Newly released Satoshi emails reveal a treasure trove of early Bitcoin lore

Newly released Satoshi emails reveal a treasure trove of early Bitcoin lore

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A litany of insights into the early days of cryptocurrency were recently revealed when Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto’s earliest collaborator, Martti Malmi, published 120 pages of email correspondences between the two on GitHub on Feb. 23.

The true identity of Nakamoto remains a point of conjecture throughout the greater cryptocurrency and blockchain community. However, the emails recently published on GitHub by Malmi were initially introduced as evidence in a London court case brought by the Crypto Open Patent Alliance against Craig Wright, who has claimed to be Nakamoto.

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Email from Satoshi Nakamoto to Malmi. Source: Satoshi – Sirius emails 2009-2011

Based on Cointelegraph’s cursory examination of the emails, there are no smoking guns or tell-tale revelations that would immediately shine a light on Satoshi’s true identity. But for historians and Bitcoin lore enthusiasts, the emails include many fantastic quotes and a general air of Satoshi-ness — that same straightforward, simple-yet-comprehensive, no-nonsense style that permeates the Bitcoin white paper.

Satoshi on “cryptocurrency”

While it’s long been posited that Satoshi themselves came up with the term “cryptocurrency,” one email sent to Malmi on June 11, 2009, appears to poke a major hole in this theory.

Per Satoshi:

“Someone came up with the word ‘cryptocurrency.’ […] Maybe it’s a word we should use when describing Bitcoin, do you like it?”

To Malmi’s credit, he responded that “it sounds good” and added that it sounded more interesting than “digital P2P cash.”

Satoshi on anonymity

Malmi’s email correspondence also demonstrates Satoshi’s keen understanding of anonymity, what it meant and what the risks of misinformation could mean for Bitcoin.

As Satoshi wrote in one email:

“I think we should de-emphasize the anonymous angle. With the popularity of bitcoin addresses instead of sending by IP, we can’t give the impression it’s automatically anonymous. It’s possible to be pseudonymous, but you have to be careful.”

The email continues to essentially predict the rise of blockchain forensics:

“If someone digs through the transaction history and starts exposing information people thought was anonymous, the backlash will be much worse if we haven’t prepared expectations by warning in advance that you have to take precautions.”