Image for post
Image for post
Satoshi Nakamoto’s references. What would be the birth of an entire, independent, trustless, and wide-scale application system.

Everything About Satoshi Nakamoto’s White Paper on Bitcoin is Poetry

The noblest thing that could have been done.

Outside of the bad marketing some projects have and the gurus selling supposed secrets in the cryptocurrency world, there is a singular, shining example of value.

Satoshi Nakamoto is an enigma. Not in the sense that he’s anonymous, but in the superlative realm that he is pseudonymous.

It could be anyone.

Image for post
Image for post
Start of Nakamoto’s white paper.

The running joke is that Nakamoto could be anyone. This is a clear distinction from a project that could have left the name blank. It’s left to the imagination of the user to determine who Nakamoto might be. In fact, there’s no telling that it is a singular person at all. It could be a group. Maybe it is a symbolic gesture to say that Nakamoto is all of us?

Whatever the case may be, the gift was the system itself; and Nakamoto knew that by removing the ego, the intention would be pure.

Beauty in the succinct.

One of the least spoken about areas of bitcoin and cryptocurrency are the underlying principles of the system. The design, in and of itself, is motivated by something as simple as currency. Yet, the workaround is short and easy to follow. The entire white paper does not exceed eight pages.

In fact, you could understand the basic layout of Nakamoto’s system within the first few pages. We are presented with the idea of how to transact digitally.

Image for post
Image for post
Bitcoin white paper, transactions.

Then, we add complexity by organizing the transactions over time.

Image for post
Image for post
Bitcoin white paper, the organizational dilemma.

And lastly, we need to verify that whatever has been done is actually being done.

Image for post
Image for post
Bitcoin white paper, the “meat”.

This last part is the singular most important detail in the entire piece. It’s also what makes the application revolutionary:

“Once the CPU effort has been expended to make it satisfy the proof-of-work, the block cannot be changed without redoing the work. As later blocks are chained after it, the work to change the block would include redoing all the blocks after it.”

That last puzzle piece is nothing short of genius.

The double-spending problem, revisited.

Double spending occurs when an actor transacting in a scheme will spend the same available currency twice. Since the currency relies on the verifying efforts of a trusted third party, the spending needs to be checked almost instantaneously or at a quick enough speed to inhibit users from abusing these exploits.

Verification in a trustless system.

This is where proof-of-work is so essential. The problem of duplication money or changing the general ledger for bitcoin becomes exponentially small as more people are involved in the network.

Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Bitcoin white paper, calculations of successful attack over time and users in network.

Better yet, this calls for the advent of removing another characteristic of the financial infrastructure; the requirement for centralization.

Decentralization in a centralized world.

Decentralization is not the central point of the cryptocurrency world. In fact, it’s a side effect of a system that ends up not requiring it to function. In fact, the verifiability of the system’s honest miners and users will outweigh the potentiality for an attacker to successfully change anything about the network. The beauty is in the proof-of-work.

The value is in the data.

Bitcoin’s existence in today’s financial ecosystem is in the fact that it exists as a powerful motivation to move away from what qualifies as valuable. Bitcoin has proven that a data set with enough built-in security at a fundamental level is valuable to society.

The cryptocurrencies that are built afterward are a testament to figuring out the best possible security at the fastest rate of exchange. While the world justifies printing news pieces about the dangers of digital gold, the value has always been in the details of the creation.

The resistance is in the foundation of inefficient, traditional forms of life. While there is always a place in our lives for the familiar, Nakamoto gift was nothing short of the intersection of poetry and financial nuance.

Most people are sold the idea that this world is cryptic, complicated, and dangerous. Nakamoto gave the world simplicity with only a few pages of print. And it was all done without ownership or ego.

Written by

UC Berkeley, mathematics. Los Angeles. Long-time runner. Top writer on Quora, 100M+ total content views. New to Medium. Inquiries: Moumj@berkeley.edu

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store