Proof of Work
In 2016, I could have come forward and jumped through many hoops in a vain attempt to have people “like and accept me.” Vain, as it is not a result that will ever be achieved. The “crypto” community is not seeking Satoshi, they want a constructed myth that allows them to believe they can have an anonymous system of money and those things parliaments seek to stop, they can allow. They would not want me, as the system I created is not anonymous and it cannot be made to be anonymous. The nature of a “blockchain” is a system that acts as an immutable and admissible evidence stop that binds both the individual and the system they exist within.
In 2016, I wasn’t ready for a start. I hadn’t planned on being outed in 2015 (even if it was probably a result of my own cockiness). But the so-called “sign publicly, and everyone will know” mantra doesn’t actually prove anything, and the people selling that story know perfectly well that such is the case. Of course, what they are also selling is a quick fix. None of them want Bitcoin. They’re all seeking something different and in trying to change the system to deliver it. In vain. Then, they get to get rich in a Ponzi scheme, and say they tried their best when the house of cards comes inevitably crashing down.
In May 2016, I came to the conclusion that the best I could hope for in signing publicly and doing everything that would be needed would be the exact opposite of proof. I would start by signing; and then there would be other questions. The ones more greedy and undeserving individuals such as Ira Kleiman would come out expecting much more and saying that somehow I had stolen keys that I never had access to (it does not matter that it is not actually possible let alone feasible on Bitcoin). It would no longer be enough to try and blackmail me into making them instantly rich, but to see a long-term gravy train.
Most people, even those in “crypto,” don’t understand Bitcoin. There are those I trust and those I don’t. They fail to understand that you cannot simply steal someone’s keys without access. They fail to see the issues that collapsed eCash, and they rarely care. But such is the problem; Bitcoin is a completely new narrative. It alters everything, and in 20 to 30 years from now, people will not recognise the world we are in because of Bitcoin.
A Decade ago
10 years ago when I created the site and released Bitcoin, I didn’t always check who and where I gave credit to. The problem that I never really thought about was that everyone in the space seems to have wanted an anonymous system. The issues created with an anonymous system is exactly what Bitcoin solves. Bitcoin provides pseudonymous transactions, and removes anonymity altogether. The source of the problem goes a long way back as to why any anonymous system won’t work. There was a paper done as a quick montage in 1997 titled the Unintended Consequences of eCash. The notion of an anonymous system barely scratches the surface of the issue and others have gone far deeper in tracing and recovery and how this impacts a monetary system.
The bad news and the author’s predictions on why anonymous money will not happen hold just as true then and now.
Regulators and law enforcement are not going to allow or change the law to remove the legal restrictions and prohibitions on the issuance of anonymous and semi-anonymous cash. What people don’t understand is that it actually ends up restricting rights of speech when you seek an anonymous cash system. The creation of an anonymous rather than pseudonymous system allows for further restrictions as courts can then tie anonymous speech to terrorist money laundering and other nefarious activities.
And anonymous transactions are anything but anonymous. I wrote years ago about web bugs, and the irony in creating an anonymous cash system is that it leads to a profiling system that allows everything you do to be mapped and modelled and opens the regulatory requirements to enact it. If you want privacy, the last thing you want is anonymous money, because anonymous money allows every action to be traced using legally viable methods and law. With anonymous money, government and regulators have methodologies to supplant social media, ISPs, and the entire framework surrounding the system in a manner that allows complete profiling and capturing not only all the use you like to believe is anonymous but in fact everything you do.
In Bitcoin, I didn’t create proof of work nor find a manner of getting it to work, as Hal Finney had done so many many years earlier. I didn’t create the constructs such as a Merkle tree or a tree of signatures as was constructed by Lamport in 1979. Bitcoin uses technology to achieve a means of structuring an economic security system.
I didn’t create an anonymous system. I created a system that works with logs and within the legal frameworks that exist within the common-law world. I created a form of money that I posit is a sound commodity because it’s an informational service and hence an information commodity. A system that scales because of competitive engagement and that has no single point of failure at scale through the fact that organisations compete and seek to maximise profit.
The problem with David Chaum’s eCash system comes from anonymity and the perverse fact that a more anonymous system leads to a more restricted one. If you remove all tracing from money, you just create an incentive to allow restrictions on everything including free speech and destroy the thing you wanted to introduce and create.
Bitcoin works because corporations fight to integrate enough technology, enough network capacity, and enough infrastructure to ensure that the network is secure and well-connected. Most importantly, many individual miners compete. In either BTC or ETH even now, we see less than 20 nodes on the network. A node is a single instance of a validating entity. Such can be distributed across many machines and take up an entire data centre as I hinted to in 2010, and yet if one of these miners, one of these nodes fails, the profitability for others increases, attracting others to take their place.
In time, I don’t expect to see 20 miners. I would expect to see upwards of a thousand. Governments and banks will want to protect their local environment and interests, and it is very likely that each of them will start acting to protect the network as Bitcoin and the Metanet grow to encompass everything we’re doing.
The thing that is new with Bitcoin is the move away from anonymity and finding a balance point on the knife edge of pseudonymous transactions. A system that allows privacy and yet simultaneously remains within the aspects of the law, and one that allows practically every country on earth opening traceability for users and the ability to maintain their own information in a manner that has never been achieved before. The true secret of Bitcoin is that it is an immutable and unalterable evidence trial. A system that with identity registration for corporate groups allowing only a single set of corporate books will stop every future Bernie Madoff scenario. It will stop records being altered such as with Enron, and it will radically alter the face of modern accounting.
It of course scares people.
There is a lot of money being made in the false narrative that Bitcoin and associated systems are there to free the world for anarchy. More importantly, there are a lot of people making money in insider trading and pumping vacuous penny-share offers in a manner that has been done every decade as people tend so easily to forget the last scam. None of such people want what Bitcoin is. To them, Bitcoin is the antichrist, the bringer of the end, and all they desire not to be. For Bitcoin leaves an unalterable trail of all the scammers and all the false information.
It is the Enrons, the Maddoffs, and the Charles Ponzis that seek for records to be forever lost.
There has not been one single ICO that is not a scam. If you’re raising capital to build a company, you sell the business of the company, what can be created, and how you’re going to create it. Selling a pre-sale, a paid invoice for goods that are never delivered, is all that the so-called utility tokens are. Most importantly, they are old scams in new bottles. It is the analogous scenario to the web in the 90s and the USENET penny-share scams. Both sprung up and disappeared with the investors’ money just as quickly.
The zero-sum scams are what we see in ICOs and new coin offerings that are going to radically alter the world in an ecosystem of blockchains. The issue is, there can be only one blockchain. It is a protocol war. Like the Internet before it, Bitcoin and, by extension, blockchain form a system underlying everything else. When you have one blockchain, it is stronger than many. A part of the issue is the economics of the system; it leads to a strong single system or many extremely weak and fragmenting systems that end in death and destruction.
No matter what I do, I will never live up to the standards that some people want. The reason is, I am not what people want. I am not an anarchist, I do not believe in a world without government, and I do not have thoughts of a world without banking. Bitcoin does not bring capital funding to the unbanked in and of itself. It is a depository and a form of money that allows for payment and very simple saving but does not introduce capital raising and many of the other aspects banks provide. Bitcoin can be the foundation of a system that allows the unbanked to become banked. It does not start with anonymity, it requires identity and reputation.
As soon as I prove conclusively to everybody, it ends work.
There are those I trust and those I don’t. I trust some of my business partners such as Jimmy, Calvin, and others I will not go into details of, but some people would prefer a quick win. They just want to make money and get out. I saw it all too clearly in 2016. More importantly, others that I have no involvement with would use it in a manner that I could never accept.
As soon as I conclusively give everything I know, it will be used for a quick pump followed by a very quick dump. Not one part of it will lead to Bitcoin being implemented or innovators building.
Such was the dilemma I had to face in 2016 and then even in 2017, when I started to appear again. What happens, if too many people simply believe not because of work but mere belief? The uninformed religious dogma that has filled the space. It is going to take a long time to slowly teach people how Bitcoin works and what it delivers. And I can’t do so unless I work. I understand that the path which I’ve chosen is something that will sit on my shoulders for a long time. It is not one where people adore me or like what I’m saying but rather one of truth. It is the harder path and the longer path.
My part is to build and teach. There are people that I will choose to categorically prove to. And those people are ones that will also have a hard path, for we will be building.
The biggest difficulty is not simply aligning people or finding something that can align long-term. My vision, path, and strategy will take many years. Not the 10 that have been seen publicly with Bitcoin nor the 10 before that, but decades more from here and the point we’re at. In doing so, there are certain things I can do very well and others that are best handed off to others.
The dilemma, simply put, stems from trust. In Bitcoin, trust comes through an investment. Miners have to put large amounts of capital into a competitive system that works if they support the system. Long term, the miners who do not support the growth of the system will find themselves in a severely depleted capital scenario. In Bitcoin, we have a signalling method that allows people to easily understand the investment and support within the system. The difficulty comes when considering one’s own life.
In my case, there isn’t a simple external proof-of-work derivative that I can use. Others can see it from me. As I’m writing here, I had formal papers accepted to peer-reviewed conferences today. I’ve completed, at current point, 1,168 white papers that will result in a total of 2 to 3 patents in papers for each white paper. We are scaling Bitcoin, and later in the year, we will have more transactional capacity than Visa and MasterCard combined.
With everything in life, we need to choose what we do and how we focus. In my case, my involvement in the accounting, day-to-day management, and financial aspects of the company are minimal. The times that I have focused on such areas I do not excel at resulted in the consequences of not being able to produce the best results in what matters most, research and development.Consequently, you either focus where you are best or fail.
The difficulty comes in signalling from others. In early 2016, I didn’t trust my own instincts, and I was a led down a path that I did not like. I understand why people did so. There are always the ones who want a quick return. I understand it perfectly well; for a small investment, a small part of something, why not take the opportunity to make a multi-billion-dollar sale where your investment will increase 10 times or more in a matter of months. I get it perfectly well, and so is the problem.
Can I definitively prove who I am? Yes. I actually can very simply. But, what does it achieve… long term. Doing things too quickly leads to trouble.
It’s not a matter of signing with keys alone. There are people who already know I could do so and which of the early keys they saw, and know I have access to, yet it does nothing to help with repudiation. There is a problem in the IT in the cryptographic community in thinking that code creates law. Or, for that matter, that code can capture the real world. It doesn’t and it can’t. There is actually no such thing as non-repudiation. A few academics residing in ivory towers like to believe cryptographic solutions can be achieved here, and many fools believe them. Unfortunately, such people ignore law. The key is not identity. It can be shared, stolen, copied, or assigned. In a court, you have to attest to a key. So the funny thing is, all the people such as Wired asking “How do I prove?” and going to the people who don’t want proof is so much of a joke.
Likely, I don’t care.
Using my dilemmas not getting into the media for selling myself to raise money or prancing around television shows. My issue is something that many in the past would understand and that I can imagine personally. When Getty had to consider what would happen after he finished, for the fate of his company, the issue was succession. He worked to the very end as shall I. But what about other people.
My goal is creation. It is building something that will last. It’s not about being nice or liked, it is simply creating a structure that’s going to last. One that will not have people selling out under me and one that allows people to build over time. I understand the temptation very well. Money is actually incredibly addictive. Maintaining the balance is something that takes a lot of discipline and work in ensuring that you don’t give up the reason you have wealth, and that you keep building is an interesting dilemma in itself.
It is also a power in keeping something to yourself. There is a little vestige in that you can make sure people will hold on and keep building and not take the easy gain and stop. I don’t want to be remembered because I was yet another billionaire or I came up with an idea and moved on. I seek nothing less than creating a commercial replacement for the entire Internet. One that solves the tragedy of the commons and at the same time provides a global commodity that becomes a money. A sound money. A global money and the means of measuring economic information as we move into an information economy.
I would like to have far more publications, and I am working on it.
But mostly, I intend to see Bitcoin scale into a global economic system and become the plumbing for the information world.
So, I’m not asking for you to believe me. I really don’t care. I have set up an evidential trail that now insures my place in history. Something people don’t understand about Bitcoin is that it is also a time lock. Bitcoin with nLockTime allows for the pseudonymous release of information at defined times. It’s a concept that I took from Asimov. It is aimed to ensure that information is provably released when the author chooses. Only when the author chooses.
So, no matter what happens to me, I know my place in history.
It’s a very good feeling, that one. I will also say that I am far from done. It’s taken me 20 years to build the foundation, and now the edifice needs to be constructed. Later in the year, I’m going to start tearing down many of the myths. Lightning is a dead-end, decentralisation is but a tool and taken too far is a drug that will kill its host. The mathematics are actually fairly simple.
In some ways, the narratives about me have actually been quite good. For me at least. I publish in peer-reviewed journals and conferences. They accept blinded submissions. In other words, they are judged on the quality of my work. The opinions of the twitter trolls come to mean nothing. Such is the point of blinding in academic publications. It is only the quality of one’s work that matters. I expect to have around 70 publications for the current year — excluding patents, of course. Such publications will be on mathematics, economics, game theory, law, history, computer science, and epidemiology.
They are some of the topics required to understand Bitcoin and blockchain fully. Like it or not, there is nothing that you can do to stop it, whether you like me or not. Here lies the really interesting part.
Back to my dilemma: how to find people, when engaged in the creation of a system that will alter the world, who seek more than short-term gain. People not simply seeking money but rather to alter the fabric of the world in history. I believe I found some. I see it in Calvin, I see it in Jimmy, and I see it in Steve. There are other people I will not dox and call out here, but they exist in the background. Such people understand the long term, and by long term I don’t mean 6 to 12 months.
How do you find someone willing to work the next decade?
Over the next 20 years, all of it will become clear. I expect, before my time is through, to publish in the order of 3,000 patents and 5,000 or more peer-reviewed publications. At such a point, it becomes rather difficult to hide. I’m not publishing them pseudonymously or anonymously but rather as myself. I can achieve such an end because of the wonderful team I’ve finally built to support me and the help I get from external parties to keep much of the problems of life away from me.
There are many who will not see my vision and many more who will not support it, yet it has come too far to stop it. The question is now: how do I find the people we need? More importantly, how do I find people I can trust?
Such is the dilemma that is not posted by the trolls and haters. They love to call me a scam and say that I won’t do what they wish. Honestly, I find it quite funny. You see, it is them, the others that seek from me. I wonder how many of you actually thought about it, the call for me to prove.
If Craig Wright does not say that he created Bitcoin and sign and dance and do a jig the way we want, he must be a fraud. As if it is their adoration that I would seek or want. It is hilarious actually when you think about it.
In proving to the fools that I can sign a key publicly, I open the next round of attacks. I also enable some people to make a quick pump, gain, and exit. It doesn’t interest me.
I don’t get any special favours when filing patents because I’m Satoshi.
I don’t get any special favours when I’m submitting a paper to an academic blind review in being Satoshi. In fact, they have no idea that I am Craig Wright until they accept my paper.
When I finish my current round of studies and sign up for my next PhD, being Satoshi will gain me nothing.
So, I am going to do things my way. It’s a long path. It’s a hard path covered with thorny bushes and surrounded by brambles. Yet, it’s the one I’ve chosen. And to me, it’s incredibly rewarding. It’s one where I will teach governments and institutions about the future. It’s not one the fools from Anonymous and Lulz and the idiots that they have become after the groups will be a part of, thank God.
It’s a world where I release what I want as I choose. It’s a world where, if you have come to my attention and are doing something wrong, I’m going to target you.
The hardest part of all is understanding that, one day, I’ll be put in a position that no other person has ever been in. And from there, I need to choose a path, or road of succession. It’s a part of why I study Rome and Marcus Aurelius and Octavius. All things are finite, and in my case, succession is something that needs to be planned carefully. But for the time being, the immediate needs to be planned carefully. It’s a path that is going to make me seem like a hard and calloused bastard. It’s the only one I can choose.
One thing I have learned in all the time is that vigilance matters. Even when bringing something good into the world, one needs to be cognisant of Machiavelli and his Prince. It is not whether people like you — for even the most loved has enemies.
My path is simple in its complexity.
I hold a key, a methodology, and a way to definitively prove, and over time, I will release parts of the story bit by bit. As I do, I utterly destroy the scammers in the industry. I will bring down the ones seeking to make criminal industries out of Bitcoin and blockchain, and I will alter the path of the industry, and I don’t care if you like it — for it’s what I’m going to do.
In doing so, I am going to create more wealth than I believe anyone could ever imagine — I certainly cannot. And I’m going to make other people wealthy, in some cases wealthier than they could even imagine. More importantly, other people who are partnered with me I’m going to make immense sums, and here is the rub: they are going to work like they have never worked before.
It’s how to see it actually progressing. I don’t see anyone getting in and getting out with the sort of gains that happened as the scammers milked people off their money in the past and in the start of the industry.
Because as much as other people want, sometimes for me, sometimes for themselves, a definitive proof, a moment and something they can run with in a bang, there is none. There is a long path where we create a future, a global interconnected world.