The original Bitcoin code was designed, written, and deployed by Satoshi Nakamoto under the MIT open source license. In 2008, Nakamoto outlined the idea behind Bitcoin in the Bitcoin white paper entitled Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System, which scientifically described how the crypto-currency would operate.
From the white paper, Nakamoto described Bitcoin as:
Abstract. A purely peer-to-peer version of electronic cash would allow online payments to be sent directly from one party to another without going through a financial institution. Digital signatures provide part of the solution, but the main benefits are lost if a trusted third party is still required to prevent double-spending. We propose a solution to the double-spending problem using a peer-to-peer network. The network timestamps transactions by hashing them into an ongoing chain of hash-based proof-of-work, forming a record that cannot be changed without redoing the proof-of-work. The longest chain not only serves as proof of the sequence of events witnessed, but proof that it came from the largest pool of CPU power. As long as a majority of CPU power is controlled by nodes that are not cooperating to attack the network, they’ll generate the longest chain and outpace attackers. The network itself requires minimal structure. Messages are broadcast on a best effort basis, and nodes can leave and rejoin the network at will, accepting the longest proof-of-work chain as proof of what happened while they were gone.
Bitcoin is the first successful digital currency designed with trust in cryptography over central authorities. The properties of Bitcoin vary but have core focus areas such as being permission-less, immutable, censorship resistant, decentralized, scarce, and open source. These properties make Bitcoin ideal money and beneficial to people worldwide.
It’s important to note that Bitcoin wasn’t the first attempt at digital money in history. In the 1990’s several people and groups tried to create their own forms of ‘e-cash’. Each failed though as they weren’t implemented successfully or ended up centralized. It wasn’t until Nakamoto put all the pieces of the puzzle together using what his predecessors tried to build in order to create the Bitcoin protocol.
Satoshi Nakamoto left the Bitcoin code in the hands of developers and the community in 2010 to continue on and make Bitcoin successful. Thus far hundreds of developers have added to the base code throughout the years making it a robust, open and secure network.
Interested in learning more about Bitcoin? Check out the Getting Started page to begin!