Budapest (AFP)

The bronze bust reveals an "anonymous" face under a hood: Hungarian bitcoin enthusiasts unveiled a statue in Budapest on Thursday in tribute to Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonym behind the mysterious inventor of the cryptocurrency.

The sculpture was unveiled in a technology park in the capital open to the public, where a monument to Apple founder Steve Jobs and an installation designed by Erno Rubik, the Hungarian inventor of the famous color cube, is also on display. .

It was Andras Gyorfi, journalist specializing in the subject, who had the idea of ​​erecting a statue to the glory of Mr. Nakamoto and the "people of the Internet".

"Last March, I was researching the links between digital art and blockchain," a decentralized and secure technology for storing and transmitting information that is at the heart of cryptocurrencies, this 38-year-old entrepreneur told AFP. .

"And I said to myself: why should Satoshi (Nakamoto) not be entitled to his statue in Budapest?", He continues, saluting "an emblematic figure" who has transformed the world of finance.

To bypass the anonymity of the creator of bitcoin, the sculptors have fashioned a face that looks like a mirror in which "everyone can recognize themselves".

The initiative, presented as "unprecedented", was financed by four Hungarian companies in the sector.

Born after the 2008 financial crisis, bitcoin initially promoted a libertarian ideal and aspired to overthrow traditional monetary and financial institutions.

The founding white paper was published on October 31, 2008.

Its author: Satoshi Nakamoto, a pseudonym.

The identity of the person or group behind it remains unknown.

A man wearing a Guy Fawkes mask in front of a bronze statue in tribute to Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonym of the mysterious inventor of the cryptocurrency Bitcoin, on September 16, 2021 in Budapest, Hungary ATTILA KISBENEDEK AFP

In the eight-page document, Mr. Nakamoto outlines the goal of his cryptocurrency: "to make online payments directly from one third party to another without going through a financial institution."

On January 3, 2009, the first block is created: 50 bitcoins are generated.

Many other cryptocurrencies have since been launched (ethereum, tether, polkadot, ripple ...).

Today, there are more than 11,000, according to the specialist site CoinMarketCap.

El Salvador became the first country in the world to make bitcoin legal tender in early September.

© 2021 AFP