This series looks back on the history of Bitcoin. Read part one here.
October 31, 2008 will forever hold a special place in the history of Bitcoin, for it was on that date that Satoshi Nakamoto announced the publication of the Bitcoin whitepaper. That moment in time will forever be when Satoshi’s original vision of Bitcoin was first set out, when Bitcoin’s creator began to define for the world what Bitcoin would become, and when its first detractor sought to redefine it for his own purposes.
At 2:10 p.m. EDT on October 31, 2008, Satoshi Nakamoto made his announcement of the white paper to the cryptography email list where several experts had assembled to explore how their expertise might help solve the political problems of their time. Satoshi’s suggestion of a peer to peer system of electronic cash, not beholden to the whims of a trusted third party and allowing perfect accountability of funds, was immediately recognized as a great solution in the face of the Great Recession which was becoming an obvious threat at the time.
Dr. Craig S. Wright, who has since revealed himself to be Satoshi Nakamoto, has explained that he created Bitcoin as a better method of transaction than what had existed at the time: the banking system that had failed the world with a lack of transparency.
The first person to respond to the Bitcoin whitepaper would forever start a debate on what Bitcoin should be. James A Donald, on November 2, 2008, questioned how big of a network would be needed to create a world where Bitcoin was the dominant currency. Satoshi explained that the secret to Bitcoin’s future success could be found in scaling:
Long before the network gets anywhere near as large as that,