On October 31, 2008, someone under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakomoto published the Bitcoin Whitepaper. It is a small document that describes the principles of the Bitcoin blockchain.
In honour of the memorable date, which was called Bitcoin Whitepaper Day in the community, let us remind you about it and tell you some interesting facts about the first cryptocurrency.
What is white paper in crypto
In the context of crypto, white paper refers to a document that outlines the essence, goals, and principles of a crypto project. It also covers tokenomics and roadmap. White paper serves as the cornerstone of project information. However, such documents often require technical knowledge from readers.
Bitcoin's Whitepaper is a 9-page document that was written 15 years ago. Since then, it has never been updated. The document is different from modern white papers. For example, Ethereum’s white paper is updated periodically and much larger than Bitcoin's; white paper of the TON blockchain has over 120 pages, which resembles more of a scientific paper than a text addressed to a wide audience.
In general, at least a cursory familiarisation with the white paper should always be the first step in your DYOR.
What is the Bitcoin Whitepaper
On October 31, 2008, Satoshi Nakomoto sent an email to a group of cryptographers, with a link to the Whitepaper. In this document, Nakamoto shared his development of a “new electronic cash system that is fully peer-to-peer, with no trusted third party” and quoted the white paper abstract.
The Bitcoin Whitepaper consists of 12 sections and 2,736 words. Despite its brevity, it describes the technical structure of the blockchain, providing insights into transaction structure, the features of Proof-of-Work, network operation, and computational aspects.
It is important to realise that Bitcoin did not emerge from scratch. It was preceded by decades of technological development, particularly in cryptography. The Whitepaper references 8 sources in its References section.
The document is full of mathematical formulas and technical terminology. Readers seeking to understand Bitcoin’s structure can start with our article What is Bitcoin, and watch YouTube tutorials from famous Bitcoin-popularizer Andreas Antonopoulos.
Interesting facts from the history of Bitcoin
Here are 5 fun things about Bitcoin:
🔎 To this day, it is still unknown who is hiding behind the pseudonym Satoshi Nakomoto. It is also unknown whether this is one person or a group of people. Satoshi is believed to have finally disappeared from public view on April 26, 2011.
⛓️ The Bitcoin Whitepaper does not contain the word “blockchain” as we use it now. It mentions only a “chain of blocks”.
💰 Satoshi Nakomoto is believed to own just over one million Bitcoins out of a maximum supply of 21 million. We wrote about this in article: Coinbase holds 5% of all Bitcoins: is this good or bad.
⏳ The Bitcoin blockchain was launched a few months after the publication of Whitepaper, on January 3, 2009. By the way, here is the first block; it contains only one transaction, which Satoshi Nakomoto sent to the famous cryptographer and cypherpunk Hal Finney.
💸 The Whitepaper does not detail Bitcoin's tokenomics, unlike many other projects do in their white papers. Limited issuance, halving, and the like have been described elsewhere, e.g. on Bitcoin.org, which was registered by Satoshi Nakomoto himself on 18 August 2008.
A bit about the Bitcoin price on Bitcoin Whitepaper Day
CoinGecko tweeted how the price of BTC on Whitepaper Day changed through the years. Three times in history, the rate in the following year was lower than in the previous one.
Since the release of white paper, Bitcoin has not only become the first popular and most expensive cryptocurrency in capitalization values, but also spawned a multi-billion dollar crypto market, leading to the growing popularisation of blockchain as a technology in general. Today, people, entire companies, and even governments are investing in BTC. If Satoshi could only imagine this for Bitcoin!
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