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Coin Stories from Satoshi Nakamoto and the History of $BTC

The Origin of BTC

In this Coin Stories episode, @natbrunell is joined by @pete_rizzo_ to talk about Satoshi Nakamoto, the history of BTC, his experiences & more.

Read our notes below to learn more 👇

About @pete_rizzo_

•Born in Massachusetts.

•Came into Bitcoin through journalism in 2013.

•He was an English major.

•Started doing journalism to force himself to write.

•He was deeply disgusted with finance as a concept prior to coming to Bitcoin. 1/

•He was the first editor-in-chief in @CoinDesk.">@CoinDesk

•Editor at @BitcoinMagazine

•Editor-at-large at @krakenfx

•Contributor at @Forbes 2/

Importance of Journalism and Accountability

•@pete_rizzo_ first learned about Bitcoin when he just started freelancing for a payments publication in May 2013. 3/

•The biggest frustration he has with mainstream journalists is he thinks they don’t feel they need to take the time. 4/

•He was highly motivated with the classic idea that journalism was supposed to be objective and to hold people accountable.

•The mainstream publication just stopped covering Bitcoin during the down, they totally wrote it off and it’s left for dead. 5/

•Journalists suffer from these immense blinders about Bitcoin.

•A lot of journalists really don’t understand that they have a choice. 6/

Journey from altcoins to just BTC

•His BTC maximalism was forged during the fork wars.

•He thinks for a long time within the industry, it was very unclear that BTC was meaningfully different from other cryptocurrencies. 7/

•Anybody who has a serious outlook on BTC and cryptocurrency, their opinion was shaped by 2017 to the extent that they have a novel opinion on what they think happened that year. 8/

•What he was trying to do at the end of his time at @CoinDesk is to set it up to make the transition to be a serious news outlet.

•News is a useful societal function.

•The Bitcoin 2021 conference was one of the best conferences @pete_rizzo_ had ever been to. 9/

Understanding Bitcoin

•Digital cash or money was a pursuit for 30 years before Bitcoin. 10/

•He thinks what a lot of alternative cryptocurrencies today are trying to do is they try to chip away a lot of their value propositions that are based on assertions that they can do things that Bitcoin can’t or shouldn’t. 11/

•Satoshi invented a way for people to prove, distribute and manage money collectively.

•Understanding why BTC is successful really gets to the point why it’s so different. 12/

About Satoshi

•One of the fascinating things of Satoshi’s story is that BTC really emerges from the failure of the internet. 13/

•Satoshi found some way to establish a digital identity around himself that is completely devoid of his real personage and a lot of people don’t appreciate how complex that would have been. •Satoshi surfaced in the summer of 2008. 14/

•There were several others who admitted to some early correspondence with Satoshi circulating this idea for a digital cash project but then he started the infrastructure, registered the domain names for

and started to put the project together. 15/

Bitcoin - Open source P2P money

•In the fall of 2008, he started this conversation on the cypherpunk mailing list where he debuted the whitepaper and attempted to engage in conversation around this idea called Bitcoin. 16/

•He went through the phases for 2 years running the Bitcoin project as a principal software developer, releasing patches and updates. 17/

•The Wall Street Journal published his original correspondence with Hal Finney wherein the first few days, they were patching bugs, going back and forth sending the first transaction. 18/

•He was also in the background propping up the network, he would have been mining some of the blocks and ensuring Bitcoin wasn’t vulnerable to attacks. 19/

•One of the main attack vectors from an alternative cryptocurrency crowd is they will try to paint Bitcoin as something that was just an experiment.

•Satoshi took all aspects of the design very seriously. 20/

•The Bitcoin story is unbelievable and it will continue to be because it is objectively unbelievable that someone achieved this thing. 21/

Satoshi on Blockchain

•For some period, it seems Satoshi was running enough hardware equipment to keep the network stable and operational as intended.

•It was really Hal Finney who was the first Bitcoin user. 22/

•Satoshi is more of an inventor, labored over something and was very aware of all of the defects. 23/

•One of the things that made him so challenging is he didn’t bring that optimism to the project and not relatable to the grounds but he was someone who appreciated the gravity of what he wanted to do. 24/

History of Bitcoin

•He thinks digital cash was really solved in the 1980s by David Chaum.

•David Chaum figured out how to make working electronic cash through a concept called Blind Signatures and he did solve the double spend problem. 25/

•He thinks the technical definition of creating digital cash wasn’t enough and it had to have been Bitcoin.

•David Chaum patented his Blind Signature so for 25 years from 1983, no one else could build or iterate with this. 26/

•One of the funny things about Bitcoin is that if you map the date when Satoshi started working on Bitcoin, it actually would have started after the Chaum patent had expired. 27/

•In the mid 90s, David Chaum’s company struggled financially and was unable to get off the ground so he tried to sell the software to the banks and he wanted the banks to commercially operate the software. 28/

•Adam Back comes in the late 90s and figures out that rather than backing a digital cash with an existing commodity, it can be backed with a computer commodity. 29/

Hal Finney

•Going back to 1990, he curated a lot of discussion around the mailing list.

•He was the first one to go back in the archives and read about economics.

•If he is not Satoshi, his reaction to Bitcoin becomes so much more personal. 30/

Satoshi’s Disappearance

•One of the most formative times in Bitcoin is when the leader and creator decides to abdicate and through that, there’s this really strange mysterious story of how the developer team forms and then soldiers on without him. 31/

•He wrote his last email on December 12th.

•In April of 2011, Satoshi was still around and had some backgroom dialogue with the developers. 32/

•Gavin Andresen famously went to the CIA headquarters in Langley Virginia and gave a presentation about Bitcoin to the various 3-letter agencies then went on a web show where he didn’t really dismiss the claim that this might be one of the reasons Satoshi left. 33/

Government’s role

•Bitcoin needs to be a non-government money and that is essentially what Bitcoin is, a money controlled by the people.

•He thinks most cryptocurrencies now are just cryptocurrencies with other governments. 34/

•You as an individual can run Bitcoin and no one can infringe on your ability to do that.

•Bitcoin was very close to having some sort of governance or apparatus around it. 35/

Satoshi alive or dead

•It’s hard to imagine him being alive.

•There was no real wallet address.

•He was reusing addresses and had multiple addresses.

•His favorite theory about the BTC 21M supply is that it’s related to Blackjack. 36/

Threats to Bitcoin

•We have to go through the greatest amount of suffering in order to be successful and the amount of suffering that we go through will be equal to success.

•It’s going to take time before people will understand Bitcoin. 37/

•The best way for the state to attack Bitcoin is to subvert the cryptocurrency system at large. 38/

•A group of governments that decide to launch an Ethereum-backed stablecoin then prop up the entirety of the crypto system under the auspices that they’re innovating, creating jobs, supporting the tech industry then supporting Wall Street is the really scary one. 39/

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