Exactly ten years ago and under the pseudonym of Satoshi Nakamoto, an obscure individual from the cypherpunk e-mail list introduced to the world an unusual digital money proposal which he titled “Bitcoin: A Peer to Peer Electronic Cash System” (better known today as “The Bitcoin Whitepaper“).
By combining David Chaum’s ideal of an anonymous payment system, Adam Back’s Proof of Work consensus algorithm, Wei Dai’s cryptographic b-money concept, and Nick Szabo’s Bit Gold, Satoshi created a system which both economists and computer scientists can analyze in a state of utmost awe.
Bitcoin created a functional system of electronic cash (or gold, depending on who you ask) which is completely decentralized and solves the Byzantine Generals problem (also known as the double spending problem) by using “the blockchain”.
2/ Satoshi on the problem with conventional currency… right above the link to download Bitcoin v0.1 pic.twitter.com/xh3M8qEgWX
— Yassine Elmandjra (@yassineARK) October 4, 2018
Ten years later, the same digital coins that people used to mine for fun and trade by the thousands in exchange for pictures and pizza are worth the price of a new car and even stir the interest of Wall Street firms. Bitcoin has come a long way, and it has steadily solidified its position as the deflationist sound money which people buy for both value storage and speculative trading purposes.
Today we no longer speak of “the Bitcoin business” – we refer to it as “the blockchain industry”, a conglomerate consisting of thousands of firms which spend large amounts of money in the development and promotion of Bitcoin and the other cryptocurrencies it spawned. We no longer have just a bunch of computer nerds led by Satoshi Nakamoto, exchanging messages on Bitcointalk.org. The space is now fulll of large conferences where ideas get shared and increasingly wealthier investors see the value of money that can’t be censored.
Thanks to this process, we are seeing an unprecedented popularization of the Austrian school economics, and we are witnessing libertarians and anarcho-capitalists embrace this form of currency for both ideological and practical purposes. Business-oriented folks use Satoshi’s technology in order to replicate other economic processes such as central banking or start-up funding, while companies contemplate the use of blockchain technology to not only store their private information, but to reinvent their entire industries.
We can clearly distinguish between Bitcoin maximalists, conservative bitcoinists who appreciate some other innovations in the field, idealistic ICO starters who try to get away from the restrictions of the traditional financial system through the use of cryptos, and traders whose only deity is the U.S. dollar. Yet none of them would be around and have something in common if Satoshi never published his 9-page groundbreaking paper.
If anything, October 31st is a moment for unity and appreciation, when old-school bitcoinists and XRP standardists should be able to get together and celebrate without arguing about the elements that differentiate their core beliefs. Big blockers and second layer advocates can simply share a drink and make a toast in Satoshi Nakamoto’s health. Likewise, bankers seeking to open BTC trading desks and crypto whales can get along for once, leaving aside the differences between them, and celebrate the creation of Bitcoin.
Once again, none of us would be here without Satoshi Nakamoto and Bitcoin – and this includes the entire Crypto Insider staff, which would probably be making use of their university degrees for something much less exciting. So let’s celebrate this tenth anniversary with an armistice, and try not to argue as much as we usually do.