Györfi created the statue after being inspired by blockchain’s significance and the artistic qualities of non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
Although a physical manifestation of something inherently digital, Györfi feels that physical things have more significance in an increasingly digital world.
“Living in the digital age increases the value of physical things, in many ways.”
The world’s first physical statue of Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto will be unveiled in Budapest on September 16.
A person worth building a statue for
Originally, András Györfi studied to become a biologist in the Hungarian city of Szeged. However, he dropped out to pursue entrepreneurship. While he has had success, he keeps up a job in journalism to support it.
“Journalism pays the rent, and my projects sometimes succeed, sometimes fail.”
Györfi first read about Bitcoin in 2012 but laments not acting at the time. However, after a friend showed him a chart displaying the astounding returns of Litecoin in 2017, he knew he had to jump in.
Since then, he has written the first book on cryptocurrencies in Hungarian and is currently an editor at the Hungarian crypto portal Kripto Akadémia.
The idea for the statue first occurred to him one day in March. While sitting at home during the government-mandated curfew due to the coronavirus pandemic, he read about NFTs.
Given the artistic nature of many of these tokens, Györfi found himself inspired. He thought about the potential of blockchain technology and just how significant it will become. His thoughts then turned to Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto.
“Why doesn’t he have a statue? I thought, he deserves a statue.”
“He has to wear a hoodie”
At this point, Györfi started looking for sculptors. Not having a deep professional understanding of art himself, he contacted a former colleague working in art management. He was directed to a young couple, Réka Gergely and Tamás Gilly.
Since Nakamoto has never revealed himself publicly, the statute needed to take into account this aspect of anonymity.
The sculptors could appreciate this perspective but need more ideas to work with. It was then thought that the statue’s face should be a reflective mirror-like surface, this way, it could symbolize that “we are all Satoshi.”
Györfi also wanted the Bitcoin logo to appear somewhere on the statue. Originally, he considered having the statue wear a fedora, with a card bearing the Bitcoin logo tucked into the hat’s band.
However, his teammate quickly dissuaded him of this notion. Gabriella Debreczeni-Rasko at Mr. Coin, suggested something much more representative.
“He has to wear a hoodie!”
Building the statue
Although Györfi was initially skeptical of the sculptor pair, since their portfolio lacked human subjects and mainly consisted of abstract figures, he was elated once they delivered the clay model.
Currently, a casting mold is being prepared from it, into which a bronze composite with aluminum will be poured, creating the statue.
Although the statue will predominantly be bronze, the aluminum component will give the statue’s face a reflective quality when polished. A limestone pedestal has also been ordered from Croatia.
To finance the statue, the project crowd-sourced donations in bitcoin (BTC). However, they soon added binance coin (BNB) due to high transaction fees.
Ultimately, the project was able to raise $11,000 from the crowdsourcing campaign.
A special place in Graphisoft Park
With the creation of the statue underway, Györfi said the statue will be unveiled in Budapest’s Graphisoft Park.
He plans to invite Nakamoto. However, if Nakamoto does not appear, Györfi is still holding out for other big names, including Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin, Cardano founder Charles Hoskinson and crypto exchange Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao.
Although Graphisoft Park was not the first place Györfi had in mind for the statue, its placement is very fitting, given its tech theme and background.
The park was created by entrepreneur Gábor Bojár, whose company Graphisoft was among the first to utilize computer-aided design (CAD) in architectural design during the 1980s.
The park already has a statue of Apple founder Steve Jobs, which Györfi notes will be in the line of sight of the Satoshi statue, and another designed by Rubik’s Cube creator Ernő Rubik.
Györfi said the park is interested in this new addition.
“They understand the rising significance of the space and want something that attracts visitors and attention.”
For Györfi, his childhood in Hungary has also played a part in the decision to build a statue.
“Instead of video games, we had to play in parks,” he explains.
“All my life I’ve been seeing physical representations; monuments, busts, statues, architecture.”
This early experience of great European monuments impressed upon him what impact a physical manifestation can have.
“It has a significance, it has a meaning, it has a dignity, a nobility, it has value and a weight.”
“Even new generations resonate with a statue, as statues play a role in our collective consciousness,” he says.
Decades from now, Györfi hopes that people will remember the statue and wants it to contribute to the cultural history of Budapest. He is hopeful that it may inspire other such statues around the world. However, he has particular dreams for his statue.
“I definitely want this to be the Satoshi Nakamoto statue of planet Earth.”