Internet and Bitcoin Creations Share Similar Origin

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  • The Bitcoin creation story mirrors the internet creation story in several ways
  • Sir Tim Berners-Lee is credited by man as being the internet’s creator, but he was the visionary who pulled existing technologies together
  • Satoshi Nakamoto created Bitcoin in a very similar manner

Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the man most commonly heralded as the inventor of the internet, recently auctioned off an NFT of the source code that brought the internet to the public for $5.4 million. The story of the creation of the internet isn’t about one man however, and looking into the history of the internet we can see parallels with the creation of Bitcoin.

Internet Creation Utilized Several Existing Technologies

The internet was not the creation of one man in that no single individual came up with all the various concepts and technologies that went into bringing it to life. Instead it emerged on the back of various technologies, each building on the work of the other, until a public face arrived in the 1990s with the world’s first web browser, WorldWideWeb, by Sir Tim Berners-Lee.

While Berners-Lee is often seen as the ‘inventor of the internet’, the fact is that he was the man who pulled all the technologies together and used them to create the version of the internet that we know and, generally, love today. Sound familiar?

The internet can trace its birth back to the early 1960s when the idea of a series of connected computers was technologically viable. The Department of Defense-funded ARPANET was the first legitimate effort to achieve this, using the concept of packet switching invented by Paul Baran, which was built on by Robert Kahn and Vinton Cerf who created the TCP/IP communications model. However, it wasn’t until Berners-Lee created an accessible front for the new technology that the concept of a public internet really took off.

Bitcoin Creation Borrowed on Existing Tech

The Bitcoin creation story is very much like the internet creation story in that Satoshi Nakamoto did not create all the elements that went into Bitcoin himself. Rather he built on technologies and prior attempts at digital cash from cypherpunks and packaged them together in just the right way to come up with Bitcoin.

Bitcoin is a jigsaw puzzle built from pieces of Adam Back’s HashCash, We Dai’s B-Money, Nick Szabo’s Bitgold and more, using technologies such as Phil Zimmerman’s PGP encryption and Hal Finney’s Proof of Work system. It took someone with Nakamoto’s vision to package all these developments together into the perfect combination, with some genius-level design of his own thrown in, to give us the Bitcoin that we know, and, generally, love today.