What Is a Bitcoin White Paper?

“I’ve been working on a new, completely peer-to-peer electronic money system with no trusted third parties.” Those are the words that Bitcoin nickname creator Satoshi Nakamoto used to greet the world some 12 years ago in an email releasing a Bitcoin white paper.

To this day, no one still knows who Satoshi is. Since April 23, 2011, no one has heard from him / her after they signed an email saying,

I’ve moved on to other things. He’s in good hands with Gavin and everyone.

Technical description, Bitcoin’s white paper was the first document to outline the principles of a cryptographically secured peer-to-peer electronic payment system, fundamentally designed to be transparent and resistant to censorship, as well as putting financial control back into the hands of r the individual. At that time, the world was gripped by a financial crisis catalyzed by excessive speculation in the financial markets and banks risking millions of dollars worth of depositors’ money.

This document lays the foundation for what is generally regarded as the first functional digital currency powered by distributed ledger technology called blockchain.

One of the many innovations of Satoshi’s electronic payment system was that it solved the long-standing “double spend” problem that plagued cashless spending. By implementing time stamped transactions unanimously validated by a distributed network of verifiers, it was no longer possible for a person to spend the same funds twice.

The white paper was released under MIT’s public license in 2008 for everyone to learn from, share and enjoy.