Earlier today, I was interested in finding and reading an early Bitcoin article from a major publication. I found this article from The New Yorker- https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2011/10/10/the-crypto-currency, titled “Crypto-Currency: Bitcoin and Its Mysterious Inventor.” (I apologize for the pay-wall if you hit it, The New Yorker only allows 1 free read).

The article was published on October 3, 2011, 2.5 years after the launch of Bitcoin. It’s quite a long read, but I found it fascinating. Here are some interesting points and quotes that I took from the article

  • After Satoshi left in April, 2011, many people thought that he would sell his coins and dump them in the market. That day has not yet come.

  • Dan Kaminsky, a leading Internet-security researcher who discovered major Internet vulnerabilities, researched the currency and was sure he would find major vulnerabilities. “When I first looked at the code, I was sure I’d be able to break it,” Kaminsky said, noting that the programming style was dense and obscure. “The way the whole thing was structured was crazy. Only the craziest, hardest working coder in the world could avoid making a mistake.” He could not break it.

  • The author stayed in a hotel for ~10 bitcoins, a $230K hotel room at today’s prices.

  • The author bought ~10 bitcoins at Mt Gox. He said the transfer process was smooth

  • The article mentions that the Silk Road was recently built.

  • The author tried to identify Satoshi extensively, but no one could name him.

  • The only flaw anyone could identify with Bitcoin was that users were expected to download their own encryption software to protect their wallets. Basically, the same argument that is made today- it’s too complicated for the average person.

  • Every single cryptography expert called Satoshi a genius, and many believed that this group of people was due to his complexity in both cryptography aspects and economic theory expertise (Austrian School of Economics).

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Overall, it was a great read and fun to step back into the time capsule. Arguments about security, currency devaluation, and crime are still relevant and used today. There is still interest in Satoshi’s identity. Bitcoin is not broken yet.

However, adoption has grown incredibly, progress has been made to make crypto more accessible, and many coins have come to life that open the door to much more than simple p2p currency transactions.

I’m very excited to see how different things will be in 2034, and what will stay the same.


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