Almost a decade after Bitcoin was invented, the true identity of its creator – the pseudonymous Satoshi Nakamoto – is still unknown. But while its founder may remain a mystery, his or her vision for Bitcoin is not.
Nakamoto’s original White Paper, published in 2008, describes Bitcoin as “a peer-to-peer electronic cash system”, an “electronic coin” that would replace money transfers that are currently controlled by the financial system, and which would be almost immune to fraud.
Whoever Satoshi Nakamoto is – indeed, if they are even alive – the stash of Bitcoins they accumulated in its early days are now worth billions of dollars. But even as Bitcoin continues to break price records on an almost-daily basis, critics say it has strayed far from its original vision. The cryptocurrency (many disagree with the word itself) has proved to have almost no utility as a method of exchange.