The prize committee for the Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel – known more commonly as the Nobel Prize in Economics – is set to discuss the nomination of bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto.
The move comes days after UCLA finance professor Bhagwan Chowdhry penned an op-ed in The Huffington Post stating his intention to nominate Nakamoto for the prize. In his widely-covered article, Chowdhry wrote that Nakamoto deserves the prize because his invention, bitcoin, is “nothing short of revolutionary”.
Following its publication, however, some observers raised the question of whether Chowdhry violated nomination rules by publicly disclosing his intention to back Nakamoto.
When reached for comment, Göran K. Hansson, secretary general of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences – the organization that awards the Nobel Prizes – indicated that the potential rule violation will be discussed.
Hansson told CoinDesk: “The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences requests that nominations for the Economics Prize are kept secret. This is clearly stated in the invitation letters sent to nominators. The Prize Committee will now discuss the specific issue.”
Maria von Konow, communications manager for Nobel Media, had previously told CoinDesk that the following rule applies to the nomination process: “The statutes of the Nobel Foundation restrict disclosure of information about the nominations, whether publicly or privately, for 50 years. The restriction concerns the nominees and nominators, as well as investigations and opinions related to the award of a prize.”
Hansson did not offer specifics on the nature of the forthcoming discussion, and did not immediately respond to further inquiry into possible outcomes.