Satoshi explains why BTC is more energy-efficient than banks

Emails from Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous — and mysterious — Bitcoin (BTC) inventor, believed the digital asset would use less energy than the traditional banking system.

That’s according to a recently published email exchange between Satoshi and long-term collaborator Martti ‘Sirius’ Malmi (the authenticity of the emails is yet to be confirmed).

The two crypto innovators lay bare the developing thought processes and technical challenges addressed during Bitcoin’s initial stages.

Bitcoin vs. traditional banks

Amongst the vibrant discourse, which commenced in May 2009, one topic stands out: Satoshi’s prescient concerns regarding Bitcoin’s energy consumption.

In a reflective contemplation on the intersection of technology and sustainability, Satoshi voiced considerations about the environmental impact of Bitcoin, acknowledging the tension between economic freedom and ecological preservation, especially regarding the proof of work (PoW) system that underpins the digital currency. 

However, in sharp contrast to the current criticism of the cryptocurrency’s significant power draw, Satoshi posited that Bitcoin would be far more energy-efficient compared to conventional banking systems.

If it did grow to consume significant energy, I think it would still be less wasteful than the labor- and resource-intensive conventional banking activity it would replace. The cost would be an order of magnitude less than the billions in banking fees that pay for all those brick-and-mortar buildings, skyscrapers, and junk mail credit card offers.

Satoshi Nakamoto, Bitcoin inventor

PoW was not just a mechanism to facilitate decentralized transactions but was also seen as fundamental for network coordination and preventing double-spending.

Apart from Satoshi’s thoughts on BTC’s ecological impact, the emails also unearthed his reflections on its scaling, outlining his vision for a network of no more than 100,000 nodes.

They also revealed his opinions on Bitcoin’s privacy compared to e-currency pioneer DigiCash, its utility beyond a currency, and even his cautious approach to the legal implications of promoting Bitcoin as an investment. 

Notably, Satoshi speculated on various applications for Bitcoin and recognized early on that the network’s perceived anonymity needed to be addressed.

Who is Martti Malmi?

Malmi’s association with the cryptocurrency sector started in April 2009 when, upon discovering the nascent project online, he felt compelled to join forces with Nakamoto, offering assistance wherever possible. 

This fateful collaboration bore fruit when Malmi played a vital role in deploying Bitcoin’s version 0.2, which housed pivotal updates. One is the initial Linux support, which underscored Bitcoin’s cross-platform aspirations. 

Malmi’s technological contributions extended far beyond software development; he was reportedly instrumental in erecting the foundational community pillars such as Bitcointalk and managing crucial domains like 

Not content with just shaping the dialogue surrounding Bitcoin, Sirius, as he was known in crypto cycles, actively engaged in mining, allegedly accruing a staggering 50,000 Bitcoins through his laptop between 2009 and 2011.

His release of the emails comes against the backdrop of the legal battle involving Craig Wright, who claims to be the elusive Satoshi, and the Crypto Open Patent Alliance (COPA). 

COPA aims to affirm that no one can claim copyrights over the Bitcoin whitepaper or the name.

As the trial progresses and the decisive question of Wright’s claim to the Satoshi Nakamoto identity remains unanswered, Malmi’s emails could add substantial depth to people’s understanding of Bitcoin, its creator, and his humanizing exhaustion with the project.

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