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Bitcoin's Academic Pedigree

The concept of cryptocurrencies is built from forgotten ideas in research literature.
Arvind Narayanan, Jeremy Clark
Erstpublikation in: acmqueue | july-august 2017
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The history described here offers rich (and complementary) lessons for practitioners and academics. Practitioners should be skeptical of claims of revolutionary technology. As shown here, most of the ideas in bitcoin that have generated excitement in the enterprise, such as distributed ledgers and Byzantine agreement, actually date back 20 years or more. Recognize that your problem may not require any breakthroughs— there may be longforgotten solutions in research papers.
Von Arvind Narayanan, Jeremy Clark im Text Bitcoin's Academic Pedigree (2017)
If you've read about bitcoin in the press and have some familiarity with academic research in the field of cryptography, you might reasonably come away with the following impression: Several decades' worth of research on digital cash, beginning with David Chaum, did not lead to commercial success because it required a centralized, banklike server controlling the system, and no banks wanted to sign on. Along came bitcoin, a radically different proposal for a decentralized cryptocurrency that didn't need the banks, and digital cash finally succeeded. Its inventor, the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto, was an academic outsider, and bitcoin bears no resemblance to earlier academic proposals.
This article challenges that view by showing that nearly all of the technical components of bitcoin originated in the academic literature of the 1980s and '90s. This is not to diminish Nakamoto's achievement but to point out that he stood on the shoulders of giants. Indeed, by tracing the origins of the ideas in bitcoin, we can zero in on Nakamoto's true leap of insight—the specific, complex way in which the underlying components are put together. This helps explain why bitcoin took so long to be invented. Readers already familiar with how bitcoin works may gain a deeper understanding from this historical presentation. (For an introduction, see Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Technologies by Arvind Narayanan et al.) Bitcoin's intellectual history also serves as a case study demonstrating the relationships among academia, outside researchers, and practitioners, and offers lessons on how these groups can benefit from one another.
Von Arvind Narayanan, Jeremy Clark im Text Bitcoin's Academic Pedigree (2017)

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Anonymitätanonymity, bitcoin, blockchain, Internetinternet, Kryptographiecryptography, Vertrauentrust


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