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Satoshi Nakamoto, the enigmatic creator of Bitcoin, vanished on April 26, 2011. Nakamoto was inspired to create an alternative “self-sustaining” financial landscape by centralised financial regimes. Although, if Nakamoto had remained in the crypto-ecosystem, would Bitcoin be as decentralised as it is now? Or would “dictator” Satoshi have taken full control and turned it into a 2.0 version of the pre-existing financial system?
In a recent podcast, Adam Back, CEO of Blockstream, said that if Nakamoto lived and held the “central role,” a moment would have undoubtedly came when the need to step towards a decentralised environment would have arisen.
According to the executive, certain facets of Bitcoin, such as its architecture, have been focused on since 1997-98, with Back claiming that the “missing pieces” triggered and allowed Satoshi to fill in the void and build Bitcoin.
Back shed light on Satoshi’s significance today, as well as how it could be “dangerous” for anyone to assert centralised authority. Following Satoshi’s departure, Bitcoin was regarded as a “commodity and a discovery,” rather than a “technology project with a leader,” he continued.
Back continued, saying,
“I think his intent was clear – he decided to leave. We shouldn’t try to undo that.”
Back claimed that it was important for Nakamoto to step back and deliberately hide his identity, with the executive believing that even if Satoshi was still alive, Bitcoin would be Bitcoin. Having said that, the media would have definitely projected him as a star and magnified everything he did.
Back explained why it is not appropriate for developers today to read Satoshi’s writings, and how he is “not a fan of quoting Satoshi.” He continued,
“There’s probably more condensed, accessible information now. I think it is important for people to form an opinion about what’s important about what’s differentiated and valuable about Bitcoin.”
Back attested, highlighting the three big errors Satoshi made, how transaction malleability became a major issue for the implementation of smart contracts. He went on to say that some of Satoshi’s half-finished designs, such as the rudimentary lightning channel model of sequence numbers, didn’t work out. Satoshi’s programming flaws have exacerbated certain security problems, he concluded.
“You can improve the system in some ways, but then you’ll make it worse in other ways and that’s where it gets interesting.”
According to Back,
“The system is remarkably well-optimized and there is not that much prospect of a sudden breakthrough.”
Finally, the Blockstream executive said that since Bitcoin’s developers have been engaged at various times, the general defensive testing, quality assurance standard, change analysis, and volume of fuzz testing have all increased over time.