For the Greater Good.
A historical fiction of one man’s response to greed.
“Have you seen the news?” a man asked while sipping his coffee.
“Yeah, I can’t believe it’s happening again. Only 10 or so years since the last one.” Dorian responds.
In September 2008 the U.S. stock market was in free fall because of risky bets made by banks and mortgage brokerages. Less than a decade after the dot com crash.
“They’re going to bail them out, you know that, right?”, the man scoffs. His face contorts as he burns his lips on the New York deli coffee.
New York came to a screeching halt as hundreds of people were getting laid off and the aftermath of the crash was setting in. Dorian Nakamoto had been laid off twice during the “Dot Com” crash. Now he’s an independent contractor doing systems engineering for defense contracts as well as a computer engineer for tech and financial service companies.
“You’d think they’d learn their lesson the first 30 times something like this happened.” Dorian said, paying for his breakfast looking back at the man.
The man was on his way out as he turned to Dorian, saying,
“They’ll never learn because nothing bad ever happens to them. Only us.”
Dorian realized the man was carrying a box of random office supplies and files but noticed photos of a woman and children. It dawned on him the man, like many others, lost his job as a result of the crash.
Over the coming days, news reports would cover bank after bank, company after company going bankrupt. Lines of people walking out of sky rises realizing their jobs were gone and 401ks practically worthless. Dori would spend the next few weeks watching as the government fumbled with a response.
“This is absurd.”, Dorian grunted. “They’re not doing anything for people like us, only these greedy bastards who got everyone into this mess.”
Dorian watches the news as the U.S. federal government is rolling out the T.A.R.P. program. Buying unstable “junk” assets so the banks can have capital to cover their positions and not go under. Some are arguing that it would be worse to let them default but Dorian is skeptical.
“Dad, they can't just let them go under. They’re the biggest institutions in the country. The aftermath would be way worse.”, his daughter responded.
“Maybe, or maybe the people responsible would get some of what they deserve.”, Dorian retorts.
“You’re stressed out Dad. I understand it’s been hard and it’s going to be hard for a while but things will turn around soon enough.” His daughter said calmly. She hugged him on her way out the door.
Dorian’s own businesses were struggling in the aftermath of the crash. It was hard to find anyone who wasn't affected by Wall Street’s gambling. Dorian’s neighbor, Hal Finney, who was a developer for multiple tech companies, also saw the effects in the neighborhood.
“I’ll tell ya Dori, it's not looking good.” Hal spoke with a heaviness in his words.“Three houses on this block and two on the next. All foreclosed. We still have our jobs but our houses are now worth less than 3 months ago and this bullshit program they put out is only going to make our money worthless.”
“Hal, I don’t know what to do. I’ve tried separating myself from this broken system but I feel like it’s going to swallow us all no matter what.”, Dorian responded meekly.
“Dori, what happened to that project you had been working on earlier in the year?”, Hal asked abruptly.
“I’ve worked on a lot of projects Hal, you’ll have to be more specific.”, Dorian quipped.
“The money thing. You think you’d be able to do anything with that? Could that be worth something?” Hal questioned.
Dorian’s frustrations with the government and the economy started long before the great recession. He often talked with Hal and other constituents about how there needs to be a new currency, a whole new system. Something not regulated by the government or a central bank.
“I mean I have worked on it little by little but that's not something anybody will take seriously right now Hal. We’re in the middle of an economic collapse and I’m just going to say it’s fine, we’ll just use different money.”, Dorian responded
“Maybe”, Hal said “You and I both know this whole thing really started sometime in ‘07 and people have been looking for a different solution even before that. You think people want to buy gold in case they have to jump ship to Canada or Europe? The internet is the future of banking and finance and we’re already starting to see that.”
Hal’s wife pokes her head out and calls him in for dinner.
“Think about it Dorian, you could be the guy that changes the world”, Hal said.
Dorian was sitting at his kitchen table with his laptop open staring at the series of code that was his new brain child; cryptocurrency. A new digital asset. A currency that has a set limit to how much is produced as well as every transaction and who owns each asset. Stored in an online ledger with no one entity controlling it or its value.
“Is this your silly coin thing you’ve been working on?”, Dorian's daughter groaned.
“It’s not silly dear, this is what's going to give people hope”, Dorian responded
“What makes you think this is going to help people?”, she asked doubtedly.
“I’m tired dear. I’m tired of turning on the news and seeing people suffer. I’m tired of seeing not only the majority of the wealth in this country owned by a few but if they make bad choices our wealth gets affected and there are no repercussions. I’m tired of seeing people who put their life savings into ‘safe’ assets that lose significant value just because. We’ve been lied to for far too long. This may not help everyone. But if I can give people an avenue to which they can protect some of their personal wealth. Something that one generation can pass onto the next. I’ll be able to rest knowing I wasn’t like them. I wasn’t just a consumer, but also a provider.”
They sat in silence for what seemed like forever. His daughter sighed then hugged him.
“Whatever you do Dad, please don’t get into trouble”, she warned.
On January 3rd 2009 the Bitcoin network was created. On January 12th Dorian Satoshi Nakamoto transferred 10 Bitcoins to Hal Finney. As far as the public is concerned Satoshi Nakomoto is a pseudonym and could be 1 person or 20.