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Pre-Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto, and Cypherpunks!

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2 months ago

They say that Satoshi Nakamoto created Bitcoin because he wanted to invent some “payment system” which is a purely peer-to-peer version of electronic cash. The Bitcoin white paper says “A purely peer-to-peer version of electronic cash would allow online payments to be sent directly from one party to another without going through a financial institution.” (1)


So, how come Satoshi Nakamoto wanted to invest in a purely peer-to-peer version of electronic cash? We do not know who Satoshi is, so it is merely guessing, but many believe that Satoshi had been got influence by Libertarianism and Cypherpunk Movement in the 1990s. I just have a vague understanding of libertarianism, so I checked about it. Check it! Well, aka, Google it! ( *´艸`)クスクス


Wikipedia says “Liberalism is a political and moral philosophy based on libertyconsent of the governed and equality before the law.” (2)  OK, you are making me confused.    (´・ω・`) ぴえん。 


To tell the truth, I did not know that founder of Liberalism is John Locke. Well, I kind of recognize his stern face on the history book though. He looks like he has been suffering from severe constipation. LOL!


Wikipedia continues the explanation of Liberalism as “Liberals espouse a wide array of views depending on their understanding of these principles, but they generally support free marketsfree tradelimited governmentindividual rights (including civil rights and human rights), capitalismdemocracysecularismgender equalityracial equalityinternationalismfreedom of speechfreedom of the press and freedom of religion.” (2)


OK! Now, I am getting it more clearly what is Liberalism! It is a political philosophy that claims individual rights are important and the government should not limit individual rights. Libertarians are seeking so-called “small government” which is limited their political power over individual citizens. 



So how crypto people define liberalism?  (´・ω・`)モキュ?


I happened to know Eric Hughes when I was googling about crypto liberalism. I would like to cite his definition of Cypherpunk’s Manifest.  (*`▽´*)ウヒョヒョ

”Privacy is necessary for an open society in the electronic age. Privacy is not secrecy. A private matter is something one doesn't want the whole world to know, but a secret matter is something one doesn't want anybody to know. Privacy is the power to selectively reveal oneself to the world.”  - Eric Hughes  


At the beginning of the manifest of the cypherpunk movement, it defines the difference between “private matter” and “secret matter”. It explains that privacy is the power to selectively reveal oneself to the world.


Eric Huges is a computer programmer and mathematician from US Berkeley. He is one of the advocates who support the Cypherpunk Movement. In the 1990s, as the internet was becoming more and more popular and it was time that people started thinking about the importance of digital privacy in digital society. Eric Hughes, Timothy C. May, and John Gilmore formed a small group to hold monthly meetings to discuss the importance of privacy in the digital society. And, it was the beginning of the Cypherpunk movement. They are OBs of Cypherpunks! According to bit2me, it says that “the member Cynthia Dwork baptized the group within the name of Cypherpunks. The name was formed from Cipher (code or encryption) and Cyberpunk (science fiction subgenre).” (5)


Interestingly, Cypherpunks are also advocates of the Cyberpunk Movement. Also, it is cool to know that they started a cypherpunk mail list, which helped their movement to grow as well as to discuss their movement. I believe that the cypherpunk mailing list is the original version of the internet list like 2chan and Reddit.


A picture is a person who wears modern cyberpunk fashion lol


In the cypherpunk mailing list, they discussed the importance of privacy in digital society and liberalism. I guess that Satoshi Nakamoto is also a member of the movement, or s/he had some influence by the movement. If Satoshi in the movement, it is pretty cool. 


In the discussion they had on the mailing list, they disagreed that counties limit access to the internet or control individual information. Also, they showed strong disagreement towards censorship by countries. Moreover, they strongly disagree with financial institutes such as banks which have a great amount of power to control individual financial information.  They hated big banks and governments, both of which were giant centers of power diminishing the autonomy of the average citizen according to them. (-ω- )o< フムフム


In the past, before these technological innovations, cash was pretty anonymous in purely its physical form. Cash itself is anonymous (well, individual name is not printed or minted in cash/money). Plus, it is a purely physical form so that once we used it, it was extremely difficult to trance who used the cash. In other words, our privacy was protected in the past.


However, as the technology innovations started stripping our privacy in the digital society. The banks can trace individual financial information and track account balances and transfers come with the cost of privacy. Thus, OB of Cypherpunks saw early on the need for an anonymous digital “transaction system” or currency one that gave users “the power to selectively reveal oneself to the world”.


As you may realize that the abstract of the Bitcoin whitepaper and the Cypherpunk Manifest has some similarities to the vision of liberalism. It is the Pre-Bitcoin era when the OBs and OGs of Cypherpunks saw the importance of privacy in the coming digital society. And, thanks to Satoshi Nakamoto’s great invention of blockchain and proof of work, we have Bitcoin (BTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) Yay! バンザーイ! ( ´艸`)


Satoshi Nakamoto is a person who has John Locke's philosophy with some modern Cypherpunk Movement philosophy so that s/he (maybe they) will be like the picture fusion of John Locke and Cypherpunk.

Image of Satoshi Nakamoto


It was interesting to google about Cypherpunk Movement and OGs and OGs of the movement, so I will write more in the next blog too.




Mizuo – April 15th, 2021.

★★ Other stories in my blog ★★



1)    Bitcoin White Paper


2)    Liberalism (Wikipedia) 


3)    John Locke (Wikipedia)


4)    A Cypherpunk's Manifesto by Eric Hughes


5)    Who is Eric Hughes? 


6)    What is the Cypherpunks Mailing List? 


7)    Cypherpunks Manifest, the picture is extracted from the site


8)    Cyber Punk Fashion 


9)    Blockchain at Berkeley



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