Happy birthday to bitcoin’s 15th birthday whitepaper

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Exactly 15 years ago, on 31 October 2008, Satoshi Nakamoto published the Bitcoin whitepaper. 

He published it at www.bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf, where it can still be downloaded today, and announced it in an email entitled “Bitcoin P2P e-cash paper” sent to the Cryptography Mailing List. 

In that email he introduced it by saying: 

“I’ve been working on a new electronic cash system that’s fully peer-to-peer, with no trusted third party.”

The email appears to have been sent on Friday 31 October 2008 at 14:10:00 EDT (Eastern Daylight Time). 

However, neither the exact location from which it was sent nor the IP address of the sender is known. 

Bitcoin whitepaper

The so-called Bitcoin Whitepaper (although Satoshi did not call it that) was nothing more than a nine-page PDF explaining how Bitcoin works. 

Satoshi then described Bitcoin as a pure peer-to-peer version of electronic cash, allowing direct online payments between sender and recipient without a financial institution as an intermediary.

He said that this solution was provided in part by digital signatures, and that it prevented double spending. 

He also explicitly mentioned proof-of-work, on which transaction validation was based, and he also mentioned blockchain, although he simply called it blockchain. 

He did not yet mention mining, although he explicitly mentioned those who mine gold (the gold miners). 

In addition to the prevention of double spending thanks to a peer-to-peer (P2P) network, the absence of trustworthy third parties (trustless) and proof-of-work, he also mentioned anonymity.

The launch of bitcoin

But that was just a PDF describing the bitcoin protocol. 

For it to become a reality, the node software had to be created and made available. 

On 8 January 2009, in another email, again to the same mailing list, he released version 0.1 of Bitcoin, the software for launching and managing a node. At the time, this software also served as a wallet and allowed mining. 

But a few days earlier, on 3 January, he himself had mined the first block of the bitcoin blockchain, probably using a prototype of the software he was still working on. 

So not only was he the first person in the world to mine a block of the bitcoin blockchain, he did it in secret. In fact, when he made the software public, others started using it and mining it, so much so that the second block was mined on 9 January. 

And from 9 January 2009, a new block was mined more or less every 10 minutes. 

In the meantime, Satoshi had also created a new mailing list, explicitly called bitcoin-list, to which he sent another email on 11 January announcing the launch of version 0.1.2 of the Bitcoin software. 

His last public email was sent in December of the following year, as was his last post on the BitcoinTalk forum. 

In April 2011, he sent his last private email, saying that he had moved on to other things as the Bitcoin project was now in good hands.

The Bitcoin Revolution

The Bitcoin white paper addressed some of the problems of traditional monetary systems by proposing an alternative decentralised digital currency system. 

According to some analysts at Bitget, the paper emphasised the characteristics of decentralisation and openness, while also providing guidance for the development of subsequent cryptocurrencies

The main idea was to create a digital currency system that does not rely on central authorities, but instead guarantees the security of transactions through a decentralised mechanism. 

Bitget analysts also suggest looking at the so-called Bitcoin Rainbow Chart. 

This is a chart that places the price trend of BTC on a logarithmic scale within coloured bands. 

The red and orange bands indicate an overheated market, possibly in a bubble, while the blue and purple areas indicate a potentially undervalued market with buying opportunities.

Although not an absolute buy and sell indicator, the Rainbow Chart can give an intuitive impression of market sentiment. 

It is also more suitable for long-term investors as it focuses on macro market trends rather than short-term price movements.

However, they also point out that as the market evolves, the parameters and ranges of the Rainbow Chart may need to be updated to reflect reality.