The lost message of 1999 that anticipated the blockchain

By Roberto D. | CryptoFarm | 31 May 2020

Have you ever heard of Satoshi Nakamoto? Maybe yes, maybe no, but I think so (?).

Know that it is the person, or perhaps the people who started the creation of one of the greatest insights of our century, blockchain technology and subsequent cryptocurrencies. Traces of this name have now been lost, but recently new clues have sprung up from the network that have made the biggest fans of the "cryptocurrencies" theme stand up: it is an old post on a forum called Cypherpunks, dated 1999 .

Obviously we are talking about the prehistory of the internet and the world as we know it today, and perhaps for this very reason it is a message of crucial importance. On 19 September 1999, in fact, an anonymous user on the forum discussed about some cryptography solutions which turned out to be very close to the solutions adopted for the creation of the now famous digital currency most loved in the world.

The message.

The latest finding dates back to a few days ago: a post on the Cypherpunks cryptography forum dated September 19, 1999. In the message, an anonymous user discusses cryptographic solutions strangely similar to those from which the bitcoin white paper would later start, almost a decade before its publication. That the author is Satoshi Nakamoto, the mysterious creator of bitcoins? Many people are asking this: the messages of Satoshi, or whoever takes their place, have been at the center of a real treasure hunt for years.

In the 1999 message we talk about the concept of ecash, that is the first hypothesis of virtual currency. The user behind whom according to some experts would hide Satoshi speaks of the need for anti-tampering hardware and a database that works in parallel on a large number of servers, so that it is "impossible to stop it": what will then be the blockchain.


The myth of Satoshi

For those who hang out in the world of cryptocurrencies, Satoshi Nakamoto is a mythological figure, whose mystery about identity only increases its charisma. Finding his messages scattered around the web means retracing the history of one of the great inventions of the new century from the beginning: blockchain technology (and cryptocurrencies). So much so that there are those who have decided to collect them, reassembling the pieces of history. Meanwhile, on the Bitcointalk forum it is still possible to read its historical messages, preserved as a digital relic. The last one dates back to 2010. No testament: but a discussion on the vulnerability of software to Dos attacks.


The treasure hunt

The 1999 message is important because it makes it clear how programmers and cryptography experts had worked at least 10 years before proposing the invention of bitcoins to the world. The definitive proof that nothing has been left to chance. But not only that: finding new messages from Satoshi Nakamoto could help unravel the mystery, which is also a great financial mystery. For years there has been no news of him. And with him, a good amount of bitcoin has also disappeared: some researchers claim that in 2009 Satoshi had extracted the beauty of 1 million bitcoins, which at the current value correspond to 9 billion and more dollars (at the time of writing). Others downsize their fortune to 700,000 bitcoins, which still correspond to 6 billion and more dollars. No lost treasure in the world is so consistent.


Who is Satoshi?

The conversation found refers to Hal Finney and Adam Back. Finney, who died in 2014, has been identified as a possible Satoshi Nakamoto ghostwriter from several sources such as Newsweek and the New Yorker and a documentary published by Netflix.
Shortly before his death, Forbes wrote that Finney, a pioneer in cryptography, had a neighbor named Nakamoto: the nickname would take him from there. Previous investigative work on Reddit then brought to light evidence that Back, who is today the CEO of Blockstream, was the first person Satoshi would have spoken to about bitcoins. Recently, interviewed, Back denied that there was a group of people behind Satoshi, including himself, specifying that the inventor of bitcoins is (was?) A person in the flesh, but he did not mention names.

What do you think about it? Who could be the inventor of bitcoin? Is alive? Is dead? Is it still around? Feel free to write your opinion in the comments and apologize for any mistakes, but English is not my native language.

Thanks and see you soon!


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Roberto D.
Roberto D.

Born, and still living, in Italy. Passionate about cryptocurrencies since I discovered ethereum in 2016


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