In brief

  • Jack Dorsey again espoused his love for Bitcoin during a recent podcast appearance.
  • He praised Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto, but denied that it’s actually him.
  • Dorsey sees Bitcoin revolutionizing global financial systems.

Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey is an outspoken Bitcoin enthusiast and advocate for decentralized technology, so it’s hardly surprising to hear he has kind words for Bitcoin’s pseudonymous creator, Satoshi Nakamoto.

During an appearance on the Artificial Intelligence Podcast with MIT research scientist Lex Fridman (via The Daily Hodl), Dorsey praised the decision to attribute the original cryptocurrency to a pseudonym rather than tying it to a real identity or releasing it anonymously into the world.

“I think it was smart not to do it anonymous, not to do it as a real identity, but to do it as a pseudonym,” said Dorsey, “because I think it builds tangibility and a little bit of empathy that this was a human or a set of humans behind it. There’s this natural identity that I can imagine.”

He also called the Bitcoin whitepaper “one of the most seminal works of computer science in the last 20-30 years” and said it was “poetry.”

But when asked whether he was the person behind the pseudonym, which would add another technological innovation to his resume, Dorsey demurred. “No,” he replied. “And if I were, would I tell you?”

Although he’s previously declined to detail his total stake in Bitcoin, Dorsey has long been an advocate for the cryptocurrency in both his personal and professional lives. He has maxed out the weekly $10,000 buying limit through Square’s own Cash App, as confirmed on Twitter, and spoken frequently about the values that continue to keep him in Bitcoin’s orbit.

Professionally, Cash App is a popular way for anyone (not just tech billionaires) to buy and sell Bitcoin, and Square has a crypto division that hands out grants to Bitcoin-centric startups. Dorsey has also personally invested in crypto-centric startups, announced plans to create a decentralized version of Twitter, and intended to live in Africa for part of 2020 to learn more about the mobile payments push there.

On the podcast, Dorsey relayed an anecdote about an African entrepreneur that he met who ran a Lyft/Uber-like ride-sharing service, but struggled with payments—whether it was paying her own drivers or customers paying for rides.

Between the hassle of payments systems and elements of corruption there, Dorsey said that he sees ample opportunity for Bitcoin to bring about a sea change in the continent.

“I think as we get a more durable, resilient, and global standard, we [will] see a lot more innovation everywhere,” said Dorsey. “I think there’s no better case study for this than the various countries within Africa and their entrepreneurs who are trying to start things within health, sustainability, or transportation.”

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg in Dorsey’s view. Asked if Bitcoin has the potential to become the major currency of the world and redefine how money works, he responded in the affirmative.

“Definitely, but I think the bigger ramification is how it affects how society works. I think there are many positive ramifications outside of just money,” replied Dorsey. “Money is a foundational layer that enables so much more.”