Bitcoin white paper: 10 years and 10 facts

To celebrate the 10-year anniversary Bitcoin white paper, The Block found 10 facts about the white paper that we believe our readers would enjoy.

  1. Satoshi Nakamoto wrote the code for the entire network before he wrote the Bitcoin white paper. Nakamoto famously stated that he/she/they was/were “better with code than with words.” To convince themselves that all the problems were solvable with Bitcoin, Nakamoto coded the entire network before writing the white paper. (Source)
  2. Some of the most widely used terms in the Bitcoin ecosystem (blockchain, cryptocurrency, wallet) never actually appear in the white paper. Number of times the following terms show in the white paper: Bitcoin (2), Blockchain (0), Cash (2), Cryptocurrency (0), Incentive (7), Miners (1), Money (5), Node (38), Proof-of-Work (18), Wallet (0), 21 million/twenty one million (0).
  3. Bitmain founder Jihan Wu is often cited as the first person to translate the Bitcoin white paper to Chinese. (Source)
  4. There are 18 known translations of the white paper. There are likely more that have not been cited by Bitcoin Wiki. For example, The Korean Translation. (Source)
  5. The white paper was first posted on the Cryptography Mailing list at metzdowd.com. It was here that Nakamoto connected with Hal Finney, one of the earliest adopters of Bitcoin. Finney became the recipient of the first bitcoin transaction on January 12, 2009, which was sent by Nakamoto. (Source)
  6. The exact date and time of the first release of the white paper are Friday, Oct 31, 2008, at 14:10:00 EDT.
  7. As of the time of this post, the white paper was cited over 4,600 times. Prominent citing papers include: Ethereum, Zerocoin, and the Bitcoin Lightning Network (Source).
  8. Including the reference page, the white paper is only nine pages long.
  9. Ten individuals were cited in the white paper. They are: Dave Bayer, Stuart Haber, W. Scott Stornetta, Wei Dai, Henri Massias, Xavier Serret-Avila, Jean-Jacques Quisquater, Adam Back, Ralph Merkle, and William Feller. Of these individuals, the one that is most actively involved in developing Bitcoin is Adam Back, who co-founded Blockstream.
  10. "Timestamp Server" is the shortest section of the white paper, with only 80 words. "Calculations" is the longest section, with 559 words.

About Author

Steven Zheng is a researcher for The Block. He joined The Block in August 2018. Steven graduated from St. John’s University with a degree in economics. Previously, he covered blockchain and crypto at Radicle, a startup analytics firm. He also had brief stints at Cheddar, a media startup, and Bowery Capital, a venture capital firm. He owns bitcoin. Follow Steven on Twitter at: @Dogetoshi

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