Bitcoin Whitepaper: A Comprehensive Explanation

There is no denying that Bitcoin is one of the most innovative technologies of the last decade. Offering a censorship-resistant asset that is digitally scarce is revolutionary.

But you may be wondering, where did this idea come from and who wrote the thesis?

This is where the Bitcoin whitepaper comes into play. Published over a decade ago it is a 9-page digital manifesto detailing the plans and specifications of Bitcoin.

In this article, I will be covering all aspects of the Bitcoin whitepaper including who wrote it. So without further ado, let’s jump right in.

What is the Bitcoin Whitepaper?

The Bitcoin whitepaper is a document outlining the core thesis of the Bitcoin protocol. Titled Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System it certainly had grand plans.

Published in 2008 by the pseudo-anonymous founder Satoshi Nakamoto it outlines Bitcoins’ technical specifications, motivations, and plans.

More specifically, it outlined Bitcoins goal of being a new form of money. This included the technical outline of its peer to peer structure, privacy details and the basics of proof of work.

What is the core thesis of the Bitcoin Whitepaper?

To summarize the document. It outlined the general thesis of Bitcoin being a decentralized digital currency, one without a third party or central authority controlling it.

This idea was proposed in hopes of creating a truly censorship-resistant currency that was more democratic by dispersing power among a large network of participants.

Bitcoin is secured by a network of computers known as nodes who validate transactions to ensure they are correct. Transactions in the network are ultimately peer-to-peer and are based on “cryptographic proof instead of trust”.

The aim was to give financial power back to the individual by removing middlemen. Ultimately, transfers are outside the control of banks. Not to mention it states that “transactions that are computationally impractical to reverse would protect sellers from fraud”.

In other words, transactions are immutable meaning they cannot be edited or changed therefore preventing manipulation.

Moreover, the document outlines how Bitcoin prevents double-spending by providing a complete ledger of transactions that are chronologically documented. This prevents users from spending the same funds twice.

Overall, the Bitcoin whitepaper outlines the aim of being a trustless electronic currency that is transferred among a peer to peer network.

Who wrote the Bitcoin Whitepaper?

As mentioned previously the Bitcoin white paper was written by Satoshi Nakamoto. Satoshi was the pseudonymous creator who developed the reference implementation and also authored the original whitepaper.

Sadly, little is known about him. However, based on forum posts by the founder he stated that he was a 37-year-old man residing in Japan. Satoshi was actively developing Bitcoin until December 2010.

The last known message from Satoshi was sent on April 26 2011 to one of his colleagues known as Gavin Andresen. Since then he has remained anonymous.

In one of his last messages, he stated,

I’ve moved on to other things. It’s in good hands with Gavin and everyone. 

Due to the little information we have, the identity of Satoshi is largely based on speculation. Some think he was a group of individuals whereas others think he was the cryptographic developer known as Hal Finney.

When was the Bitcoin Whitepaper submitted?

The Bitcoin whitepaper was submitted in October 2008. Satoshi sent this document through the online cryptography mailing list known as

It was also published on the domain named

Where to find the Bitcoin whitepaper?

The bitcoin whitepaper can be found on multiple websites. These include,, and

Moreover, it is stored on the blockchain under the transaction 54e48e5f5c656b26c3bca14a8c95aa583d07ebe84dde3b7dd4a78f4e4186e713. This can be decoded on the blockchain by following these instructions.

Unfortunately, the original website registered by the original developers known as does not have the original document anymore.

If you want to view this article in a more visual format then please check out my video below:


As you can see, the Bitcoin whitepaper was the original manifesto for Bitcoin’s emergence as a decentralized digital currency. It detailed the plans and specifications of this new technology and it is still referenced to this day.

I hope you found this article useful and thanks for reading it. Want to know why the 21 million Bitcoin limit is important? Click here to read my previous article.