The bitcoin white paper was released 13 years ago today, on October 31, 2008.
The email containing the white paper was sent just after 2 p.m. ET on a mailing list for cryptographers. According to a copy of the email maintained by the Nakamato Institute, bitcoin's pseudonymous creator, Satoshi Nakamoto, wrote at the time: "I've been working on a new electronic cash system that's fully peer-to-peer, with no trusted third party."
"The main properties: Double-spending is prevented with a peer-to-peer network. No mint or other trusted parties. Participants can be anonymous. New coins are made from Hashcash style proof-of-work. The proof-of-work for new coin generation also powers the network to prevent double-spending," Nakamoto went on to write.
Nakamoto's paper received its first reply on November 2 from James A. Donald, who wrote back: "We very, very much need such a system, but the way I understand your proposal, it does not seem to scale to the required size."
Bitcoin was later officially launched on January 3, 2009, the date on which the first block of transactions — known as the genesis block — was mined.
A full copy of the bitcoin white paper is embedded below: