I confess that I only got interested in the Blockchain at a late stage, in 2013 – 2014, while the first Bitcoin transaction
happened four years earlier, in 2009. I was first curious, intrigued,
then very skeptical I confess, and finally …”whao!” I was subjugated by
the complexity of its mathematical model
and its potential applications. I dug into my applied maths
and cryptography courses to try to understand this technology that
is both extremely simple in principle, and fascinatingly complex
in its implementation and applications. We must be humble: the blockchain is a
very difficult technology to understand in depth. Trying to trace the first works on the
blockchain, that is cryptographically secured chains of blocks, we can go back to the “hash trees”, which were invented by Ralph Merkle in 1979.
Then, the first concepts of virtual money were born in 1999, with the B-money
of Wei Dai, then in 2005 with the Bit Gold of Nick Szabo.
And yet, the genesis of Bitcoin goes back to October 2008:
on an obscure forum of cypherpunks, mathematicians and geeks passionate
about cryptography, an anonymous author having for pseudonym
Satoshi Nakamoto published there a 9-page article, the famous
“Bitcoin White Paper”.
This mythical article accurately described the protocol of operation of Bitcoin,
and it already sketched with a formidable realism what the
implications would be. Bitcoin was born! Three months later, the community
of cypherpunks had already implemented the code of
Satoshi and, on January 3rd, 2009, the first transaction in Bitcoin
(the famous “Bloc Genesis”) was executed.