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Top Thirty Five Best Satoshi Nakamoto Quotes on Bitcoin


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There’s a lot to appreciate looking back at all the various things Satoshi Nakamoto (the creator of Bitcoin) wrote in emails, mailing lists, and forums (and boy did he write quite a bit).

If you happen to already understand Bitcoin you’ll quickly see some of the early-thinking-brilliance of Satoshi in many of the below quotes, and if you’re just getting started researching Bitcoin, these will hopefully give you some highly-accelerated learning!

Here’s our absolute favorite thirty five quotes from Satoshi Nakamoto himself.

In no particular order.

Enjoy!

“Announcing the first release of Bitcoin, a new electronic cash system that uses a peer-to-peer network to prevent double-spending. It’s completely decentralized with no server or central authority.”

-Satoshi Nakamoto in an email to the Cryptography Mailing List

“In this sense, it’s more typical of a precious metal. Instead of the supply changing to keep the value the same, the supply is predetermined and the value changes. As the number of users grows, the value per coin increases. It has the potential for a positive feedback loop; as users increase, the value goes up, which could attract more users to take advantage of the increasing value.”

-Satoshi Nakamoto in the P2P Foundation forum

“A purely peer-to-peer version of electronic cash would allow online payments to be sent directly from one party to another without going through a financial institution.”

-Satoshi Nakamoto in The Bitcoin Whitepaper

“Banks must be trusted to hold our money and transfer it electronically, but they lend it out in waves of credit bubbles with barely a fraction in reserve. We have to trust them with our privacy, trust them not to let identity thieves drain our accounts. Their massive overhead costs make micropayments impossible.”

-Satoshi Nakamoto in the P2P Foundation forum

“We have proposed a system for electronic transactions without relying on trust. We started with the usual framework of coins made from digital signatures, which provides strong control of ownership, but is incomplete without a way to prevent double-spending. To solve this, we proposed a peer-to-peer network using proof-of-work to record a public history of transactions that quickly becomes computationally impractical for an attacker to change if honest nodes control a majority of CPU power.”

-Satoshi Nakamoto in The Bitcoin Whitepaper

“I’ve been working on a new electronic cash system that’s fully peer-to-peer, with no trusted third party.”

-Satoshi Nakamoto in an email to the Cryptography Mailing List

“The result is a distributed system with no single point of failure. Users hold the crypto keys to their own money and transact directly with each other, with the help of the P2P network to check for double-spending.”

-Satoshi Nakamoto in the P2P Foundation forum

“It’s the same situation as gold and gold mining. The marginal cost of gold mining tends to stay near the price of gold. Gold mining is a waste, but that waste is far less than the utility of having gold available as a medium of exchange. I think the case will be the same for Bitcoin. The utility of the exchanges made possible by Bitcoin will far exceed the cost of electricity used. Therefore, not having Bitcoin would be the net waste.”

-Satoshi Nakamoto in the Bitcoin Talk Bitcoin Forum

“Lost coins only make everyone else’s coins worth slightly more. Think of it as a donation to everyone.”

-Satoshi Nakamoto in the Bitcoin Talk Bitcoin Forum

“Governments are good at cutting off the heads of a centrally controlled networks like Napster, but pure P2P networks like Gnutella and Tor seem to be holding their own.”

-Satoshi Nakamoto in an email to the Cryptography Mailing List

“I anticipate there will never be more than 100K nodes, probably less. It will reach an equilibrium where it’s not worth it for more nodes to join in. The rest will be lightweight clients, which could be millions.”

-Satoshi Nakamoto in the Bitcoin Talk Bitcoin Forum

“We propose a solution to the double-spending problem using a peer-to-peer network. The network timestamps transactions by hashing them into an ongoing chain of hash-based proof-of-work, forming a record that cannot be changed without redoing the proof-of-work.”

-Satoshi Nakamoto in The Bitcoin Whitepaper

“Commerce on the Internet has come to rely almost exclusively on financial institutions serving as trusted third parties to process electronic payments. While the system works well enough for most transactions, it still suffers from the inherent weaknesses of the trust based model.”

-Satoshi Nakamoto in The Bitcoin Whitepaper

“What is needed is an electronic payment system based on cryptographic proof instead of trust, allowing any two willing parties to transact directly with each other without the need for a trusted third party.”

-Satoshi Nakamoto in The Bitcoin Whitepaper

“Being open source means anyone can independently review the code. If it was closed source, nobody could verify the security. I think it’s essential for a program of this nature to be open source.”

-Satoshi Nakamoto in the Bitcoin Talk Bitcoin Forum

“I would be surprised if 10 years from now we’re not using electronic currency in some way, now that we know a way to do it that won’t inevitably get dumbed down when the trusted third party gets cold feet.”

-Satoshi Nakamoto in an email to the Cryptography Mailing List

“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.”

-Satoshi Nakamoto in the Bitcoin Talk Bitcoin Forum

“With e-currency based on cryptographic proof, without the need to trust a third party middleman, money can be secure and transactions effortless.”

-Satoshi Nakamoto in the P2P Foundation forum

“A lot of people automatically dismiss e-currency as a lost cause because of all the companies that failed since the 1990’s. I hope it’s obvious it was only the centrally controlled nature of those systems that doomed them. I think this is the first time we’re trying a decentralized, non-trust-based system.”

-Satoshi Nakamoto in the P2P Foundation forum

“The root problem with conventional currency is all the trust that’s required to make it work. The central bank must be trusted not to debase the currency, but the history of fiat currencies is full of breaches of that trust.”

-Satoshi Nakamoto in the P2P Foundation forum

“A rational market price for something that is expected to increase in value will already reflect the present value of the expected future increases. In your head, you do a probability estimate balancing the odds that it keeps increasing.”

-Satoshi Nakamoto in the Bitcoin Talk Bitcoin Forum

“The price of any commodity tends to gravitate toward the production cost. If the price is below cost, then production slows down. If the price is above cost, profit can be made by generating and selling more. At the same time, the increased production would increase the difficulty, pushing the cost of generating towards the price.”

-Satoshi Nakamoto in the Bitcoin Talk Bitcoin Forum

“When someone tries to buy all the world’s supply of a scarce asset, the more they buy the higher the price goes. At some point, it gets too expensive for them to buy any more. It’s great for the people who owned it beforehand because they get to sell it to the corner at crazy high prices. As the price keeps going up and up, some people keep holding out for yet higher prices and refuse to sell.”

-Satoshi Nakamoto in the Bitcoin Talk Bitcoin Forum

“Writing a description for this thing for general audiences is bloody hard. There’s nothing to relate it to.”

-Satoshi Nakamoto in the Bitcoin Talk Bitcoin Forum

“Forgot to add the good part about micropayments. While I don’t think Bitcoin is practical for smaller micropayments right now, it will eventually be as storage and bandwidth costs continue to fall. If Bitcoin catches on on a big scale, it may already be the case by that time. Another way they can become more practical is if I implement client-only mode and the number of network nodes consolidates into a smaller number of professional server farms. Whatever size micropayments you need will eventually be practical. I think in 5 or 10 years, the bandwidth and storage will seem trivial.”

-Satoshi Nakamoto in the Bitcoin Talk Bitcoin Forum

“I’m sure that in 20 years there will either be very large transaction volume or no volume.”

-Satoshi Nakamoto in the Bitcoin Talk Bitcoin Forum

“By convention, the first transaction in a block is a special transaction that starts a new coin owned by the creator of the block. This adds an incentive for nodes to support the network, and provides a way to initially distribute coins into circulation, since there is no central authority to issue them. The steady addition of a constant of amount of new coins is analogous to gold miners expending resources to add gold to circulation. In our case, it is CPU time and electricity that is expended.”

-Satoshi Nakamoto in The Bitcoin Whitepaper

“Bitcoins have no dividend or potential future dividend, therefore not like a stock. More like a collectible or commodity.”

-Satoshi Nakamoto in the Bitcoin Talk Bitcoin Forum

“We consider the scenario of an attacker trying to generate an alternate chain faster than the honest chain. Even if this is accomplished, it does not throw the system open to arbitrary changes, such as creating value out of thin air or taking money that never belonged to the attacker. Nodes are not going to accept an invalid transaction as payment, and honest nodes will never accept a block containing them. An attacker can only try to change one of his own transactions to take back money he recently spent.”

-Satoshi Nakamoto in The Bitcoin Whitepaper

“The requirement is that the good guys collectively have more CPU power than any single attacker.”

-Satoshi Nakamoto in an email to the Cryptography Mailing List

“The existing Visa credit card network processes about 15 million Internet purchases per day worldwide. Bitcoin can already scale much larger than that with existing hardware for a fraction of the cost. It never really hits a scale ceiling. If you’re interested, I can go over the ways it would cope with extreme size. By Moore’s Law, we can expect hardware speed to be 10 times faster in 5 years and 100 times faster in 10. Even if Bitcoin grows at crazy adoption rates, I think computer speeds will stay ahead of the number of transactions.”

-Satoshi Nakamoto in an email to Mike Hearn

“The average total coins generated across the network per day stays the same. Faster machines just get a larger share than slower machines. If everyone bought faster machines, they wouldn’t get more coins than before.”

-Satoshi Nakamoto in the Bitcoin Talk Bitcoin Forum

“To compensate for increasing hardware speed and varying interest in running nodes over time, the proof-of-work difficulty is determined by a moving average targeting an average number of blocks per hour. If they’re generated too fast, the difficulty increases.”

-Satoshi Nakamoto in The Bitcoin Whitepaper

“The heat from your computer is not wasted if you need to heat your home. If you’re using electric heat where you live, then your computer’s heat isn’t a waste. It’s equal cost if you generate the heat with your computer. If you have other cheaper heating than electric, then the waste is only the difference in cost. If it’s summer and you’re using A/C, then it’s twice. Bitcoin generation should end up where it’s cheapest. Maybe that will be in cold climates where there’s electric heat, where it would be essentially free.”

-Satoshi Nakamoto in the Bitcoin Talk Bitcoin Forum

“The proof-of-work chain is itself self-evident proof that it came from the globally shared view. Only the majority of the network together has enough CPU power to generate such a difficult chain of proof-of-work. Any user, upon receiving the proof-of-work chain, can see what the majority of the network has approved. Once a transaction is hashed into a link that’s a few links back in the chain, it is firmly etched into the global history.”

-Satoshi Nakamoto in an email to the Cryptography Mailing List

“How does everyone feel about the B symbol with the two lines through the outside? Can we live with that as our logo?”

-Satoshi Nakamoto in the Bitcoin Talk Bitcoin Forum

“We define an electronic coin as a chain of digital signatures. Each owner transfers the coin to the next by digitally signing a hash of the previous transaction and the public key of the next owner and adding these to the end of the coin. A payee can verify the signatures to verify the chain of ownership.”

-Satoshi Nakamoto in The Bitcoin Whitepaper

“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.”

-Satoshi Nakamoto in the Bitcoin Talk Bitcoin Forum

Any that’s it! That’s all thirty five (ok, plus a few extras — we just couldn’t help it).

Know of any others? Feel free to leave some more in the comments!

Thanks for reading!

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