[ExI] Fwd: Bitcoin el salvador?

spike at rainier66.com spike at rainier66.com
Mon Sep 6 16:11:12 UTC 2021

...> On Behalf Of Giulio Prisco via extropy-chat
Subject: Re: [ExI] Fwd: Bitcoin el salvador?

On Mon, Sep 6, 2021 at 1:28 PM spike jones via extropy-chat <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

>>... Hal took the idea that a number could be worth a pile of money, then somehow worked out a way to harness it to blockchain to establish ownership of that number, perhaps Hal using some of his Hal magic, and a few years later, BitCoin was born.  ...

>...Well I really hope Hal was a Bitcoin billionaire (at today's exchange) and his family is now enjoying his deserved wealth, perhaps also supporting some worthy causes. Here's to Hal!

Do you guys remember Wei Dai, Robin Hanson and Nick Szabo?  Those three were once on ExI-chat and were active in Extropians.  I think Wei Dai came to Extro5 in San Jose or Extro4 in Berkeley, I don't recall now.  Hal, Wei Dai, Robin Hanson and Nick Szabo were the ring leaders in that digital currency offlist group.

I have long wondered (and Hal never denied or confirmed) that "Satoshi Nakamoto" was really a pseudonym for that group, mostly led by Nick, Wei Dai, Robin Hanson and Hal.  It could be I flatter myself imagining that I could be about a tenth of Satoshi Nakamoto, and yet still manage to misunderstand completely what BitCoin was all about.

Reasoning: I loved the discussion and participated in it often, kicking in suggestions mostly from my experience with Prime95 organized under GIMPS, the Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search.  What I thought Hal was trying to do was come up with a means for online gamers to exchange currencies in their favorite online games.  If one guy plays Civilization 9 and the other guy plays Duke Nukem as their primary entertainment, but both play both games and both have some form of online currency, I thought Hal wanted to create a means to interface where Civ bucks could be converted to Nukem bucks and vice versa.  But I don't play online games.

Note that about that time, Robin Hanson's Ideas Futures was going strong.  Robin was the founder and issuer of IDF play money.  Also note that Robin Hanson himself proposed a prediction: a legal real-money version of Ideas Futures would come into being.  He bought and held most of the real-money shares of that prediction himself.  We began to debate in our IDF offlist group if Robin would try to argue that if one feller gave another feller 5 bucks (the kind with Lincoln's picture on it) in exchange for 5000 IDF bucks, that counts as real-money IDF.  In a sense it does.

While we were debating that, Robin created an actual legal real-money version of Ideas Futures, which still exists, even though most of that migrated over to a dozen copy-cat sites.  The Robin could legitimately hoover-up all those IDF play-money bucks from people who bet against him.

All that happened right in the timeframe where I think Hal, Robin, Wei Dai and Nick Szabo were cooking up BitCoin, and I believe they (collectively) are Satoshi Nakamoto.


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