Identifying Satoshi Nakamoto

The identity of the pseudonymous inventor of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto, has somehow managed to remain a secret during the ten years during which his experimental digital currency skyrocketed to worldwide attention. Theories abound that have identified Nakamoto-san as one or several people living here, there or anywhere. If there is some consensus that the fictitious Nakamoto is a male individual whose native language is English, there are nonetheless those who maintain that there is a real Japanese individual named Satoshi NakamotoRead more

What makes a cryptocurrency “crypto-“?

With Bitcoin’s enormous success, the term “cryptocurrency” has passed into the vernacular, so much so that the word is now even enshrined in the OED. A quick preliminary bit of disambiguation: Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency; not all cryptocurrencies are Bitcoin. Ether is a cryptocurrency, Litecoin is a cryptocurrency, XPR is…another story.  None of them are Bitcoin. The question I wish to attack here is not a definition of the word cryptocurrency, but, rather, a look at one aspect of its etymology.Read more

David Chaum and Prehistoric Bitcoin

In my previous post, I mentioned that the inventor of Bitcoin is a pseudonymous individual who goes by the name of Satoshi Nakamoto. That might suggest that Bitcoin sprang Minerva-like from his pseudonymous (and perhaps metaphoric) head. Although Bitcoin does present several revolutionary innovations (such as the blockchain), it was not the first time anyone dreamt of a peer-to-peer electronic cash system. That vision dates back to a paper published in 1983 by the American computer scientist and cryptographer DavidRead more