Bitcoin before the Genesis block – messages from the past
"Who is not from three thousand years To give an account of white, Stay in the dark inexperienced, May live by the day"Goethe already knew. The Bitcoin Blockchain is still not three thousand years old, but here too much can be learned from the past. Recently, some Twitter users once again took a look at the history of Bitcoin. However, the source itself discussed there is from the end of 2013, but draws even further back in the past.
Ray Dillinger, better known on the internet under the pseudonym Cryddit, gave the Bitcointalk Community a small Christmas present on December 23, 2013: He released Bitcoin Client source code from 2008, even from a time before the Genesis Block. Bitcoin story before Bitcoin, so to speak.
Via a mailing list it is known that Satoshi Nakamoto would have sent the source code of the first Bitcoin client to interested parties. The mere fact that this code was known to anyone other than Satoshi Nakamoto is extremely interesting, but it suggests that there were already several miners in the days of the Genesis bloc. An interesting side note is that the term miner does not appear in the white paper, but in the oldest source code:
Timechain instead of blockchain
Although the White Paper speaks of blocks and also of a longest chain, the term Blockchain is not known. The source code goes even a step further: Here is spoken by the Timechain:
This is so interesting that some Bitcoin maximalists make friends with the term "timechain":
Meh. "Block" does not really communicate that. I would tolerate "Uniqueness chain". But "Time" actually has this connotation already, outside the specific "timestamp" case. When we say we live in the best possible timeline we do not care for timestamps, but for …
– Giacomo Zucco [I identify as 7 tall black women] (@Giacomozucco) April 1, 2019
So is "Timechain instead of Blockchain" the answer from the Bitcoin Maximalists to the old "Blockchain instead of Bitcoin"? In any case, in this term, philosophical implications of commonalities between time and Bitcoin are given a name. And with Nic Carter you could say that Blockchain is just a buzzword.
But before we all speak of a timechain, not everyone sees a need for a change of concept. Peter Todd, himself a veteran of the Bitcoin community, is critical of this term across from, He even goes so far as to see in this rather a propaganda from IOTA:
Lol, this article is actually from IOTA shill AFAICT.
"Timechain" is a bad term. An authoritative order of events – timestamping – is * not * sufficient to prevent double spends. You need to have a complete set of relevant events too. Blockchains do that. https://t.co/BaLBCb9IzL
– Peter Todd (@peterktodd) December 12, 2018
Where was the limitation?
Beyond the terminology, however, there are other, significant differences to Bitcoin, as we know it now. While the term "miner" was already known, two characteristics are not found: The block size or the limitation of the same to one MB can not be found in the source code. Although there is a variable called MAX_SIZE, it has nothing to do with the block size. Only in July 2010, Satoshi Nakamoto introduced the familiar block size limit of one MB:
Ray Dillinger says that Satoshi Nakamoto and himself were not really big fans of the limit. At that time, however, it was a popular attack vector to flood the network with large transactions and execute a DoS attack. By limiting the block size these attacks could be withstood.
So far you could say "Bitcoin Cash / SV is the real Bitcoin". But that is far from the only deviation from what today ordinary mortals under the real Bitcoin understand. The limit of 21 million tokens came even later:
Satoshi's original vision did not explicitly include the maximum supply in the code. Another interesting detail at this point are the sizes "Coin" and "Cent". Apparently, Satoshi Nakamoto originally intended to implement a bitcoin cents directly in the code. This bitcoin cent would be worth nearly $ 50 at the current bitcoin price.
Marketplaces and bitcoin atoms
In these questions, one can still speak of simple variants. However, a look at old code fragments shows that there was a concept called atoms. Bitcoin atoms should be passed on through User Reviews:
Mike Haern could bring a little light to mind behind these atoms: Originally, Satoshi Nakamoto wanted to integrate a kind of peer-to-peer marketplace. Reviews in this market should be weighted based on each individual's mining. Those who found more blocks and thus kept the network more, should receive more Bitcoin atoms and thus get a more significant vote in reviews. The critical reader soon realizes that Satoshi Nakamoto's original vision was not dominated by pool mining.
Wikileaks and Archive.org never forget
Why are such questions important? On the one hand, it's always exciting to learn more about the origins of Bitcoin, but it's even more: The development in the primeval days of Bitcoin shows that Bitcoin was meant to be a living project. Satoshi Nakamoto was not just trying to capture the characteristics in a nine-page paper after nothing was changed.
In this context, the primeval time Bitcoins can also challenge the claims of Craig Wright. If Satoshi Nakamoto spoke of a timechain and if bitcoin atoms were being considered, why does not the person who is supposed to be Satoshi Nakamoto use that same language? After all, he could have used such terms as he wrote about his "work on cryptocurrencies." Or not.
Whichever side of the controversy over the person of Craig Wright may be: The primal story of Bitcoin teaches us that the mother of all cryptocurrencies has been developed and debugged on several pages, that Satoshi's vision was not set in stone as some claim and that maybe even the mining in the old days happened decentralized. Maybe you should not give so much to the question of who the real Satoshi is.
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