Who is/was Satoshi?

This blog entry is mainly a placeholder to store some links and idle speculation.

As a topic it’s interesting for the same reason all detective stories are interesting, a human desire to know ‘whodunnit’.

There is one fact(?) which is that Hal Finney received the first Bitcoin transaction from Satoshi to his wallet (shown above), and we can see that from an archived article written by journalist Andy Greenberg who met Hal shortly before he died who was shown a screenshot of Hal’s (only?) Bitcoin wallet. If you validate the addresses on the explorer they check out.

Beyond this it rapidly gets very murky. In the cast of characters around at Bitcoin’s early inception there are at least two or three others who are interesting (possibly more if we include Craig). The relationship between Nick Szabo and Hal stands out, they both commented on each others blogs frequently, across a range of economic, political and game theory topics.

Adam Back (the originator of hash cash) comments on the blog post that supposedly ‘outs’ Nick.

Adam’s comments above, if taken at face value would seem to rule out him and Wei from consideration, and implies that Nick’s proposal was not the way Bitcoin was designed (there is the fact of Nick’s blog posts being edited post Bitcoin, see URL versus date stamps).

Nick explores a lot of concepts that relate very closely to Bitcoin, for example Smart Contracts, Secure Time, Tamper Evident Numbers, and some which are more tangential.

Dave Kleiman was certainly working in the space. However it’s much harder to find hard evidence that Dave was working on the specifics that fed into this solution, beyond general comments on crypto mailing lists.

But lets come back later to Gwern Branwen, who seems to be linked to them all and who in this post nicely encapsulates why the cockroach survived.

More to come…

Interesting links

TechCrunch article: Who is the real….

Blog post: Satoshi is probably….

Unenumerated Blog Post: Bit Gold

OvercomingBias: Hal Finney Author Archives


Hashcash Whitepaper

Gwern Bran­wen‘s write up is very interesting and leads into Wei Dei’s AMA…

Interesting links

Geralomo Cardano

Looking for Cardano on Wikipedia leads you to this entry:

Gerolamo (also Girolamo[3] or Geronimo[4]Cardano (Italian: [dʒeˈrɔlamo karˈdano]; French: Jérôme CardanLatinHieronymus Cardanus; 24 September 1501 – 21 September 1576) was an Italian polymath, whose interests and proficiencies ranged from being a mathematician, physicianbiologistphysicistchemistastrologerastronomer, philosopher, writer, and gambler.[5] He was one of the most influential mathematicians of the Renaissance, and was one of the key figures in the foundation of probability and the earliest introducer of the binomial coefficients and the binomial theorem in the Western world. He wrote more than 200 works on science.[6]

Cardano partially invented and described several mechanical devices including the combination lock, the gimbal consisting of three concentric rings allowing a supported compass or gyroscope to rotate freely, and the Cardan shaft with universal joints, which allows the transmission of rotary motion at various angles and is used in vehicles to this day. He made significant contributions to hypocycloids, published in De proportionibus, in 1570. The generating circles of these hypocycloids were later named Cardano circles or cardanic circles and were used for the construction of the first high-speed printing presses.[7]

Today, he is well known for his achievements in algebra. In his 1545 book Ars Magna, he made the first systematic use of negative numbers in Europe, published with attribution the solutions of other mathematicians for the cubic and quartic equations, and acknowledged the existence of imaginary numbers.

Always wondered where the inspiration for the name was from. Explains why Charles was talking about using Geralomo as a product name too…

P.S. There’s now a Cardano Cryptocurrency page on Wikipedia too. Good to see that got fixed.

Interesting links

The Bitcoin Life Raft

Raoul Pal (ex Goldman’s and CEO of Realvision) knows finance. He makes an interesting case for why BTC will increase in value in the next 5 years. Along the way he touches on important topics of monetary and fiscal policy and how the IMF and Central banks may look to use digital currencies to address some of the issues with the current system.

At ADAvault we also think we will see BTC heading towards a reserve currency role in the mid term (Metcalfe’s law will help here plus the fact it already performs that role in the crypto space).

However we see a larger role for other cryptos to deliver economic identity and enable access to financial services for the unbanked. There are stronger candidates to provide specific capabilities, for example smart contracts, for reasons explored in other blog posts.

Long but worth watching in full.

Interesting links

Future of Blockchain in Africa

Nice interview from Charles on Future of Blockchain Innovation in Africa recently posted on You Tube. Relevant and of interest given IOHK goals to increase Cardano adoption globally and specifically in Africa.

Cardano Updates

Goguen: The Third Era

Update from Emurgo on Goguen in this Blog post which looks into how this phase will bring Cardano close to completion:

Goguen could be the most important release for the Cardano blockchain network. This phase will introduce many new and exciting features – most notably smart contracts, which will open up a lot more tangible opportunities of development for both developers and enterprises wanting to leverage Cardano’s blockchain network. This will also enable the Cardano community as well as businesses to use their creativity to develop valued services and solutions. As we approach the release of Goguen, there are a ton of great updates and facets to unpack.

Good to see a shift to greater comms and marketing as the project moves towards the final phases. Check it out here:


Cardano Global Adoption

At ADAvault we use Cloudflare for DDoS protection and CDN caching. An interesting byproduct of this that we get data for use of the Daedalus wallet access on a per country basis. This is because the wallet checks the json files on our site for data on the ADV stake pool, and therefore this gives us a proxy measure for adoption of cardano globally.

Adoption rates are highest in the US, Canada, UK, Germany, Japan, Australia and South Korea. Overall there is a pretty impressive coverage globally, but still some room for progress in Africa where the Cardano Foundation have plans to boost adoption.

This ability will stop with the rollout of SMASH in Daedalus 2.3.0 as all data will be routed centrally via IOHK or community servers:

With this Daedalus update, stake pool off-chain data (name, ticker symbol, homepage, and description) is obtained from the IOHK stake pool metadata aggregation server (SMASH). Previously, Daedalus obtained off-chain stake pool data individually from each stake pool, which was time consuming and error-prone. In a future upgrade, Daedalus wallet users will be able to choose an alternative server in the configuration and access any community server of their choice.

It’s a sensible change, the current structure allows for a number of potential privacy and security attacks.

Cardano Updates

Marlowe Update

Great blog post from Professor Simon Thomson at IOHK on Marlowe which will bring industry scale finance contracts to Cardano:

In this post, we introduce Marlowe, a new language for financial contracts, and describe the benefits of it being a domain-specific language (DSL). As a DSL it describes only financial contracts, rather than smart contracts in general. Because of this, it differs from general-purpose blockchain languages like Solidity and Bitcoin Script.

Marlowe is industry-scale. We have built Marlowe contracts based on examples from one of the leading projects for financial smart contracts, the Algorithmic Contract Types Unified Standards (Actus) system. Currently, these and other examples can be seen in the Marlowe Playground, a browser-based environment in which users can create, edit, simulate, and analyse Marlowe contracts, without having to install or pay for anything.

Really nice to see the pace of delivery from IOHK and the Cardano Foundation being maintained as we go through 2020.

You can try out the Marlowe playground here in your browser, for use cases such as escrow, options and swaps. It’s the alpha version but already looking impressive with a very clean UI design and intuitive UX.

2021 is shaping up to be a really exciting time for this project.

Cardano Updates

Cardano Node 1.21.1 Released

From the release notes:

This release includes support in the cardano-cli for multi-signature addresses and transactions. It also resolves a problem that has been affecting pool operators at the 48-hour mark within each epoch. It has various other minor improvements and fixes detailed below.

The “Live View” mode for the Cardano node is being deprecated in favour of a new external “RT View” (RT for real-time) monitoring tool which is cross-platform and has a richer browser-based interface. The new RT View component will be released separately. The Live View mode is still available in this release of the node, but will be removed in a future release.

One of the bugs fixed is:

Fixed a bug in the calculation of the pool stake fraction reported in the stake pool query used by wallets (#1880)

This may be relevant for the relatively lower ADV ranking in Daedalus compared to Yoroi and ADApools.

We’ve run in soak test on the passive cluster, no issues detected so have cut the active ADAvault stake pool cluster across for the remainder of Epoch 222.

Interesting links

New version of Daedalus

A new version 2.3.0 of the wallet is available. From the release notes:

The Daedalus 2.3.0 release delivers automatic updates, removing the need for manually downloading Daedalus installers in the future. This release also brings improvements to the delegation user experience with improved stake pool ranking and off-chain data aggregation server (SMASH).

Daedalus is now capable of automatically downloading and initiating updates, which means that future Daedalus updates will be delivered through this mechanism. There is no longer any need for manually downloading Daedalus installers from the Daedalus website. 

A green dot in the Newsfeed section of the user interface will indicate that a Daedalus update is available. The download will start automatically. Once the download is complete, the system will prompt you to quit Daedalus and start the installation by clicking a button. 

Strangely the initial test we have performed suggests that the ADV ranking is still #173 in Daedalus compared to #51 in Yoroi and Adapools at the time of writing. Will update if it changes…

Interesting links

Singularity Net

If you love AI and you love Cardano you’ll love this….