[Cryptography] Pre-release version of Bitcoin whitepaper

James Evans iamjamesevans at gmail.com
Mon Feb 9 14:29:50 EST 2015

Prior to the release of the Bitcoin whitepaper on October 31, 2008, Satoshi
sent out a draft to Wei Dai. The emails they exchanged are archived here :

Does anyone have a copy of this pre-release draft? It would be fascinating
to see. In it the name Bitcoin is not yet used. Here is a copy of the

Title: Electronic Cash Without a Trusted Third Party

Abstract: A purely peer-to-peer version of electronic cash would allow
online payments to be sent directly from one party to another without the
burdens of going through a financial institution. Digital signatures offer
part of the solution, but the main benefits are lost if a trusted party is
still required to prevent double-spending. We propose a solution to the
double-spending problem using a peer-to-peer network. The network
timestamps transactions by hashing them into an ongoing chain of hash-based
proof-of-work, forming a record that cannot be changed without redoing the
proof-of-work. The longest chain not only serves as proof of the sequence
of events witnessed, but proof that it came from the largest pool of CPU
power. As long as honest nodes control the most CPU power on the network,
they can generate the longest chain and outpace any attackers. The network
itself requires minimal structure. Messages are broadcasted on a best
effort basis, and nodes can leave and rejoin the network at will, accepting
the longest proof-of-work chain as proof of what happened while they were

James Evans
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