Is Bitcoin the first trustless e-cash scheme which solved the double-spend problem? I'm under the impression it is and that was one if its greatest contributions, but I couldn't really find a source to validate that claim. I know it's silly to ask for proof of something not existing, but I'm writing a thesis.

  • The first that does it in a decentralised way, as far as i know. Preventing double spending with a centralized server is easy.
    – Jannes
    Oct 11, 2016 at 21:55
  • @Jannes Not that easy. Starbucks was unable to do so and when someone told them after spending a few dollar twice to find out whether it's possible, they sued him instead of thanking him. Unfortunately, I can't find a link to an article about this because Google is full articles describing events in which people where able to steal money from Starbucks customers, not only from the company via double spending. Banks also have to be very careful about it and there have been problems where banks were unable to do their accounting correctly even though the are centralized entities.
    – UTF-8
    Oct 22, 2016 at 14:59
  • @UTF-8 LOL. Yes, that's all very true. From free international phone calls in the 80ies phone booths to tapping a snackmachine in the right place to using your bankcard in 2 nearby ATMs in quick succession. Preventing double spending is indeed very hard. Imagine how decentralized is even harder.
    – Jannes
    Oct 23, 2016 at 21:03

1 Answer 1


Yes. Bitcoin is the first trustless e-cash protocol, which solves the double-spend problem. If anyone else needs an academic source to back up this claim, there is at least this one:

Brito, Jerry ja Castillo, Andrea: Bitcoin: A primer for policymakers. Mercatus Center at George Mason University, 2013


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