The Shadow of Satoshi's Ghost: Why Bitcoin Mythology Matters

How the myth-making around Satoshi reinforces what makes bitcoin unique in the landscape of global monies.

AccessTimeIconMay 22, 2020 at 7:00 p.m. UTC
Updated Dec 11, 2022 at 7:39 p.m. UTC
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How the myth-making around Satoshi reinforces what makes bitcoin unique in the landscape of global monies.

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On Wednesday, a batch of coins mined just a month after bitcoin’s birth were moved. It was the first time since August 2017 that any bitcoin from early 2009 had been transferred, and the action set Bitcoin Twitter on fire. While a number of bitcoin archaeologists quickly and persuasively argued the tokens were almost assuredly not mined by bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto, it was a moment that reinforced the living history in the bitcoin ecosystem. 

In this episode, NLW looks at what makes the Satoshi mythology powerful: 

  • Genuine technical innovation and problem solving that had stymied some brilliant minds for decades
  • Incredible instincts around narrative and human psychology, as reflected in the “Chancellor on the Brink” message embedded in the Genesis Block and the ceremony around the halving
  • The incredible contrariness of a creator withdrawing in a world where entrepreneurs are lionized like no one else in society

And while the battles within the bitcoin community around interpretation may look more like the early history of religions than like a business ecosystem, NLW argues that fervor is a key part of what de-risks bitcoin, even for investors who don’t at all care about the mythology.

For more episodes and free early access before our regular 3 p.m. Eastern time releases, subscribe with Apple PodcastsSpotifyPocketcastsGoogle PodcastsCastboxStitcherRadioPublicaIHeartRadio or RSS.

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