“The Bitcoin White Paper turns 15: Unveiling the revolutionary blueprint that sparked a financial paradigm shift.”
The Bitcoin White Paper: 15 Years of Blockchain Technology
At the end of October 2008, an unidentified individual or group under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto published a paper titled “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System.” This paper, sent to a mailing list called Metzdowd, introduced bitcoin as a currency and outlined the foundations of blockchain technology.
The paper, just nine pages long, explained how a decentralized payment system could allow online payments to be sent directly from one party to another without the need for a financial institution. It laid the groundwork for what is now the biggest cryptocurrency by market value and paved the way for the cashless payment system we know today.
Despite its impact, the true identity of Satoshi Nakamoto remains unknown. Theories suggest that Nakamoto might be from the UK, as British English spelling is used in the paper. Some even believe Nakamoto is a billionaire, judging by the amount of bitcoin potentially held in wallets connected to them.
The last known communication from Nakamoto was an email sent in April 2011 to fellow bitcoin developers. Over the years, various individuals have been rumored to be the real Satoshi Nakamoto, including Dorian Nakamoto and Craig Wright. However, no definitive proof has been provided, and it is possible that Nakamoto is a collective group rather than an individual.
In the white paper, Nakamoto proposed a payment system based on cryptographic proof instead of trust. The goal was to create a decentralized system that didn’t rely on a central authority for verification. Transactions would be verified by a network of participants, and the first verifier would be rewarded with bitcoin.
While the white paper didn’t mention it, the system was designed to have a limited supply of 21 million bitcoins. Every four years, the amount of bitcoin rewarded to miners for verifying transactions is halved, with the next halving event expected in 2024. Currently, there are 19.5 million bitcoins in circulation, and it is predicted that the last bitcoin will be mined in 2140.
Since the publication of the white paper, the crypto market has grown tremendously in value and cultural relevance, with a total market value of around $1.2 trillion. The market is eagerly awaiting regulatory approval for the first-ever Bitcoin ETF, which would track the spot price of bitcoin.
As of now, Bitcoin is trading around $34,300.