of this was the creation of “smart contracts”, transparent and immutable agreements which are self-executing. Smart contracts bring the evolved practices of contract law into the digital sphere and are now a major feature of Blockchain technology, predicted to one day replace the middlemen in transactions.
Before the unknown Satoshi Nakamoto unveiled the proposal for Bitcoin, Nick Szabo had designed a decentralised digital currency called bit gold. Participants would dedicate computer power to solving cryptographic puzzles, and each solution would become part of the next challenge, creating a growing chain of new property. A key inspiration for Szabo’s conceptualisation of bit gold was the trust characteristics of gold, one of the most important being its independence from any central authority. Although this was never implemented, it has been referred to by many as a direct precursor to the Bitcoin architecture, and acknowledged as an influence for Bitcoin by Satoshi Nakamoto.