The Bitcoin white paper turns 15 today

The Bitcoin white paper turns 15 today

The document that started a financial revolution is celebrating its birthday

15 years ago, Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto shared the Bitcoin white paper with a list of cryptographers on October 31, 2008. The idea of cryptocurrency officially became mainstream conversation, and continues to slowly grow today.

“I’ve been working on a new electronic cash system that’s fully peer-to-peer, with no trusted third party,” said Satoshi in his opening statement with a linked composition called “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System.”

The white paper suggested a decentralized method that could promote peer-to-peer transactions and would accomplish this through a network of nodes to validate and document dealings via a proof-of-work mechanism and would launch a couple of months afterward on January 3, 2009.

The computer science invention was developed with the help of other remarkable cryptography and e-money developments, which were mentioned in Satoshi’s white paper. The electronic peer-to-peer cash method invented by Wei Dai, called B-money, never launched but still played a critical role in Satoshi’s Bitcoin strategies.

Satoshi implemented it into Bitcoin, citing the invention of Hascash by Adam Back in 1997, which integrated proof-of-work to restrict spam email and denial-of-service threats. Another core Bitcoin property is timestamps, which were added by Satoshi and integrated into the Bitcoin protocol by Henri Massias, Stuart Haber, Scott Stornetta, and Dave Bayer.

Merkle trees implemented to confirm transactions via digital signatures were credited to the work of Ralph Merkle in designing the public-key cryptosystems. However, the most impressive element was how Satoshi pieced everything together to create a fully operational design.

The first successful Bitcoin transaction was in May 2010, when Laszlo Hanyecz purchased two pizzas for 10,000 BTC. It’s now been adopted by countries worldwide, with El Salvador the first to make Bitcoin legal in September 2021.

Bitcoin is currently valued at $34,350, 50% lower than the all-time high of $69,000 achieved on November 10, 2021.

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