Introduction

The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks

Those 69 characters should be much more famous than they are. In the very first Bitcoin block, the enigmatic Satoshi Nakamoto, the inventor of Bitcoin, encoded that message in hexadecimal (see Figure Intro-1).

Snapshot illustration of a message in the Genesis block.

Figure Intro-1: Message in the Genesis block.

Either by design or coincidence (which seems unlikely), Satoshi both launched the first blockchain-based cryptocurrency and made the semi-covert statement as to the reasons for the development of his or her system (we do not definitively know the sex of Satoshi or even if Satoshi is an individual or a group). It seems that in Satoshi's view, the banks were failing, and his or her system could free people from the control of central banks and exchanges. On a cryptography mailing list, Satoshi wrote the following:

Although Satoshi wrote little about the Bitcoin system, the few comments on forums show that there was at least ...

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