ST JULIAN'S, MALTA—There’s at least one thing that EOS co-founder and former child star Brock Pierce has in common with self-proclaimed “Bitcoin inventor” Craig Wright: they both agree on the supposed “origin story” of the name “Satoshi Nakamoto.”
As the story goes, according to Pierce, the name Satoshi Nakamoto (the pseudonymous creator of Bitcoin) was a fusion of a Japanese philosopher and, curiously, the main character in the video game and collectible franchise Pokémon.
To those outside of Japan, the Pokémon character is known as “Ash.” But, actually, “the main character is Satoshi,” Pierce said during a talk at Malta’s AI & Blockchain Summit today.
“And then there’s a Japanese philosopher, which is [Tominaga] Nakamoto,” Pierce continued. “It’s the combination of Pokemon and philosophy that is the origin story of the name.”
When he came off stage, Decrypt asked Pierce to explain his references to the Bitcoin founder, and the “Pokémon connections” to his own namesake, “Brock”—another character in the series.
“[Brock] is who Satoshi learns everything from,” Pierce replied with a smile.
But he would go no further—not on that subject at least.
So what does the man who claims to be Satoshi Nakamoto think of the Pokémon links?
“Craig Wright agrees with this story,” said Pierce. “Craig Wright will tell you that he named the character off Pokemon and off of this Japanese philosopher.”
So does Pierce, perhaps, believe that Wright is, er, right? Does he have a claim to the Satoshi throne?
“I think that Craig is brilliant,” Pierce said carefully. “I think Craig has made many contributions to the ecosystem. A little less social media would probably serve him well, but I’m a fan of Craig’s.”
If nothing else, it seems Pierce will not then be joining the growing queue of those Wright is suing for libel. And when we asked directly whether he has aspirations to the Satoshi name himself, Pierce replied cagily: “We are all Satoshi, and Satoshi is definitely not one person.”
But Pokémon has a further part to play in the Brock Pierce story.
“What got me into this space is gaming,” said Pierce. “I’m a big fan of non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, and I’m really excited about Pokémon.”
Pierce said that he’s involved in multiple gaming projects, including Satoshi’s Treasure, the million-dollar Bitcoin scavenger hunt that started back in April. The former Mighty Ducks star sees great potential in gaming, as well as social media and messaging, to bring blockchain to the masses.
But there’s a way to go yet. He estimates that—in comparison to the first Internet age—we’re at about 1995—coincidentally, the same year the Pokémon franchise first launched.
Satoshi’s “advisor” could well be right.