Bitcoin P2P e-cash paper

The original article was published on Cryptography Mailing List written by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008.

I’ve been working on a new electronic cash system that’s fullypeer-to-peer, with no trusted third party.

The paper is available at:

The main properties:

  • Double-spending is prevented with a peer-to-peer network.
  • No mint or other trusted parties.
  • Participants can be anonymous.
  • New coins are made from Hashcash style proof-of-work.
  • The proof-of-work for new coin generation also powers the network to prevent double-spending.

Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System


A purely peer-to-peer version of electronic cash wouldallow online payments to be sent directly from one party to anotherwithout the burdens of going through a financial institution.

Digital signatures provide part of the solution, but the mainbenefits are lost if a trusted party is still required to preventdouble-spending.

We propose a solution to the double-spendingproblem using a peer-to-peer network. The network timestampstransactions by hashing them into an ongoing chain of hash-basedproof-of-work, forming a record that cannot be changed withoutredoing the proof-of-work.

The longest chain not only serves asproof of the sequence of events witnessed, but proof that it camefrom the largest pool of CPU power.

As long as honest nodes controlthe most CPU power on the network, they can generate the longestchain and outpace any attackers.

The network itself requiresminimal structure.

Messages are broadcasted on a best effort basis,and nodes can leave and rejoin the network at will, accepting thelongest proof-of-work chain as proof of what happened while theywere gone.

Full paper at:

Satoshi Nakamoto


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