In the beginning were the words

Lets begin with understanding why bitcoin came into being. An anonymous person going by the alias of “Satoshi Nakamoto” published a white paper Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System in November 2008.

For a number of months on an obscure internet mailing list various fascinated parties to help him (we’ll assume him from here on in) get the protocol up and running from white paper (a fully fleshed out idea) to a software system that anybody could install on their own computer. Which was released in January 2009.

Just ten years prior to Satoshi publishing the bitcoin white paper Milton Freeman had said,

“In an interview on the future of economics in 1999 Milton Friedman prophetically stated “I think that the Internet is going to be one of the major forces for reducing the role of government.The one thing that’s missing, but that will soon be developed, is a reliable e-cash, a method whereby on the Internet you can transfer funds from A to B, without A knowing B or B knowing A.”

This is of course correct but the concept could now be expanded a little – what is needed for global commerce and trade to flourish in the internet age is a method whereby assets in general, including money, can be registered and traded reliably without the need for central authorities.

Friedman, in the same interview, went on to say that the e-cash would make payments “with no record of where it came from”. Here is a short clip from that interview:

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