Now that we are in 2021, it is still unclear whether Satoshi Nakamoto made Bitcoin on his own or with the help of others, and it is not even clear whether the nickname belongs to a group of developers. However, after Bitcoin launched on January 9, 2009, Nakamoto began improving its software with feedback and comments from others.
One of those people is Dustin D. Traml was one of the first cyberpunks to download the official version of Bitcoin and extract this digital currency. Tramel is a computer security researcher specializing in virtual security. In addition to talking to Satoshi and offering suggestions for improving bitcoin, he also received some bitcoins from the creator of this digital currency.
Recently, the Brazilian Quintel Telegraph spoke to Trammel about the early days of bitcoin, an interview that now seems more necessary than ever, given that Bitcoin has reached a record price of $ 61,000.
What was the atmosphere like before the advent of bitcoin and how did you become acquainted with bitcoin?
I’m not really sure … My acquaintance with digital currencies literally happened when Satoshi sent bitcoin documents to his email list. Until then, most of my experience with alternative currencies had been gained through metal-backed physical currencies, such as the Liberty Dollar.
I was pursuing an encrypted email list solely because of my relative interest in information security, focusing mainly on things like new algorithms, attacks on algorithms, as well as weaknesses in algorithms.
I had not spoken to Satoshi before the release of the Bitcoin documentation. The first version I was able to review and run was the public version, which was released a few months later. Yes, I used the first general version and all subsequent versions.
I immediately started finding bugs and asking questions that led to emails I posted through my blog. I remember being on the SourceForge list because I wanted to keep up with the bitcoin development process, but I never posted anything there. I was subscribed to the Bitcoin-Development and Bitcoin-List lists, but from my email history it appears that I did not subscribe to them, at least not until 2013 or 2014. I do not remember being in the IRC channel or the basic bitcoin forum. But after building BitcoinTalk, I joined it.
What was the extraction like at that time? Did you think it was a study and research, or did you ever believe that Bitcoin could become the currency it is today?
The extraction or mining process was very easy, but I did not realize in the first few days that you had to go to the settings and enable mining specifically. As soon as this was done, the race began. So at first we spent a few days running the software but I was not mining. But then you could start mining with one of the common processors, and you could get between a few blocks a day to one block every few days, depending on the processing power available to you.
Given my interest in alternative currencies and information security, I was definitely interested in this project and it seemed promising, but at the time I was not thinking about these days and what Bitcoin has evolved into. If I had thought about that, I would have saved a lot more bitcoins.
I used to run other “extra processing power” programs like SETI @ home on my computer. So I thought I could dedicate some extra computers to bitcoin mining and contribute to the currency network with my extra processing power.
At that time, I usually sent bitcoins to myself and transferred the mines mined with several different computers to a single wallet. I do not remember sending a coin to anyone until a few years later, not least as long as each bitcoin was worth more than $ 0. Satoshi sent me a few coins only once through my IP address.
The coins were shipped with the bitcoin address in the blockchain, but for sending via IP, the client connected to that IP and requested the destination bitcoin address. He then sent Quinn through China to the same address. Satoshi’s client connected directly to my client in the same way, and my client simply sent him the next available address.
From then on, I forgot about mining and bitcoin for a year or two and was not very aware of what was going on in the project. During that time, the value of bitcoin fell from zero to about $ 9. When the news of the use of Bitcoin on the Silk Road broke, I paid attention again. That’s probably when I joined the other mailing lists.
Do you think Satoshi had any experience in making electronic cash before Bitcoin?
I’m not sure, but probably not. They seem to have combined different technologies and concepts to make bitcoin. I’m not sure if you have worked specifically on a digital currency before, you can achieve this level of transparency and lack of bias. I think you need some kind of outside perspective to do that.
Looking back, Satoshi did not seem to be trying to solve a technical problem, but rather to solve a social problem. A long-standing problem in the traditional financial system. At the time, however, they were heavily focused on their technology, and so philosophical details may be overlooked by those who did not pay enough attention.
Do you think Bitcoin has found its “formula” to achieve its value, or has it simply become an asset to be invested by the same “bankers” and governments that cyberpunks once opposed?
Yes, today I truly believe that Bitcoin has the potential to become the next largest booking asset in the world. The currency has already taken over the Internet: Alternative coins are also traded globally against Bitcoin.
Bitcoin has proven financial rules and network effects to soar in the face of unlimited belongings. The new financial system built on the bitcoin foundation is supposed to surpass the old systems in terms of performance, and these systems have virtually no choice but to seize bitcoin. This is called Finance 2.0.
I think it’s a little late for bankers and governments now, unless they get into this world very quickly. Most of the available bitcoins are now distributed, and the remaining resources are dwindling rapidly. They have to buy bitcoins from the current owners and most of us have no interest in selling our bitcoins. This also leads to higher prices for printed money. The first central bank to print traditional money to buy bitcoin wins.
Did you imagine that one day we would have such an industry around Bitcoin?
Yes, I saw the potential for bitcoin to grow, and at the time there was talk of scalability and the idea of two-tier solutions, but bitcoin has now become much broader than I initially expected.
I wish I still had most of the bitcoins I mined. I had a lot of bitcoins. I spent a lot of time introducing and promoting bitcoin. I bought a lot of Cassius and Bitcoin coins and distributed them for free at hacker conferences and computer security. I gave bitcoin to practically anyone who accepted bitcoin.
I also bought a lot of things with Bitcoin, from real estate and cars to various electronic devices. I have different opinions about other projects and their potentials. I try to approach them with an open mind and accept the philosophical and technical backgrounds of each. For example, I like Atrium, but this currency is not decentralized and it is awful money. Atrium was not supposed to be money, and there were no rules. Atrium is basically a token that allows you to access different things in the Atrium network.
I have some atrium because sometimes I want to do things on the Atrium network, like participating in the cryptographic art movement or NFT, which is an interesting thing. But I do not hold the atrium as capital or money, because there is no law that makes it a stable and predictable currency. I only keep enough atrium to do what I want on the network.
I think the decentralized economy still has a long way to go and needs to address the security issues and bugs associated with digital contract systems in the audit firm. For now, I prefer to stick to the first decentralized finance project, Bitcoin.
What happens to Satoshi? Do they think they still have access to bitcoin and continue to develop it, or have they really left everything to chance?
I have no idea. My best guess is that Satoshi has lost the first security keys so that in the future he will not want to reveal his identity, or he has forgotten them … Maybe Satoshi is dead too. We had several prominent candidates who could have been Satoshi and now they are dead. But Satoshi is definitely not Craig Wright.