Satoshi Nakamoto announced the Bitcoin whitepaper on a cryptography mailing list on Halloween 2008. It could be that this was a pointless coincidence, but considering the meticulous planning behind Bitcoin’s launch party, the chosen date is starting to look more meaningful.
Halloween is the carnival period, a ritual day when you can pretend to be someone or something else, be it a comic book superhero like Batman or Superman, or another perennially popular choice for Halloween, a ghost – a ghost, just as Satoshi, that is, neither dead nor alive.
The Carnival tradition goes back hundreds, even thousands, of years, and there is no better day for the creator of Bitcoin to reveal Satoshi Nakamoto’s persona than Halloween.
“Its Mystery and Paradox”
Whoever created the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto, they probably came from the cypherpunk community, a motley group united by a common goal: to use cryptography to limit the reach of the Hobbesian Leviathan. The word “cryptography” consists of the two Ancient Greek words, which in combination mean something like “hidden script” or “secret script”. The the early spirit of the cypherpunks is summed up best by none other than Hal Finney in his famous “goodbye” post on Bitcointalk:
Fast forward to the end of 2008 and the announcement of Bitcoin. I’ve noticed that cryptographic greybeards (I was in my mid 50s) tend to get cynical. I was more idealistic; I have always loved crypto, its mystery and paradox. “
Finney was the first person, outside of Satoshi, to use Bitcoin; he was the recipient of the first Bitcoin transaction also. His early involvement in Bitcoin and previous programming experience has led many to believe he was Satoshi. Had Finney been involved in the creation of Bitcoin, then for the “mystery and paradox” enthusiast named “Hal,” who revealed the project to the world on Hallloween may have had additional meaning.
Things are not as they appear to be when it comes to the launch of Bitcoin
For Satoshi Nakamoto, the creation of a decentralized electronic currency beyond the reach of any government was an ideologically driven endeavor imbued with symbolism and ceremony. The coinbase transaction of the genesis block contained a quote from an English newspaper, The Times, which many believe was a political commentary on the shortcomings of today’s financial system:
The Times 03 / Jan / 2009 Chancellor on the verge of second bank bailout “.
The quote has also served as a watermark, a timestamp confirming that the Bitcoin network was launched on January 3, 2020. This is a widely accepted start date for the Bitcoin blockchain. Still, it may not be true. It is true that it could not have been created before that date, but the quote does not prove that the network was born on that date. The first block (the origin block was block zero) was mined on January 8, five days later. This was probably the day the Bitcoin network went live. Satoshi dated the ultimate timestamping service to make a political statement.
FDR and the Birth of Satoshi Nakamoto
Satoshi’s profile on the Foundation for Peer to Peer Alternatives, or P2P Foundation, listed his date of birth as April 5, 1975. Some have drawn highlights the fact that on April 5, 1933, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed Executive Order 6102 prohibiting the hoarding of gold, limiting an individual’s ability to own gold. During the Great Depression, the population looked to gold as the ultimate safe haven in times of great uncertainty. The recent horrors of German hyperinflation were still fresh in our minds. Until then, the US dollar was backed with gold, the government needed more gold reserves to print more dollars, so it believed gold hoarding was hampering economic growth.
Nevertheless, the United States was forced out that same year leave the Gold standard. Roosevelt’s order was eventually rescinded by President Gerald Ford, the bill went into effect Dec. 31, 1974. Some have suggested that – the year of Satoshi Nakamoto’s birth – 1975, the first year that Americans regained the right to hoard gold.
Bitcoin continues to cheat the world
Satoshi has done a fantastic job of creating an anonymous alter ego. Twelve years later, no one has been able to debunk his Halloween disguise. In a world where seemingly the answer to every mystery, the solution to every paradox, is within a few clicks of the mouse, creating an impenetrable anon that must be sensible and meticulous planning. Satoshi was always careful not to leave barely traceable personal clues in his writing.
Satoshi’s last message on Bitcointalk came on December 12, 2010, in his penultimate message from the day before. complained about the attention that Bitcoin received from the WikiLeaks association:
“It would have been nice to get this attention in a different context. WikiLeaks has kicked the hornets’ nest and the swarm is coming towards us. “
Shortly afterwards, he retired from public life. But when the the world besieged the confused Dorian Nakamoto, Satoshi, perhaps moved by the remorse over a joke that went too far, Posted a message on the site of the P2P Foundation:
“I’m not Dorian Nakamoto.”
Trick-or-treat is one of the carnival customs of Halloween where children beg door to door for treats and impending doom if the adults don’t follow the rules. While Bitcoin is paradoxically turning 12, it seems the world has not yet decided how to deal with this naughty kid.