"Lost Bitcoin is a Donation": Best Quotes by Satoshi Nakamoto

Although the real identity of Satoshi Nakamoto, a mysterious creator of Bitcoin, could well remain a mystery forever, his words are still closely read and religiously followed by many Bitcoin enthusiasts. However, there is an extensive list of forum posts the Bitcoin creator penned while Satoshi still worked on the project that many still follow. Now, the Satoshi Nakamoto Institute has collected those quotes and organized them into topics for everyone to read.

Source: iStock/supermimicry

The Satoshi Nakamoto Institute, founded in November 2013, is looking to “learn from the past and build toward the future, through scholarship, community, and coding.” This includes archiving writings, publishing research papers related to the industry as well as sharing ideas and concepts.

Some of the quotes include:

  • On the topic of government:

“Governments are good at cutting off the heads of a centrally controlled networks like Napster, but pure P2P networks like Gnutella and Tor seem to be holding their own.”

  • On banks:

"Banks must be trusted to hold our money and transfer it electronically, but they lend it out in waves of credit bubbles with barely a fraction in reserve. We have to trust them with our privacy, trust them not to let identity thieves drain our accounts. Their massive overhead costs make micropayments impossible."

  • On cryptocurrencies and what could cause failure:

“A lot of people automatically dismiss e-currency as a lost cause because of all the companies that failed since the 1990's. I hope it's obvious it was only the centrally controlled nature of those systems that doomed them. I think this is the first time we're trying a decentralized, non-trust-based system.”

  • On motives and quotability:

“It's very attractive to the libertarian viewpoint if we can explain it properly. I'm better with code than with words though.”

"Yes, but we can win a major battle in the arms race and gain a new territory of freedom for several years."

  • On trusted third parties:

“Commerce on the Internet has come to rely almost exclusively on financial institutions serving as trusted third parties to process electronic payments. While the system works well enough for most transactions, it still suffers from the inherent weaknesses of the trust based model.”

  • On crypto adoption:

"Writing a description for this thing for general audiences is bloody hard. There's nothing to relate it to."

“I would be surprised if 10 years from now we’re not using electronic currency in some way, now that we know a way to do it that won’t inevitably get dumbed down when the trusted third party gets cold feet.”

"Bitcoin would be convenient for people who don't have a credit card or don't want to use the cards they have, either don't want the spouse to see it on the bill or don't trust giving their number to "porn guys", or afraid of recurring billing."

  • On Bitcoin economics and lost bitcoins:

“Lost coins only make everyone else's coins worth slightly more. Think of it as a donation to everyone.”

"It might make sense just to get some in case it catches on. If enough people think the same way, that becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. Once it gets bootstrapped, there are so many applications if you could effortlessly pay a few cents to a website as easily as dropping coins in a vending machine."

"I'm sure that in 20 years there will either be very large transaction volume or no volume."

  • On Bitcoin vs stock:

“Bitcoins have no dividend or potential future dividend, therefore not like a stock. More like a collectible or commodity.”

  • On the Bitcoin Design:

"How does everyone feel about the B symbol with the two lines through the outside? Can we live with that as our logo?"

The project needs to grow gradually so the software can be strengthened along the way. I make this appeal to WikiLeaks not to try to use Bitcoin. Bitcoin is a small beta community in its infancy.

  • On mining:

"The requirement is that the good guys collectively have more CPU proof-of-worker than any single attacker."

"The Bitcoin network might actually reduce spam by diverting zombie farms to generating bitcoins instead."

"We should have a gentleman's agreement to postpone the GPU arms race as long as we can for the good of the network. It's much easer to get new users up to speed if they don't have to worry about GPU drivers and compatibility. It's nice how anyone with just a CPU can compete fairly equally right now."

  • On identity:

"I am not Dorian Nakamoto."


If you want to read more, head over to the Satoshi Nakamoto Institute to learn about the person (or people) behind all this. And remember: when in doubt, ask yourself: what would Satoshi Nakamoto do?