I am writing in response to your research initiative into the origins of Bitcoin.
What you are about to read is a recounting of a hazy memory – perhaps a bit more muddled than if I was simply describing a dream from more than a decade ago – yet you may find it useful in your research. I submit this letter anonymously, for several reasons, and preemptively apologize in my choice to remain as such.
I was interning in Ohio during the fall of 2005, and had just rented a house in Akron, near the university. Several friends either lived in the area, or were ‘Zips’ themselves, and we would often get together at my house for parties. The range of people with whom I was friends with was vast – the breadth of a stereotypical slice of an American Highschool at the time – and the house was no stranger to an illicit substance or two.
During a particularly festive evening, one friend that I will refer to as Kylie, wanted to buy marijuana, which was illegal at the time in Ohio, online – which gave me some anxiety. What I soon learned was that less criminal than possessing controlled substances, was the actual *purchase* of the such. And here-in is the fundamental innovation in Bitcoin and what I believe you seek to answer. How could a court charge someone of making a purchase with a non-FIAT currency that has no intrinsic value?
So back to my friend Kylie. Did I mention that she was going to school for Computer Engineering? As I was being briefed on how this all worked, I came to learn that she and a group of four friends that she had met during a game? Quest? On the game World of Warcraft (two others from the US, one in Germany, and one in Japan) had all shared a similar desire to be able to procure one item or another that was illegal to purchase in their countries; they were also CE’s or other computer programmy types. I recall one person actually just wanted to be able to sell WoW accounts – not sure what that means – but it wasn’t allowed.
You may recall the darkweb platform known as “Silk Road”. So aptly named. I was always pleased that it had be designated as such. It was rumored that you could find “basically anything” on the platform – and the most legal way for any transaction to occur would be unfinancial; undebatable; and untraceable.
They had figured that you could simply exchange a token, since it wasn’t “money”, there was not technically any money exchanged, ergo no purchase or sale. Predictably there was the problem with trust and the fact that the token was worthless outside of the internet; the team applied a similar thought to how the World of Warcraft servers check the players in a game to make sure they are all within a relative time frame to ensure there is no cheating. And so, the “Mining” validation protocol idea was born.
There was a very rudimentary script existent in 2005 and it was developed over the next few years into what is now known as Bitcoin. The most remarkable thing to me, was that I had basically forgotten about the whole event until I was taking a class in business school some 8 years later, in 2013, and Bitcoin was brought up.
“Oh yea, I am pretty familiar.” I told the professor, “A friend told me about that in 2005 but I had no idea that it was anything that was widely used.” But until recently, I hadn’t realized that the dates didn’t quite line up, and that’s when the puzzle started to come together.
Oh, and by the way… ANTONOMASIA… the additional letters were just fillers to add some confusion.
Cheers, and Good Luck