Satoshi Nakamoto is supposed to own 1.000.000 bitcoins on a thousands of wallets, and most of them are untouched since early blocks. This stake can potentially flood the market, so miners could probably be interested in banning them.

So, is it possible to create a soft fork (protocol update, approved by most of hashing power), that will deny any future transaction with early block coins? It is not really fair, but miners are greed and they should probably approve it. Is it a possible scenario?

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    this sounds like a communistic approach to a redistribution approach. Bitcoin was defined in a way, that it is censorship resistant... And greedy - who is not? Bitcoin is no social support tool, it's pure capitalism, with pure egoism of the majority. Exceptions to this are very rare. Satoshi (as far as we know) has created the system, and deserves all the fruits from his early invest. Also: I propose to close this question, cause the discussion will go mostly into opinion based statements, and not (technical) q&a. – pebwindkraft Dec 25 '17 at 8:20

Yes, since blacklisting a set of UTXOs would be done by adding more rules and thus restricting the set of allowed transactions, technically such a change could be introduced as a soft fork by the miners.

However, I would sincerely doubt that censoring Satoshi from spending her coins would find broad community support. I suspect that such an endeavour would quickly escalate the already existing tensions between community and miners.

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    Does the community have real power? Can't miners just develop and accept any update they want? – Bagdan Gilevich Dec 25 '17 at 0:16
  • @BagdanGilevich: It's somewhat fuzzy, but if you want some examples, I suggest that you research e.g. the timelines and events around Litecoin's segwit activation, UASF, and NO2X. – Murch Dec 25 '17 at 0:22
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    "Satoshi from spending her" is the identity of Satoshi currently known? – Salvador Dali Dec 25 '17 at 7:36
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    Censorship is the inevitable power that (a collusion of) miners have - it comes at the price of having them decide the order of valid transactions. However, without community (=full node users) support, they can only keep it up as long as they maintain a hashrate majority. – Pieter Wuille Dec 25 '17 at 10:10
  • @SalvadorDali: I'm sure you would have heard if she had been found out. ;) — Pieter: Of course any miner could delay a transaction by not including them in their own block, but if the blockchain got reorganized away from blocks not participating in the cabal multiple times, it would become obvious very quickly what's happening. – Murch Dec 25 '17 at 15:42

This could be implemented theoretically, but this idea will certainly never be implemented. It's because:

  • You don't know which addresses exactly are owned by Satoshi Nakamoto.

  • This idea is against all Bitcoin-principles. If you have Bitcoin, nobody should be able to steal it unless he has your private key. Bitcoin would become unreliable if you can't be sure that your funds will stay on the address where you send them.

(Hint: at the time when Satoshi Nakamoto got his Bitcoin, the bitcoins were nearly useless. And caused by the fact that he didn't touch the bitcoins yet many people assume that he lost his private keys, but this is only guesswork)

  • "lost his private keys". A true irony. The protocol creator didn't practice the protocol correctly. – frеdsbend Dec 24 '17 at 23:32
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    @Murch Generally, people write "he" when they don't know gender. Is there reason to believe Satoshi is a woman, or even a single person? – frеdsbend Dec 24 '17 at 23:44
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    I've only ever heard a handful of names suggested, and they were all men. – frеdsbend Dec 24 '17 at 23:45
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    @fredsbend: No, it simply amuses me to do so. – Murch Dec 25 '17 at 0:03
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    @BagdanGilevich: The value of currencies is based on trust. In olden times, currencies used to be backed by actual tangible assets (usually gold). In modern times, currencies are backed by trust that the government that issues them will take action to ensure that it keeps its value. This is no different for a cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin. Purposely devaluing certain Bitcoins in a targeted manner would completely destroy that trust, and consequently destroy the value of all Bitcoins, including the ones the miners are mining. – Jörg W Mittag Dec 25 '17 at 18:07

Others have commented on the technical possibility of this, so I'll address the economics:

I don't believe any smart miner would do this. Why? Because it would destroy confidence in the network. If the miners were willing and capable of blacklisting the coins stored at Satoshi's addresses, then who's to say they won't do the same to the coins stored at any other address? The value of the network is very closely tied to its security. Give users a reason to doubt this and they will flee, and prices will crash.

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