In a post dated 21 years ago, Satoshi Nakamoto, the presumed pseudonymous person or the person who developed Bitcoin, has discussed “ecash”, which is a payment system existing before Bitcoin.
The post published on the Cypherpunks mailing list has led to a wild speculation if it was posted by Nakamoto.
Anyway, the publication highlighted the “ecash”; the payment system that is forerunner of Bitcoin.
Ecash is an e-cash network developed in 1983 by David Chaum. The network was developed like Bitcoin as an encrypted payment system utilizing cryptography.
Released in 1983, the ecash paper stated that banks would be asked to sign “electronic money” online, which would be used by users. The signatures were rendered using an ecash feature, named “Blinding.”
Briefly, the ecash was adopted in a US bank by Chaum’s firm, Digicash, between 1995 and 1998. Unlike its counterpart, the system has been centralized and depended on bank involvement in its activity.
Nakamoto criticizes double spending
Nakamoto reportedly commented on the centralization of the ecash. The system’s whitepaper highlighted the issue of double spending, which BTC solved later. Nakamoto also criticized the system as the cash would be useless because of the government’s intervention overnight.
“I wouldn’t say ecash has to use blinding, but I would argue it would be a misuse of the word “ecash”, if something which was revocable were dubbed ecash.”
The author of the paper went on to clarify that the issue of double spending could be fixed without the intervention of a central agency. In a rather close manner to Nakamoto, the author said:
“One possibility is to make the double-spending database public. Whenever someone receives a coin they broadcast its value. The DB (database) operates in parallel across a large number of servers so it is intractable to shut it down.”
Proposals for improving ecash
The author offered two proposals for improving the ecash system. He also highlighted the ‘b-money’ created by Wei Dai, as well as ‘Hashcash’ invented by Adam Back:
“Another possible form of ecash could be based on Wei Dai’s b-money. This is like hashcash, something which represents a measurable amount of computational work to produce. It therefore can’t be forged. This could be a very robust payment system and is worth pursuing further.”
Speculations about Nakamoto’s identity
This is not the first time the crypto community speculates the identity of the Bitcoin’s creator. A research conducted by Monero Outreach related Nakamoto to the whitepaper and creation of Monero. They claimed that the creator of Monero Nicolas van Saberhagen and Nakamoto is the same person.