Bitcoin White Paper by Satoshi Nakamoto Published 13 years ago

Oct 31, 2021

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Do you remember what you were doing thirteen years ago when the world changed forever?

Me, personally, I was juggling two active preschoolers with a newborn added to the mix. I was not paying a whole lot of attention to investments, although I had started a small portfolio of stocks with the money we had leftover from selling our house and moving across the country.

What else was happening in that fall of 2008? Ah yes, Lehman Brothers, Bear Stearns, the great financial crisis. Stock markets were imploding. I did notice enough to think that I should start buying stocks soon because they looked like they were on sale.

Actually it was probably around that time that my husband received a bonus at work and bought me my first laptop computer, which enabled me to care for the wee one late at night in my big rocking armchair while still updating records for the local music teachers association (I was the volunteer treasurer at the time).

I had no idea

I had no idea that the world’s most referenced white paper ever was being published on October 31, 2008. (Apparently it’s been cited more than 17,201 times, according to this article)

The article goes on to report that it invented the next level of ledger accounting systems: triple-entry bookkeeping. (I believe this might be how Bitcoin transactions are recorded on computers all over the world so everyone has the ability to verify transactions instead of just the bookkeeper.) Fun to know that while I was learning how to do double-entry bookkeeping, the world was changing yet again! (Ah well, I’m usually behind the times, so nothing new there!)

In fact, if you’re the curious type, you too can read Satoshi Nakamoto's famous paper here. (It’s only nine pages long!) I have just scanned it and, except for the math formulas towards the end, mostly understood it. Amazing to think about how something so complicated that creates a whole new world can be broken down by the right person into something that everyone can use.

Next Steps

Of course, just because the paper was published doesn’t mean Bitcoin was actually created yet. There were still several puzzles to solve (including one called “The Byzantine General’s Problem”). Satoshi created the Bitcoin block (the genesis block) on January 3, 2009. (Read about that here, including a link to see the actual block itself!) Since that time, over 12,000 cryptocurrencies have been invented and exchanged replacing everything from money to property transfers to artwork and digital music recordings.

A lot can change in thirteen years. What do you think will happen in the next thirteen?

Read more about Bitcoin's 13th Birthday here.

If you'd like to learn more about what cryptocurrencies I am investing in today in hopes that they pay off in the next year (or 13!), check out the blog post "Which Crypto to Buy Now" and the Youtube video "How to Hodl Ethereum".