Welcome back to our blog series: 11 Myths of Bitcoin. Continuing with Myth…
#10: The fact that the creator is unknown is a major concern.
Who exactly created Bitcoin has been a constant debate within the Bitcoin the community since inception. No one knows if Satoshi Nakamoto, under whose name the original white paper explaining the Bitcoin protocol was published, was an individual man or women, or a group of people. The only thing that is clear is that whoever invented Bitcoin, created something that many consider to be one of the most important technological innovations of the early part of the 21st century.
In 2008, a white paper was released online which outlined plans for a decentralized peer to peer currency to the world under this anonymous name, Satoshi Nakamoto. After developing the open source programing that powers Bitcoin, it was released in 2009 and cryptographers and technologists began to experiment with its potential uses. From these humble beginnings…a simple white paper…. the network effect began to spread and more users began to discover Bitcoin.
Bitcoin remained a hobby for the most part in the first years but in 2012, it caught the attention of the first professional venture capital firms. They realized the potential and began to invest in Bitcoin related ventures. Since then over $550 million dollars has been invested into Bitcoin startups by the world’s top venture capital firms. These venture capital firms are able to see past the unknown founder and on to the ground breaking technology which Bitcoin provides.
While not knowing who the founder is can seem concerning, it is important to understand how open source systems like Bitcoin function. Open source software allows for anyone to “look under the hood” and see the full functions of the code. It also allows anyone to propose improvements to the source code. This means that Bitcoin is always being improved.
The development of Bitcoin is currently managed by a group of five core developers and hundreds of volunteers. Anyone is able to submit upgrades and development changes to the Bitcoin code but it remains up to the users if they choose to adopt the submitted changes. All changes requires this consensus before they can be implemented.
Because the nature of open source systems, who developed the initial software becomes it becomes rather insignificant since who developed the initial software as it has evolved changed many times since the initial version. Much like, the Internet it is difficult to identify one person who actually invented it. The modern Internet is the end result of countless different pieces that all fit together to allow it to function.
Stay tuned for next week when we will publish the final myth #11 – Bitcoin is too volatile .