Happy Bitcoin White Paper Day. 14 years ago, Satoshi Nakamoto sent an email to the Cypherpunk mailing list with the subject line “Paper Bitcoin P2P e-cash”. The email contained a link to the white paper, an overview of the soon-to-be trillion dollar market.
The first sentence of the email is an icon within the Bitcoin community:
“I worked on a new completely peer-to-peer electronic money system, with no trusted third party. »
Over the past 14 years, bitcoin (BTC) has grown from a hobby to a globally recognized brand. Bitcoin has been accepted as legal tender in southern parts of the world such as El Salvador and the Central African Republic. It is used by freedom advocates and activists, as well as being a tool for financial emancipation and economic empowerment around the world.
The speculative fervor known as bitcoin continues, although bitcoin’s reputation as a tool for illicit activity continues, despite the fact that the US dollar remains a far more effective tool for concealing financial activity.
In 2022, bitcoin has transformed into many other things. Cointelegraph spoke with members of the Bitcoin community, enthusiasts and newbies at the Plan B conference in Lugano, Switzerland to explore what the white paper means for the world.
Doing his good
For world-renowned charities such as Save the Children, the white paper and the subsequent creation of bitcoin have benefited the organization. Antonia Roupell, Web3 Manager at Save the Children, told Cointelegraph that the organization “recognizes bitcoin’s potential to be a force for good and a force for financial inclusion,” adding:
“As bitcoin celebrates its 14th anniversary, and as global financial inequality continues to grow, the phrase ‘bitcoin for all’ is even more meaningful. »
Roupell explained that Save the Children US was the first NGO to accept bitcoins in 2013, saying, “Since then, we have collected almost 75 BTC through generous donations for our relief operations for children affected by conflict in places like Afghanistan and Ukraine, as well as families affected by weather disasters such as Hurricane Ian in Florida. “.
Today is the 14th anniversary of #Bitcoin!
We were the first NGO to adopt #BTC in 2013
We have raised 74 bitcoins & counting
We believe #crypto it can be a force for good and financial inclusion #SatoshiNakamoto
Donate here #HodlDóchas https://t.co/AEe0lTRXo2 pic.twitter.com/0KB7EFv1X4
—Save the Children USA (@SavetheChildren) October 31, 2022
Today is the 14th year of #Bitcoin! We were the first NGO to accept #BTC in 2013. We collected 74 bitcoins and continue to do so. We believe #crypto can be a force for financial inclusion #SatoshiNakamoto. Donate here #HodlHope https://t.co/AEe0lTRXo2 pic.twitter.com/0KB7EFv1X4- Save the Children US (@SavetheChildren) October 31, 2022
The crisis zones highlighted the resilience and efficiency of bitcoin. In the first 48 hours of the war in Ukraine, for example, the Ukrainian government received $7.5 million in bitcoins.
Stand with the people of Ukraine
Now accepting cryptocurrency donations. Ethereum. Bitcoin and Tether (USDTtrc20)
BTC – 357a3So9CbsNfBBgFYACGvxxS6tMaDoa1P
ETH – 0x165CD37b4C644C2921454429E7F9358d18A45e14
USDT (trc20) — TEFccmfQ38cZS1DTZVhsxKVDckA8Y6VfCy
— Mykhailo Fedorov (@FedorovMykhailo) February 26, 2022
Support the people of Ukraine. We are now accepting cryptocurrency donations. Ether. bitcoin and Tether (USDTtrc20). BTC – 357a3So9CbsNfBBgFYACGvxxS6tMaDoa1P ETH – 0x165CD37b4C644C2921454429E7F9358d18A45e14 USDT (trc20) – TEFccmfQ38cZDckS14
— Mykhailo Fedorov (@FedorovMykhailo) February 26, 2022
The speed at which bitcoin reached government wallet addresses prompted the United Nations International Computing Center (UNICC) to take cryptocurrency donations seriously, UNICC Director Sameer Chauhan explained in an interview at Cointelegraph during the World Economic Forum in Davos. The dollar, pound, euro and official currencies are much slower to flow in to support Ukraine’s defense than bitcoin.
Decentralization and empowerment
In the case of Bitcoin Gandalf, a marketer for Braiins, a bitcoin mining tools company, the resulting white paper and pseudo-network ensure a basic level of privacy. Gandalf, who chose to hide his name and face from the internet, told Cointelegraph:
“With increased surveillance propagated by the state and large centralized technology companies controlling most information dissemination, it is more important than ever to have decentralized options that guarantee us basic freedoms. »
Bitcoin is a permissionless network that anyone can use. It does not discriminate. Even for those without an internet connection, thanks to innovations in mobile network technology, bitcoins can be sent as a text. Bitcoin’s “technology of freedom” mantra has been successful throughout its 14-year history.
At the Plan B conference in Lugano, Switzerland, “freedom” was a central theme. Julian Assange’s family hosted a discussion on his imprisonment for revealing military secrets, and speakers from Togo to Lebanon shed light on “bitcoin, the tool for financial freedom”. A drone show took to the night sky with the jump, closing the conference on bitcoin and blockchain:
— CARLA⚡️(thecryptoc0up1e) (@thecryptoc0up1e) October 29, 2022
Freedom #Bitcoin pic.twitter.com/WjVvVsSBPB- CARLA⚡️(thecryptoc0up1e) (@thecryptoc0up1e) October 29, 2022.
Several announcements made at the conference in Switzerland underscored the Bitcoin community’s commitment to freedom. Paolo Ardoino, CTO of Tether, introduced Pear Credit, a peer-to-peer credit software that could undermine the proliferation of centralized authorities (or blockchains) that issue credit and tokens. Founded by Tether, Holepunch and Synonym, Pear Credit is set to “put control of the economy back in the hands of the people”.
In an exclusive interview with Cointelegraph, Ardoino explained the idea behind Pear Credit, saying, “Everything that isn’t bitcoin is credit. Everything except bitcoin is inherently centralized. “. His team has built a peer-to-peer service that offers the ability to issue credit, without a blockchain or product and without unlimited monetization.
In the spirit of the bitcoin whitepaper, Pear Credit consists of “only open source libraries,” Ardoino said. Credit Pear is focused on “scalability and privacy,” and values the freedom to build open source technology over the pursuit of profits.
Gandalf said the bitcoin white paper is “the beginning of resistance to this trend” of centralization of power. Technology companies are increasingly using customer data and online behaviors. Bitcoin, on the other hand, is the largest manifestation of a peer-to-peer, privacy-focused network that continues to inspire projects that could undermine centralization.
Why bother with the white paper?
John Carvalho, CEO of Synonym and a partner at Pear Credit, called for calm and introspection on the anniversary of the white paper. Carvalho, who also announced the creation of a new bitcoin wallet app, Bitkit, at the conference, told Cointelegraph that even some of Satoshi Nakamoto’s biggest fans “will admit that some things were wrong.” and how he thought things would turn out. Even in code.
As a possible nod to bitcoin fans and adulation to Nakamoto who sometimes exceeds space, Carvalho explained that bitcoin continues to grow in traffic due to higher levels of adoption, users and the amount of people trying to copy bitcoin. “For me, and I think for most people, your birthday with bitcoin is not when it was invented, but when you discovered it. “.
“I’d rather tie it to when you bought your first bitcoin or had your own eureka moment. »
In the end, if Nakamoto’s email on October 31, 2008 marked the foundation of the Bitcoin blockchain, it was the developers, builders, node operators, miners, and buyers of bitcoins who made the idea come alive.
Bitcoin is indeed an efficient form of funds transfer; it’s a spark that could pave the way for greater freedoms online, and it’s a significant shift away from centralized powers. However, bitcoin is also a long line of code that millions of people around the world choose to follow and add to every day.
Raise your glass to Satoshi, of course, but also take some time to reflect on your own Bitcoin journey. When is your Bitcoin birthday?