Nick Szabo You are an American citizen of Hungarian descent. So far, neither the date nor the place of his birth is known. He obtained in 1989 the Bachelor of Computer Science from the University of Washington. Recently, in 2017, he received the Honoris Causa Doctorate in Social Sciences from the Francisco Marroquín University.

It is unknown if he is married or has been married and if he has children, his private life is precisely, private in every way. However, the high level of confidentiality of his private life is in keeping with his great achievements. In this article, we will review a bit about Nick Szabo's life and how his work has meant great advances in blockchain technology.

Initial developments

His oldest known work dates back to 1995, and it is truly impressive. Back then, on a simple website, he started talking about the smart contracts or smart contracts. This first introduction was called Smart Contracts Glossary, work that in Bit2Me we have translated.

Then in 1996 he went even further with the publication of the work Smart Contracts: Building Blocks for Digital Markets. This work laid the initial foundations for the operation of smart contracts on digital platforms. In fact, it is part of his brilliant contributions advanced to the time. Well it wouldn't be until 2013, after the creation of Ethereum, that smarts contracts would have a specific utility.

The basic idea of ​​smart contracts is that many types of contractual clauses (such as liens, sureties, delimitation of property rights, etc.) can be incorporated into the hardware and software with which we deal. In such a way that the breach of contract is expensive (if desired, sometimes prohibitive) for the offender.

Nick Szabo

Smart Contracts: Building Blocks for Digital Markets - 1996

Bit Gold: Nick Szabo's Bitcoin Precursor

During 1998 Nick Szabo presented work that would make him widely known in online communities cypherpunk, the Bit Gold. A digital currency that never really came into existence at all. However, the initiative explained many of the necessary structures that would bring cryptocurrencies to life later.

These characteristics included:

  • Use of a decentralized structure.
  • Clear focus on privacy.
  • Use of cryptography.
  • Proof of work functions.

This set of implementations worked to provide a decentralized, secure digital currency that anyone could have access to. With this, conceptually ten years ahead of the creation of Bitcoin, although the project did not go ahead.

Bitcoin is widely recognized for solving the problem of double spending, something that Bit Gold could never achieve. Bit Gold's proposal called for using a Byzantine method that required a quorum of network addresses instead of a quorum of computing power. Consequently, this caused the Bit Gold network to be vulnerable to Sybil attacks. Subsequently, the block confirmations of the Bitcoin project, they gave the safe solution the double expense. In this way, Bitcoin culminated, ten years later, the journey started by Nick Szabo and his proposal for Bit Gold.

Concerned about privacy online

Another front that occupied much of Nick Szabo's initial work was privacy in the digital age. In 1997, he published a paper under the name of Formalizing and Securing Relationships on Public Networks. Szabo recounted the importance of the digital age for humanity and the radical change in the relationships of trust that could be housed in them. He explained that the computer age could completely transform work and trust relationships. And added that the cryptography and smart contracts they would be the primary tool for those changes. Changes that would improve the privacy of the parties. His vision in this work, aimed at the business world, highlighted the capabilities of altering how much "could adapt to computational transactions".

In that sense, in 1998 he presented another work called Coalition Design for Secure Protocols. With this work, N. Szabo made clear reference to the design of highly secure digital communication protocols. The inspiration for such work, he took from a previous job called Quorum-based secure multi-party computation, By Donald beaver y Avishai Wool, that same year. A paper in which he describes the construction of efficient protocols for theoretically secure multiparty computations against passive attacks. 

Later in 1999, he developed his work The God Protocols. In this work he joined concepts from other previous works such as Contracts with Bearer y Negative ReputationsAll this led him to the presentation of a work where he talks about non-linkable transactions, Privacy y firms blind.

New developments for the new millennium

With the arrival of the new millennium, N. Szabo continued his work. In 2001, he published Trusted Third Parties Are Security Holes . This work focused on demonstrating the different security flaws included in the "Trusted Third Parties", made N. Szabo a security crusader, and from which the following quote can be extracted:

The best trusted third party of all, is the one that does not exist.

Nick Szabo

Trusted Third Parties Are Security Holes

In 2002 Nick Szabo wrote Shelling Out: The Origins of Money. With this work, he analyzed in depth the origins of money and how it had evolved to date. A look back with a clear message: the need to evolve the concept and the way we see money today.

In 2004, Nick Szabo presented to the world the mechanism of Work test that effectively uses computational power to generate a store of value. Obviously, very close to one of the core concepts of Bitcoin that started five years later. This particular concept was also supported by the distributed nature of the transaction. Nick Szabo related the idea of ​​the difficulty of extracting gold with that of his digital currency, Bit Gold. The latter, referring to a previous work, on intrapolyomial cryptography.

The rumors behind the creation of Bitcoin

With the release of Bitcoin, much of Nick Szabo's previous work became more and more noticeable. What led many people to wonder Could Nick Szabo be Satoshi Nakamoto? Hence the most common association of the person behind the anonymous figure of Satoshi Nakamoto be Nick Szabo's. A fact that he himself has always denied. However, this does not detract from all the achievements he has garnered in his extensive career as a researcher and developer. And it is that, ahead of his time, Nick Szabo laid the foundations for cryptocurrencies and smart contracts. The key lies in its vision on distribution, cryptography and non-trust in third parties. Since with her I returned users control over their privacy, information and money.

Later developments

Following the development of cryptocurrencies like BitcoinNick Szabo set about developing new features for cryptocurrencies. His interest focused on solutions to increase the Scalability, the security and privacy of Bitcoin. Their contributions have gone in the direction of developing the side chains that make the development of Lightning Network and related. He has also given his point of view on scaling cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, increasing the size of its blocks. Given this option, your opinion is

In addition to his interventions, Nick Szabo actively maintains his blog updated with your work and updates. All this without giving an iota of his personal life. Since his private life is something he only keeps for himself and those who are part of it.