The Bitcoin white paper says:

Completely non-reversible transactions are not really possible, since financial institutions cannot avoid mediating disputes. ... Transactions that are computationally impractical to reverse would protect sellers from fraud, and routine escrow mechanisms could easily be implemented to protect buyers.

My understanding is that Satoshi decided to protect the sellers and this seems to suggest that he thought that sellers are more vulnerable to business fraud. (He surely didn't mean that buyers are not important, but his design decision favors the sellers, I think.)

Is there any existing evidence, report, or statistical data that support that sellers are more vulnerable to fraud?

2 Answers 2


My interpretation is more that, since sellers are the ones receiving money, they are the ones who stand to be protected by an improved and non-reversible payment system. I don't think Satoshi particularly thought that protecting buyers (who are receiving goods) was less important or that they were less vulnerable, but that it simply wasn't within the scope of the problem he was trying to solve. He thought that "routine escrow mechanisms" were already appropriate to the task, and in a decentralized currency, these mechanisms can be decoupled from the payment transfer system.


Well in my opinion especially sellers of Digital Goods are very vulnerable. Its very easy to call to the bank and report unauthorized transaction and for a seller only protection available is to have proof of postage. If you are selling digital goods (in worse case cryptocurrencies) you are close to zero protected from fraud. Escrow is indeed very important to make trades using crypto possible at all, but still its not going to help as much as buyer can report unauthorized transaction long after the escrow was released. Buyer have always option to do the trade in the way that the funds are locked in escrow until he receive the goods, but as a seller you are never protected from financial institution reversing the payment later.

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