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The Bitcoin Whitepaper Turned 14 This Past Week and Why Satoshi Never Used the Term “Blockchain” (#123 - 7 November 2022)

The Future of Money with Henri Arslanian
The Bitcoin Whitepaper Turned 14 This Past Week and Why Satoshi Never Used the Term “Blockchain” (#123 - 7 November 2022)
By Henri Arslanian • Issue #112 • View online

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This past week saw a significant milestone in the crypto ecosystem.
Whilst many around the world spend October 31 celebrating Halloween, it’s a day to celebrate Bitcoin for the crypto community! That’s because precisely 14 Halloweens ago, the Bitcoin whitepaper was born.
On October 31, 2008, only six weeks after Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy, Satoshi Nakamoto revealed a whitepaper entitled “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System.”
He shared the whitepaper on a cryptography mailing list at 2:20 pm Eastern Time on October 31 with an email titled “Bitcoin P2P e-cash paper.”
Satoshi started his email with, “I’ve been working on a new electronic cash system that’s fully peer-to-peer, with no trusted third party.”
Interestingly, the domain “bitcoin.org” was registered just a few weeks prior at anonymousspeech.com, a site that allows users to register domain names anonymously.
Satoshi introduced an entirely new system “based on cryptographic proof instead of trust, allowing any two willing parties to transact directly with each other without the need for a trusted third party.”
This was revolutionary.
In nine simple pages, the whitepaper envisioned a purely peer-to-peer version of electronic cash that would allow online payments to be sent directly from one party to another without going through a financial institution.
Satoshi was active in various blogs and forums, including Bitcointalk, which he founded, posting the first message under the pseudonym satoshi. 
Satoshi remained active in the Bitcoin ecosystem until he suddenly stopped, writing he had “to move onto other things.”
 There have been numerous attempts to try to unearth the real Satoshi in the years since.
Many have tried to analyze the time of his posts to guess where he was living (almost no posts between 5 am and 11 am GMT) or his style of language (use of British spelling of words like optimise or colour), but these can be easily misleading.
Some individuals who interacted with him online shared their experiences, saying that Satoshi was “weird, paranoid, and bossy.” 
It is also important to remember that Satoshi holds a large number of Bitcoin, estimated to be around 1 million BTC, which in dollar terms comes out to over $20 billion. 
This makes Satoshi one of the wealthiest individuals on the planet.
Meanwhile, to the surprise of many, the term “blockchain” is not even mentioned once in Satoshi’s famous whitepaper, Bitcoin’s de facto birth certificate.
The closest Satoshi comes to saying the word “blockchain” in his whitepaper comes via references to terms like “blocks are chained” or “chains of blocks.”
But if Satoshi never used the term “blockchain” in the Bitcoin whitepaper, then where did it come from?
Many argue that the first outright references to “blockchain” appeared on Bitcoin Talk, a bitcoin forum, in July 2010, over a year after Bitcoin’s release.
Whilst some claim that the term “block chain” (used as two separate words) can be found in some cryptography mailing lists around 2008, the term did not enter the mainstream until around 2015.
According to some researchers, a couple of media articles that appeared towards the end of 2015 catalyzed the use of the term “blockchain.”
The first article in Bloomberg Markets was “Blythe Masters Tells Banks the Blockchain Changes Everything.”
The article featured the aforementioned Masters, a financial innovator who helped develop the credit default swap markets.
And the second article appeared in the 31 October 2015 issue of The Economist, entitled “The Trust Machine,” which featured blockchain and used the term blockchain extensively throughout the piece.
Google searches for the term “blockchain” reportedly rose over 70% in the days following those articles.
Since then, the term has been widely adopted and was finally added to the Merriam-Webster dictionary in March 2018.
So a very happy (and belated!) birthday to the Bitcoin whitepaper!
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Henri Arslanian
*Please note that this newsletter reflects Henri’s personal views and not those of any organisation he is involved with. This newsletter is for educational purposes only and none of its content should be construed as investment or financial advice of any kind. 
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Henri Arslanian

Future of Finance and Money - PwC Global Crypto Leader, Best Selling Author, Keynote Speaker, University Professor, Host of Crypto Capsule™ - Views are my own

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