Why is Bitcoin a belief?

Why is Bitcoin a belief?

If you want the openness, openness and inclusiveness of the Internet, and you want everyone's freedom to be enslaved, privacy is not sneaked, property is not captured, is there any way to do it?


Internet encrypted communication, also known as encryption technology.

Encrypted communication, old and old! In the Greek and Persian wars two thousand years ago, the Greeks wrote the movements of the Persian army as ciphers and sent them to Athens. With the help of accurate information, the Greeks dispatched the party, found the weakness of the Persian army, defeated the extremely powerful Persian army at that time, and guaranteed the freedom and independence of Greece.

However, encryption communication has long been used in the military field. For example, Turing, who committed suicide by poisoning Apple (now Apple's logo), has deciphered the German army's password to help the Allies defeat the fascist.

After World War II, the NSA (National Security Agency) hired a large number of cryptographers to develop a range of cryptography techniques. Initially it was only for information encryption, and later developed into identity authentication, preventing eavesdropping, preventing camouflage, and preventing denial. Technically, it was mainly divided into identity signature and message confirmation.

The Internet can arise because it uses a lot of communication encryption technology itself. But this is only for the transmission of information. Some people think about it further. The knowledge of cryptography is so good. Can it be used for the value transmission of the Internet?

In 1982, David Chaum, who just completed his Ph.D., published a paper on Blind signatures. In the article, he first proposed that cryptographic technology can be used to realize the anonymous delivery value on the network. He called it eCash.

Ten years later, a group of cryptographers, enthusiasts, programmers, and geeks who believed in David Johm’s thoughts launched a social movement called Cypherpunk, which used the cipher (Cypher) and Punk combines to create a free, unmonitored world with cryptography. They believe in the power of liberalism and the open source community, and most of them publish their works in open source, free of charge to users around the world.

Among these people, there are many famous people besides Assange, such as Sean Parker (one of Facebook's founders), Bram Cohen (BT download inventor), and Philip-Himmerman (developer of PGP technology) ), John Gilmore (the star employee of Sun Microsystems), Steven Belowen (a researcher at Bell Labs in the US), Tim He-C-Mei (former chief scientist at Intel) – and of course, Including the bitcoin inventor Satoshi Nakamoto. The name of Nakamoto Satoshi is considered to be a collection of short names for Samsung, Toshiba, Nakamichi, and Motorola.

In 1995, Wei Dai, a Chinese who was a freshman at Harvard, noticed the password punk organization. He joined them and used his spare time to create an open source code library called Crypto++ library, which has been maintained to this day.

In November 1998, on the password punk mailing list, David released a b-money white paper, the concept of "digital cryptocurrency" came into being – decentralized settlement structure, anonymous transactions, peer-to-peer networks. The spiritual core of Bitcoin has all appeared in b-money.

“B-money cannot be regulated by the state and cannot be controlled by the government,” David wrote in its white paper. Ten years later, b-money's white paper became the first source of reference for the Nakamoto Cong Bitcoin white paper.

However, David inherited the Chinese tradition of modesty. He believed that the invention of Bitcoin had little to do with himself. The article was later put into citation by Nakamoto. But the cryptocurrency industry will not forget him. For the second currency of the cryptocurrency market, the smallest unit is named "Wei".

After the emergence of b-money, dozens of encrypted digital currencies were born in the password punk mailing list, but none of them solved a problem –

How to truly realize the initial issuance of digital currency and turn theoretical things into reality?

Adam Back, a computer postdoctoral fellow at the University of Exeter in the UK, invented hash cash to solve the spam problem, which provides a possible algorithm for the issuance of cryptocurrencies: a computer that performs a hash cash program, sending When you email, you need to spend a few extra seconds to hash and try to get a hash function value that meets the special rules.

In 2004, cryptographer Hal Finney improved the hash cash algorithm to the Reusable Proofs of Work (now popular POW), which was used A series of digital currency experiments before the emergence of Bitcoin proved the feasibility of issuing cryptocurrency.

The decisive moment is coming.

On November 1, 2008, the Bitcoin white paper was released, and Nakamoto changed the Hash cash mechanism into a bitcoin issuance mechanism: the user contributed computing power, packed data, and performed hash operations;

In return, the Bitcoin network donated bitcoin to the first miner who dug out the block.

The proof of work (POW) has thus become the cornerstone of the operation of the Bitcoin network.

Seeing Bitcoin's white paper, Hal-Finney was excited and immediately got in touch with Nakamoto.

In the discussion of two people, Nakamoto developed a client program for Bitcoin, so Bitcoin and the blockchain were born at the same time. In the creation block, Nakamoto wrote his ridicule of the old financial system.

"On January 3, 2009, the Chancellor of the Exchequer was on the verge of implementing the second round of bank emergency assistance."

– This is the title of the headline article of the Times in the day.

Hal-Finney quickly downloaded Nakamoto's Bitcoin client program and pointed out the loopholes in Bitcoin runtime. The latter responded by patching and thanking. To test the bitcoin transfer function, on January 11, 2009, Satoshi Nakamoto transferred 10 bitcoins to Hal-Finney – the first transfer in the history of Bitcoin.

Hal-Finney began mining with his own IBM computer, because without a competitor, he could dig 100 bitcoins a day, and he became the first miner in the history of Bitcoin.

Compared with the aforementioned cryptocurrency development of a series of cattle, Nakamoto is a younger generation of password punk, but his accomplishments are far superior to these people, and he is not like Kevin Kelly ("The author of the book out of control") , pay homage to the predecessors who failed in the field of cryptocurrency. Instead, in a letter to a researcher, he emphasized the uniqueness of Bitcoin, taunting the failures of former “trusted third-party” systems (such as eCash), and he confidently stated:

"I hope people can make a difference, that people think 'I was the first to know that we are trying a system based on a third party without trust.'"

Nakamoto's reflection on these losers is that the failure of virtual currency pioneers such as Beenz, Flooz, E-cash, and B-money was mainly caused by its centralized organizational structure. This is because once a company that endorses virtual currency credits fails, or the central server that holds the general ledger is hacked, the virtual currency is at risk of credit bankruptcy and internal collapse.

In February 2009, Nakamoto wrote on the IRC channel:

“The government is good at defeating Napster and has a centrally controlled network, but a fully P2P network like Gnutella and Tor still looks comfortable.”

Nakamoto is extremely careful and meticulous, and uses PGP encryption and Tor network to communicate with anyone. Gavin Andresen (Chief Scientist of the Bitcoin Foundation) told reporters that many people pretend to write to him, but he was easily identified because they did not use PGP encryption. Even with the most intimate partners, Nakamoto also uses encryption technology, and never reveals personal information, everyone knows little about him.

His cautiousness is of course correct, and the results of Snowden and Assange are obvious to all.

In 2010, programmer Gavin Andlersen came into contact with Bitcoin, and he began submitting code to Nakamoto to optimize the Bitcoin system. Nakamoto has gradually gained trust in Gavin's code. One day, Nakamoto asked Gavin whether he could put his mailbox on the Bitcoin homepage, and Gavin agreed.

Since then, Nakamoto has retired behind the scenes, and Gavin has become a leader in bitcoin development, forming a Bitcoin core development team dedicated to fixing security vulnerabilities in Bitcoin code, improving the stability of Bitcoin software and making it easier to use. .

In 2011, Assange’s WikiLeaks announced the support for bitcoin donations and the community cheered. But Nakamoto, who has long disappeared, posted a warning in the forum that this is not good news. He suggested that Assange not accept bitcoin donations – this is the last piece of information that Nakamoto has left in this world.

Nakamoto Satoshi, who was so active in the password punk group, did not appear in real life from beginning to end. He became a mystery.

On May 22, 2010, Bitcoin exchanged with the first commodity in the real world. Software designer Laszlo used 10,000 bitcoins to switch to two large pizzas in the real world. Bitcoin has since The price tag in the real world.

(See: What does it feel like to pass the $5 billion in wealth?)


The first block of Nakamoto's creation of Bitcoin is called the Creations block, which is the story of Genesis in the Christian Bible.

We can understand this:

At present, all Bitcoin branches share a "God" named "Zhong Ben Cong", and they all have a Bible written by Nakamoto to "Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System." Some branches of the vertical and the following have already started to stand on their own (such as BCH, BSV, etc.), but still can not change the essential characteristics of the total circulation of 21 million and "point-to-point payment."

The most unfortunate thing is that Nakamoto has developed the most important "helper" Hal-Finney at the beginning of Bitcoin.

In August 2010, he was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, the same as "Frozen Human Disease" by Hawking). After several years, he struggled with the disease, his condition gradually deteriorated, his hands were numb, his body paralysis……

In 2014, he once wrote an article in the way of eyeball rotation:

I feed through a tube and help me breathe through another tube. I can only operate the computer through the eye tracking system. It also has a speech synthesizer that allows me to make a sound. I sit in my electric wheelchair all day. I made an interface with arduino so I could use my eyes to manipulate my wheelchair to adjust the position.

I can basically adjust it, my life is not too bad. I can still read, listen to music, watch TV and movies. I recently discovered that I can even write code, but it is very slow, almost 50 times slower than I used to. However, I still like programming, he can give me the goal. I am currently following Mike Hearn's suggestion to support "trusted computing" to enhance Bitcoin's wallet through security features in modern processors. I am almost ready to release now, I still need to adjust the documentation.

Of course, the price fluctuations of Bitcoin also make me happy, just like my skin can feel the same. My bitcoin was obtained by luck and didn't cost me much. I personally experienced the collapse of Bitcoin in 2011. So looking at the history of Bitcoin, I know it's easy to get, and it's easy to go.

If you understand Nakamoto from the perspective of culture and belief, these genius password punks are intellectuals and pragmatists who believe in non-violence, but they also want to challenge the old order, protect personal privacy, and use the Internet. To build a society that is fairer, more open, and also protects individual freedom and personal privacy…

Bitcoin itself represents a belief in them.

In August 2014, Hal-Finney died and, according to his wishes, his family sent his body to a frozen factory for cryopreservation. The wife of Hal-Finney said that her husband had no hope of "resurrection". "But at the last moment of his life, he gave all his faith to this technology."

In the future, of course, no one knows –

However, as long as you have an ideal and sincere belief, goodness may be in sight. (The internet)