[bitcoin-dev] Bitcoin XT Fork

Peter Todd pete at petertodd.org
Mon Aug 17 19:14:40 UTC 2015

On Mon, Aug 17, 2015 at 05:18:02PM +0000, Gregory Maxwell via bitcoin-dev wrote:
> On Mon, Aug 17, 2015 at 11:51 AM, Oliver Egginger via bitcoin-dev
> <bitcoin-dev at lists.linuxfoundation.org> wrote:
> > To avoid such discussions.
> You seem to be assuming that there is specific reason to believe the
> message is unauthentic.  This is not the case.
> Contrary to other poster's claims, if the message had been PGP signed
> that might, in fact, have arguably been weak evidence that it was
> unauthentic: no message from the system's creator that I (or
> apparently anyone) was aware of was ever signed with that key.


> A focus on the content is especially relevant because one of the core
> messages in the content is a request to eschew arguments from
> authority; which is perhaps the greatest challenge here: How can the
> founder of a system speak up to ask people to reject that kind of
> argument without implicitly endorsing that approach through their own
> act?

Something I only recently realised is that Satoshi's apparent policy(1)
of never making any cryptographically secure signatures to link together
his posts - or indeed any communication at all - fits well with the
avoidance of creating a central authority figure. Currently every single
thing Satoshi ever apparently wrote can only be linked together by
trusting third parties - email archives could have been hacked,
bitcointalk might have fake messages, etc. Obviously in practice we have
reasonable assurance that the same person or group was behind most of
the messages we now consider to be "from Satoshi", but ultimately
strictly speaking we can only take each message individually, for the
arguments contained within.

As you've often said, the biggest achievement by Satoshi in the creation
of Bitcoin was to create a system where the identity of the creator is a
mere historical footnote. We can probably go further, and state that
while doing so, Satoshi quite counter-intuitively took steps to avoid
even creating a pseudoanonymous identity.

1) "Does anyone have anything at all signed by Satoshi's PGP key?",
   Peter Todd, Sept 13, 2014, Bitcoin-development mailing list,

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