The first citation in Wikipedia's Bitcoin article is of Satoshi's original whitepaper. It is worded:

Nakamoto, Satoshi (24 May 2009). "Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System". Retrieved 20 December 2012.

Satoshi's whitepaper was released on 1 Nov 2008, not on 2009.

What am I missing here? Did anything relevant happen at 24 May 2009? Is this a factual error in the Wikipedia entry? (It's there for a long time, so it's not any recent vandalism).

2 Answers 2


It looks like a factual error. It was introduced in this edit. The editor should be contacted about what lead him to this information.

Also, the mailing list post was from Nov 1 and not 11 as you wrote.

  • 1
    Factual errors galore :) I'll edit the article.
    – ripper234
    Aug 20, 2013 at 8:27
  • 1. How did you find the exact edit btw? 2. Do you think the citation should be changed to the publication in the cryptography mailing list? (It took me some digging to find it, it's perhaps a better citation and it references the whitepaper itself)
    – ripper234
    Aug 20, 2013 at 8:30
  • 3. I see you contacted the author of the revision. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/…
    – ripper234
    Aug 20, 2013 at 8:32
  • 2
    @ripper234: 1. I manually did binary search on the history. I know of no better way and was successfully nerd-sniped. 2. The paper itself is a better citation for content. The mailing list archive is a better citation for history (e.g., "the Bitcoin whitepaper was first released on Nov 1 2008"). 3. I did. Aug 20, 2013 at 11:20
  • 1
    @ripper234 Mentioning you, too, just to be sure, even though you should've gotten a notification anyways.
    – UTF-8
    Jan 8, 2017 at 22:40

That is clearly incorrect. His whitepaper was released on October 31st, 2008 via the metzdowd mailing list

Bitcoin P2P e-cash paper

Satoshi Nakamoto satoshi at vistomail.com
Fri Oct 31 14:10:00 EDT 2008

Previous message: Fw: SHA-3 lounge Messages sorted by: [ date ] [ thread ] [ subject ] [ author]

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

The paper is available at: http://www.bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf

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

Abstract. A purely peer-to-peer version of electronic cash would allow online payments to be sent directly from one party to another without the burdens of going through a financial institution. Digital signatures provide part of the solution, but the main benefits are lost if a trusted party is still required to prevent double-spending. We propose a solution to the double-spending problem using a peer-to-peer network. The network timestamps transactions by hashing them into an ongoing chain of hash-based proof-of-work, forming a record that cannot be changed without redoing the proof-of-work. The longest chain not only serves as proof of the sequence of events witnessed, but proof that it came from the largest pool of CPU power. As long as honest nodes control the most CPU power on the network, they can generate the longest chain and outpace any attackers. The network itself requires minimal structure. Messages are broadcasted on a best effort basis, and nodes can leave and rejoin the network at will, accepting the longest proof-of-work chain as proof of what happened while they were gone.

Full paper at: http://www.bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf

Satoshi Nakamoto

He realeased Bitcoin v0.1 on Thu Jan 8 14:27:40 EST 2009 -- more than 2 months later. By May, he had ceased all communication on the mailing list.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.