Cryptocurrency backers discussed an early version of the original Bitcoin source code that surfaced this week. An old letter and briefing letter from Satoshi say that before the network started on January 3, 2009, a private version of the code was distributed to some people.
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The pre-release version of Bitcoin and a discarded Genesis block with a completely different hash
Bitcoiners have been talking about Satoshi Nakamoto's original Bitcoin source code in the last few hours and whether the pseudonym creator has distributed a private version to others before the official launch. The discussion started on March 13 with the well-known BTC advocate Francis Pouliot divided a very old version of the source code from Satoshi and a letter from the creator, in which he sent the "main files" to James A. Donald. "I sent you the main files (currently available on request, soon to be fully released)," Nakamoto said on November 17, 2008.
In the source code distributed to the Bitcointalk.org member "Cryddit", there are some interesting findings in the probably first version of the Bitcoin code. The code mentions, for example, the term "Bitcoin Miner", in which it appears that Nakamoto first calls these subscribers miners. Interestingly, the term "miners" was not used in the original whitepaper – they are called "knots" throughout the text. Also, the term "blockchain" was really called "timechain," according to the Satoshi code given to Cryddit.
"The time chain is a tree-shaped structure, beginning with the genesis block at the root. Each block may display several candidates as the next block. pprev and pnext link a path through the main / longest chain. A block index can have multiple pprevs that reference it, but pnext only points to the longest branch or is null if the block is not part of the longest chain, "explains the source code.
The text continues:
Nodes collect new transactions in a block, hate them into a hash tree and scan through nonce values so that the hash of the block complies with the work record requirements. When they solve the proof-of-work, they send the block to everyone and the block is added to the timeline. The first transaction in the block is a special transaction where a new coin belonging to the creator of the block is created.
Another interesting find in the early code is the fact that Satoshi called the smaller units of Bitcoin "coin" (1,000,000) and "cent" (10,000), not "satoshis", as most people use today. There is also a text line about "Atoms" and "User Reviews", which refers to a rating system.
According to early Bitcoin developer Mike Hearn, Satoshi had intended to integrate a peer-to-peer (P2P) marketplace into the protocol, but the creator never completed the code and the idea was deferred. The source also has a discarded Genesis block in the code that has a completely different hash. Assuming that the hash was the first genesis test block, it was produced on September 10, 2008.
IRC client, P2P marketplace and a virtual poker game
In addition to the pre-release pre-release release on January 3, 2009, the original 0.1.0 bitcoin code also contains some intriguing details. For example, the original Bitcoin software included an IRC client to provide a simpler method of bootstrap messaging. Furthermore, the original repository that contained Bitcoin's 0.1.0 code also included the framework to create a virtual poker game that was added on April 16, 2008. After the official network launch, ideas like the P2P market and virtual poker never came to fruition. The IRC client remained a few versions, but after Bitcoin version 0.8.2, support for IRC bootstrapping has been completely removed.
Nobody knows why Satoshi has used certain definitions for Bitcoin terminology and why the creator has decided to abandon the P2P market and the poker application. The oldest evidence available for an operating version of Bitcoin 0.1.0 is a human readable debug protocol. Satoshi worked as Chief Maintainer on Bitcoin code until version 0.3.19, but left it in 2010 and handed over the reins to Gavin Andresen. The pre-distributed pre-launch code in 2009 is compelling, to say the least, as it provides insight into the spirit of Bitcoin's enigmatic creator and its world-changing technology.
What do you think of the pre-release source code and some of the terms used by Satoshi throughout the text? Please tell us what you think about this topic in the comments below.
Photo credits: Shutterstock, Twitter, Francis Pouliot, Bitcointalk.org and Pixabay.
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Satoshi's pre-release Bitcoin code contains some intriguing results that first appeared in Bitcoin News.