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A 1999 message apparently from Satoshi Nakamoto was discovered on a Cypherpunks mailing list


I know discovered a 1999 message posted on the mailing list of Cypherpunks, which could belong to Satoshi Nakamoto.

The sender of message is anonymous and is a response to a discussion about eCash, an anonymous and impossible to trace currency that was thought to replace the banking system.

Actually, there is no certainty that that message was written by the person behind the pseudonym of Satoshi NakamotoBut what was written in that message is in line with the assumptions that led Nakamoto to create and launch Bitcoin a decade later.

The author of this message replied to another message in which eCash was not supposed to use hidden transactions and that electronic money could not be implemented without tamper-proof hardware, because the use of a database could be easily targeted, for example, by a government that decides to block it.

The answer, presumably by Satoshi, states that andThere are alternatives that would allow avoiding such attacks.

In fact, the author refers to what looks like a P2P system. At that time, not only did P2P systems already exist, but they were also in vogue thanks to very popular software like Napster.

The author of the message wrote:

“One possibility is to make the double spending database public. Every time someone receives a coin, they transmit their value. The database works in parallel on a large number of servers, so it cannot be closed ”.

The reasons why the author is claimed to be Satoshi Nakamoto himself are the additional details he provides.

In fact, to the answer, it adds two elements that will be fundamental for the development of Bitcoin: the deflationary nature and the Work test (Proof of Work).

"The greatest danger is that mint is taken and forced to misbehave, for example, by issuing too many coins. This would degrade money and render it useless. ”

In a nutshell, this is the assumption from which the concept of Bitcoin's deflationary nature was later developed, i.e. a creation of currency uncontrolled and uncontrollable by no one, but fixed for eternity in a practically immutable computer code.

About the Proof of Work, he wrote:

“Another possible form of electronic money could be based on Wei Dai's b-money.

This is like hashcash, something that represents a measurable amount of computational work to produce. Therefore, it cannot be falsified. This could be a very robust payment system and it is worth going forward. ”

In summary, in this 1999 post, there are three of Bitcoin's basic fundamentals:

  • The distributed ledger,
  • Deflationary nature,
  • Proof of Work.

Since then, nine years have passed before will be published on Bitcoin white paper and almost ten years before Genesis Block was created.

If this message is really from Satoshi, this indicates that may have worked on the design and development of Bitcoin for years before releasing it publicly.

However, it is also worth remembering that it was in 2008 when the financial crisis caused by subprime mortgages broke out and that this was probably the key factor that convinced Satoshi to take things seriously.

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