(Last Updated on March 1, 2021)
The unknown and mysterious creator of Bitcoin also created BitcoinTalk.org and spent a few years posting anonymously online. The vast majority of his forum comments are primarily on technical data, wallet issues, and other code related maintenance type work. All of his posts were done under the user “satoshi”.
This short series of blog posts will take a look at Satoshi Nakamoto’s forums posts where he states specific “opinions” and shows some insight into his beliefs. The full extent of his posting on BitcoinTalk.org covers from November of 2009 to December of 2010 so we have a little over a year of bonus comments and technical insight to what the man was thinking.
His activity came in brief flurries of posts followed by weeks or months of no activity.
That last month of 2010 brought new, never seen before media and political pressures to Bitcoin and of course, for Satoshi. The new digital asset received a lot of pressure from global media both online and mainstream television were hungry for the story and access to anyone in the know.
The events surrounding WikiLeaks in December 2010 brought 100x the media pressure both online and on main stream television. This could have been the tipping point that forced Satoshi to fully disconnect from the project and fade into the mysterious abyss of the early internet.
WikiLeaks scandal exploded and brought Bitcoin to the limelight
The explosion in media sensationalism and journalism that came with WikiLeaks in 2010 may have pushed him off the edge to vanish for good.
Although not directly involved, just the adoption of “Bitcoin” as an anonymous payment system made the digital currency both infamous and a media spectacle instantly. The exposure was clearly unwanted by Satoshi and quickly expedited his exit from the public realm.
He seemed fearful in his last posts about PC World and the media storm to come
It would have been nice to get this attention in any other context. WikiLeaks has kicked the hornet’s nest, and the swarm is headed towards us.
Was satoshi getting worried that the media storm could bring prying eyes and scrutiny his way?
Certainly would make sense to me. The first year of Bitcoin had a small, self-improving community that was focused on increasing the technical aspects of Bitcoin’s code and remained in the shadows of the internet largely.
It’s not an exaggeration to say that the recent Wikileaks scandal has shaken the Internet to its core. Regardless of where you stand on the debate, various services have simply refused to handle Wikileaks’ business–everything from domain-name providers to payment services–and this has led to many questioning how robust the Internet actually is.
Hackers have already stated their aim to create their own DNS system, which will bypass officialdom. This uses peer-to-peer technology to get around the problem, a favorite of hackers because it’s impossible to regulate.
But how about an entire currency based on peer-to-peer technology?
That’s what’s on offer from Bitcoin, a decentralized virtual currency that could either be the best idea since they figured out how to slice bread, or just another hacker’s daydream. As the Wikileaks debacle continues, it’s being increasingly discussed in various sections of the Web as a possible solution to the PayPal online payments monopoly.– PC World 12.10.10
PC World and other major media outlets were starting to ask the major questions about internet freedoms and decentralization. WikiLeaks was arguably one of the largest media scandals in the world this past decade or two. The fact that Bitcoin was being accepted for payments instantly propelled it into a new limelight.
What is Bitcoin? Is it a legal currency or is it just for illegal dark web activity?
And WHO is Satoshi Nakamoto??
Satoshi wasn’t ready to disapear – he felt the code was still vulnerable and not ready to go mainstream!
The first few years were spent scrambling to get any bugs and code improvements done before the storm. Many malicious exploits, possible errors, or code failures could be looming and Satoshi knew he needed as much time and community help as possible to get ready for worldwide use. Any new technology has some serious growing pains and hurdles to jump – a digital asset is no different but he was running out of time.
No, don’t “bring it on”.
The project needs to grow gradually so the software can be strengthened along the way.
I make this appeal to WikiLeaks not to try to use Bitcoin. Bitcoin is a small beta community in its infancy. You would not stand to get more than pocket change, and the heat you would bring would likely destroy us at this stage.– Satoshi Nakamoto 12.05.10
The first few years of Bitcoin’s release was spent with many cypherpunks scrambling alongside Satoshi to catch, find, and fix any bugs or code issues they could find. There were quite a few technical updates that improved wallet security, transaction hash functions, and other maintenance items.
He wanted more time to refine the code, educate and build a larger community to support it going forward. A digital asset that is fully decentralized will thrive exponentially as more users, or individuals, are added to the network. As the network grows every node and participant adds to diversify the foundation for consensus and validation of every transaction.
He wanted to continue operating in pseudonymous forums and strengthening the code and network. Helping fortify the foundation for a successful long term future of this decentralized project.
Satoshi might not have been confidant his project would even survive as he disapearred into anonymity.
He left a few days after posting one last major update to the code in December 08, 2010.
Version 0.3.18 was the last code update posted by Satoshi
-Fixed a wallet.dat compatibility problem if you downgraded from 0.3.17 and then upgraded again
-IsStandard() check to only include known transaction types in blocks
-Jgarzik’s optimisation to speed up the initial block download a little
The main addition in this release is the Accounts-Based JSON-RPC commands that Gavin’s been working on (more details at http://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=1886.0).
-get account address
Final updates to the Bitcoin core code that were released by Satoshi himself on the forums came a few days before. Updates to better improve user interaction and compatibility with future wallet and exchanges setups. Including new JSON-RPC commands for get account address, send from, move, get balance, and list transactions.
Satoshi took in a lot of early community technical contributions from leading cryptographers and coders that dove head first into Bitcoin. This greatly enhanced the outlook and progress of the code.
He still was not convinced it was “ready for the world” – but his anxieties toward becoming found and known were clearly growing exponentially.
It was vital to have a resilient community around Bitcoin, that could resist censorship and attacks, to defend the network and individuals right to financial sovereignty. For ultimate resilience, it needed to be decentralized code that stands alone, and for that to happen, Satoshi needed to vanish. The community which grew from these early days proved to be beyond Satoshi’s wildest dreams for propelling his computer code into the future.
Satoshi Nakamoto created the BitcoinTalk.org forums in 2009 and they are still thriving today
If you haven’t already, go signup and check out the community forums.