The history of bitcoin

The article below first appeared on bitcoin.nl on July 6, 2018

Contrary to popular belief, Bitcoin did not just appear out of thin air. At nakamotoinstitute.org you can find an extensive overview of all literature that contributed to the invention of Bitcoin, the various texts provide a lot of insight into the ideas behind the development of digital money.

More than a spontaneous hobby project

The history of Bitcoin is unknown to many, but very interesting if you are interested in how it all came about. The invention of bitcoin came at a time when all the puzzle pieces fell into place. There had been many attempts to create digital scarcity in the form of a digital currency as early as the 1980s, but it was not until 2008-2009 that the idea was successfully implemented with the implementation of Bitcoin.

Satoshi Nakamoto points out in a forum post on bitcointalk.org that Bitcoin is an implementation of Wei Dai’s 1998 “b-money” and Nick Szabo’s “bitgold” of 2005. Both proposals predate the announcement of Bitcoin and are similar in many ways to Bitcoin in design and philosophy.

For example, Wei Dai’s proposal describes distributing the ledger to all participants in a distributed network, with everyone adjusting the current version when a new transaction is made. In addition, like Bitcoin, b-money should use public keys to link amounts to. Nick Szabo’s proposal already describes the use of proof-of-work, similar to Adam Back’s hash -cash principle, for making the transaction history tamper-proof.

The various texts (more than 80+) on nakamotoinstitute.org provide a lot of insight into the ideas behind the development of digital money and how it came together over the years to the system we know today as Bitcoin. Definitely worth reading if you want to know more about Bitcoin’s history. Start with the texts of Nick Szabo, Wei Dai, David Chaum and Adam Back and soon enough you’ll get lost in a reading about the origins of money. In addition to an overview of literature, nakamotoinstitute.org also provides an overview of all forum posts made by Satoshi Nakamoto after the announcement of Bitcoin.

Bitcoin was not forged in a vacuum. These works serve to contextualize Bitcoin into the broader story of cryptography and freedom. nakamotoinstitute.org

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