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Elvis Chidera

What Satoshi Did Not Know — Paper Summary

summary, paper, bitcoin, cryptocurrency, web31 min read

Today's summary is about a paper written by Gavin Andresen in 2015. Gavin has been working on bitcoin since 2010.

It’s important to note that each statement was flavored with “I think”. For each item, Gavin provides reasons for why he thinks so in the paper.


  1. Would it bootstrap?
  2. How annoying people are on the Internet:
    • How willing people would be to abuse things, even if there is absolutely no economic incentive for doing so.
    • Early in Bitcoin’s life there was a big problem called “penny­-flooding”.
    • Penny-flooding works as follows: Set up two machines and send bitcoins from one to the other all day long to flood the network.
  3. It’s likely Satoshi was not a cryptographer given:
    • Minimal cryptography in Bitcoin: ECC keys, ECDSA signatures, and hashing.
    • Naivety of the (earlier) code around OpenSSL.
  4. The Difference between Transaction validity and meaning.
  5. How to scale the system.
  6. Recent Cryptography Results: because they didn’t exist at the time the system was created.
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