What is Bitcoin?



The following video highlights the main points about bitcoin...



How Does Bitcoin Work



Who Created Bitcoin?

An unknown programmer (or group of programmers) known as Satoshi Nakamoto, created Bitcoin. Satoshi Nakamoto released the bitcoin whitepaper on the 31st October 2008. On the 8th of January 2009, Satoshi Nakamoto made the Bitcoin whitepaper public.

The whitepaper described how bitcoin was  a new electronic cash system that uses a peer-to-peer network to prevent double-spending. It's completely decentralized with no server or central authority.

Satoshi Nakamoto was very active in the cryptography community through online forums at first, but then went silent.

The idea of Bitcoin was born in 2008, amid the turmoil of the financial crisis. At that time, small groups of programmers turned to software to try and solve the problems that came with of big banks controlling money.

On January 3rd, 2009 Satoshi made the genesis block public. He included the headlines of a British newspaper...



Satoshi never explained the reason behind the headline. Many claim that it was a poke at the centralized financial systems.

It was also a timestamp and a clever way to capture a significant and historic moment at the birth of blockchain.




To read the Bitcoin whitepaper, click here.
To view the first block on the bitcoin blockchain, click here.

Bitcoin was the result of work by other cryptographic pioneers. Satoshi Nakamoto built on the works of others, combining the knowledge to bring the world blockchain and bitcoin. 

Let's look at how it all began, years before the bitcoin whitepaper was released...

Cypherpunk Movement
In the 1990's, a movement was started by civil libertarians who used strong cryptography and privacy-enhancing technologies as a route to social and political change. Ideas from the cypherpunk movement was used when creating bitcoin.

B-Money
Wei Dai, a computer engineer, published a whitepaper describing "b-money” in 1998.

This was anonymous electronic cash described as money which is impossible to regulate. Transactions are verified by the community who update a collective ledger book and are rewarded b-money for their efforts.

Nick Szabo
Nick Szabo is a computer scientist, legal scholar and cryptographer known for his research in digital contracts and digital currency.

The phrase and concept of "smart contracts" was developed by Szabo.

In 1998, Nick Szabo designed ‘bit gold’. Users dedicated computing power to solve puzzles that were sent to a public ledger, where each solution becomes a part of the next challenge.

Hal Finney
Hal Finney was a cryptographic pioneer who worked on his own proof of work system. He believed that computers could be used to liberate and protect people, rather than control them. 

Hal Finney became the first person to use the bitcoin software. 

In January 2009, Satoshi Nakamoto sent 10 bitcoins to Hal to test the system. This was the first bitcoin transaction.

Claim to being Satoshi

In 2014, a Newsweek journalist claimed to have found the real Satoshi Nakamoto. The man was Dorain Nakamoto, who lived close to Hal Finney. Dorain denied being the creator of Bitcoin.

The next year, Craig Wright, an Australian businessman claimed to be Satoshi Nakamoto. When asked to prove it, Craig Wright backed down. However, he made his claim again in 2018. 

Interesting Links

Finding Satoshi essentially undermines the very nature of decentralization and pseudonymity itself. 
  1. For Satoshi's forum posts click here.
  2. For Satoshi's profile (since been hacked) click here.
  3. To read Satoshi first discussions about bitcoin click here.
  4. To see the first public announcement of bitcoin click here.
  5. To see the first bitcoin transaction click here.

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