THE MYSTERIOUS IDENTITY OF THE INGENIOUS CREATOR OF BLOCKCHAIN AND HIS INFLUENCE ON TODAY'S WORLD
THE MOTIVATION BEHIND THE MOST IMPORTANT FINANCIAL INNOVATION
Every human invention related to trade has always perceived a goal that concerns us all as members of humankind: the protection of our property. Protecting any goods that we possess has always been a top priority for the citizens of any society at any moment or geographic location throughout history. Currently, most human developments with regard to trade aim to ensure the safety of transactions rather than figuring out new trading mechanisms. In essence, brilliant minds have concluded that the internet should provide spaces with appropriate conditions to hold financial transactions without the intermediation of any third party, namely, a bank or a government. Thus, nowadays, it has become prevalent to hear the terms blockchain and cryptocurrency arising in any conversation that has to do with money transactions, as these terms entail the most effective solution reached so far to protect money transferences and trading.
THE OPPORTUNITY FOR THE RISE OF THE BLOCKCHAIN
In 2008, the global financial system collapsed. Perhaps seizing the moment, a person or series of persons, under the pseudonym of Satoshi Nakamoto, outlined the protocol for a new direct electronic peer-to-peer (P2P) electronic payment system using a cryptocurrency called "bitcoin."
On January 9, 2009, Nakamoto released version 0.1 of the Bitcoin client (today known as Bitcoin Core), an open-source software that connected several computers. This gave birth to the network that would support the cryptocurrency. The network's tasks were, on the surface, simple: allow transactions between users, list all transactions, verify that the same coin is not spent twice, and issue new monetary units. That same day, at 00:54, the first bitcoin block was mined, and with it, the first units were created. On January 12, 2009, Hal Finney, one of the most prominent members of the "Cryptography" mailing list, received the first bitcoin transaction in history. And on April 26, 2011, Nakamoto disappeared and was never heard from again.
Again, attending to the priority need of human beings to protect their goods, in 2009, Nakamoto made the following statement in the online forum of the P2P Foundation: "The root of the problem with conventional currency is all the trust that is required to make it work. The central bank must be trusted not to debase the currency, but the history of fiat currencies is full of breaches of that trust. Banks must be trusted to hold our money and transfer it electronically, but they lend it out in waves of credit bubbles with barely a fraction of reserve."
THE REASONING BEHIND NAKAMOTO'S INVENTION
Cryptocurrencies (digital currencies) differ from traditional currencies because they are not created or controlled by countries. Instead, this protocol establishes a set of rules - in the form of distributed computing - that guarantees the integrity of the information exchanged between billions of computers without going through third parties. This seemingly subtle circumstance has stimulated, astonished, and, ultimately, captured the imagination of computer scientists, an effect that has quickly spread to business, industry, governments, privacy advocates and activists alike, as well as media theorists and journalists, to name just a few.
This protocol is the foundation of a growing number of globally distributed registries called blockchains, the largest of which is bitcoin. Although the technological aspect is complicated and the term "blockchain" sounds strange, the idea is simple. Blockchains allow us to send money directly and securely from one person to another without going through a bank, credit card, or PayPal. More than the internet of information, it is an internet of value or money. It is also a platform that allows everyone to know what is true, at least concerning the information that is recorded in a structured way. In its most basic form, it is a free source code: everybody can download it for free, run it and use it to develop a new online transaction management tool. As such, it gives us the possibility to create countless new applications and to change many things.
THE INFLUENCE OF NAKAMOTO IN TODAY'S WORLD
Large banks and some governments are using blockchain as distributed registries with the idea of revolutionizing the way information is stored, and transactions are conducted. Their aspirations are laudable: greater speed, lower costs, greater security, fewer errors, and eliminating central points that can be attacked or fail. These models do not necessarily involve the use of cryptocurrencies. However, the most important and far-reaching blockchains are based on Satoshi's model. Let's see how this model works:
Bitcoin or any other digital currency is not stored in files that are in a specific place; it is represented by transactions that are recorded on a blockchain, which is a kind of spreadsheet or record that uses the resources of a vast peer-to-peer network to verify and approve each transaction made in bitcoin. All blockchains, such as the one used by bitcoin, are distributed, i.e., they run on computers that are volunteered by people all over the world; there is no central database that can be attacked. Furthermore, the blockchain is public: everyone can see it whenever they want because it resides on the network, not in a particular institution responsible for auditing transactions and keeping records. And it is also encrypted: it uses an encryption that includes public and private keys (instead of the two-key systems of safes), which guarantees total security.
Every ten minutes, as if it were the heart rate of the bitcoin network, all transactions are checked, sorted, and stored in a block that is joined to the previous block, thus creating a chain. Each block must refer to the last block to be valid. This structure records the same transactions and stores them, preventing anyone from altering the record. If we want to steal a bitcoin, we have to rewrite the entire blockchain in full view of everyone, which is practically impossible. This is why blockchains are a distributed registry and assume the network's compliance with all transactions that have been made. Just like the global computer network of information, this is the "global computer registry" of value: a distributed registry that everyone can download and run on their personal computer.
After reviewing the history of Satoshi Nakamoto, it is safe to state that whoever is behind said mysterious name, this person was a visionary. Satoshi Nakamoto has foreseen a future in which people can transact without risking their data, and protecting their financial interests, thus making the most of the circulating wealth. The system conceived by Nakamoto seems to be so secure that even financial institutions and governments seem to be interested in taking advantage of its virtues. Possibly the most significant achievement of blockchain as a way of securing financial transactions is that it has provided for the first time ever the existence of a currency acknowledged and worthy worldwide that is not controlled or produced by any government, thus challenging the global financial order.
As an ending note, it is also worth mentioning that by involving millions of servers and checking the validity of transactions only as long as they are based in the prior bloc, blockchain holds every transaction subject accountable without the need of exposing their identities or subduing them to third parties, such as banks or governments.
Why does he keep his identity hidden?
There is no precise information explaining why Satoshi Nakamoto remains anonymous. Many people think that the character behind this creation passed away. The main argument is that he has never revealed his identity for security reasons. In this way, he avoids problems of harassment or tracking. However, most people who understand cryptocurrencies, want to know who is he or who is behind one of the projects that has surprised the world the most.
What can be deduced is that if it is a group who is behind bitcoin, it means that they decided to let the users and miners themselves take the course of the cryptocurrency. That is why they emphasized its decentralized nature. How have they managed to stay hidden? Virtual networks and confidentiality agreements between those who participated in the project anonymously. In addition to being very careful when making connections and verifying the security of each of the equipment they used so as not to reveal their identity.