Satoshi Nakamoto

Satoshi Nakamoto is the pseudonym of the creator of the Bitcoin network and the bitcoin cryptocurrency. His identity is unknown and he practically disappeared from the scene in mid-2010 after handing over control of the development to other members of the Bitcoin community.

Nakamoto started his (or her) work on Bitcoin in mid-2007. In August 2008 he anonymously published the website bitcoin.org which still today provides introductory information on Bitcoin and acts as a gateway to the community. On October 31, 2008, he published on a cryptographic mailing list his famous white paper “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System.” It contains the original concepts and specifications for the Bitcoin network. At the same time, he started developing the original code which embodied such white paper.

Finally, on January 3rd, 2009, he mined the initial block of the Bitcoin blockchain (called the genesis block) creating the first 50 bitcoins. On January 9th, 2009, he released the first version of the software allowing anyone to use it and contribute to its development. In the meantime, other developers had joined the project, most prominently Hal Finney one of the early developers, who received the very first bitcoin transfer from Nakamoto on January 12th, 2009.

From then onward, the community grew and more developers came on board. People would exchange bitcoins among themselves, directly, using chatrooms and message boards. It took almost one year for Nakamoto and the development community to create the first Bitcoin market or exchange. It was launched on February 6, 2010.

The first purchase of goods through bitcoin happened on May 22nd, 2010 when Lazlo Hanyecz, a Florida programmer, gave 10,000 BTC to another programmer in exchange for the purchase of two pizzas.  Since then, May 22nd has become the official “pizza day” in the Bitcoin world and pizza shops around the world offer a special discount to those who pay with bitcoins.