I'm new to Bitcoin. My understanding as a trained economist (and not a programmer or IT expert) is that the key selling point of Bitcoin is the assignment of monetary policy prerogatives to an algorithm distributed across a P2P network. What this means is that people do not have to rely on a human politician (and his promises) to protect the value of the currency (which, philosophically, represents their past work) by not printing new money discretionally. Instead, they would give this task to an algorithm distributed over a P2P network, which, by definition, will KEEP its promises and will not be under the control of any one single person.
Now, my questions are:
- How do we know that the algorithm cannot be modified to gain control over the expansion of the monetary base? After all, I don't think that there exists a man-made software that cannot be hacked.
- Many discussions on this forum flag that suck a type of attack would be extremely expensive if not impossible. However, how do we know that such type of bug isn't already in the algorithm? See question 3
- How do we know that Satoshi hasn't left a bug in his software (or purposely left out some important protective codelines) that will allow him to artificially steal or claim bitcoins at his/her discretion? After all, Satoshi, the inventor of the software has not revealed himself (or herself).
- Even if Satoshi did not actually steal the money for himself, but simply left an option for himself to increase/decrease the speed of expansion of the monetary base, that would still give him a 'soft', yet enormous power, making him a de facto central bank (and people would not necessarily be aware of this). How do we know that this could not happen?