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What is the connection between b-money and Bitcoin?

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Have you heard about b-money? It was intended to be an anonymous, distributed electronic cash system. B-money was first revealed in 1998 by computer scientist Wei Dai.

In this way, b-money endeavored to provide many of the same services as well as features that contemporary cryptocurrencies today do as well.

While the oldest of the current generation of cryptocurrencies is Bitcoin, there were many important predecessors to the world’s largest cryptocurrency in terms of market cap, including b-money. Unfortunately, it was never officially launched.

Wei Dai introduced the concept of b-money in his essay. The paper published by Wei Dai provided the general outline for the currency, which in many ways predates the modern-day digital currency world.

His concept for b-money included several specific features that have become common to cryptocurrencies today.

In order to ensure that transactions remained organised, he proposed that collective bookkeeping would be necessary, with cryptographic protocols helping to authenticate transactions. His proposal is very similar to present-day blockchain technology. However, Dai suggested the use of digital signatures, or public keys, for authentication of transactions as well as enforcement of contracts.

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B-money and Bitcoin

Wei Dai’s concept for b-money included two proposals. The first proposal was seen as largely impractical and relied on a proof-of-work (PoW) function in order to generate b-money. The second one more closely predicts the structure of the vast majority of the modern-day blockchain systems.

Hopefully, he remains a primary figure in the early development of the industry.

As stated earlier, b-money was never officially launched, It remained in existence only as a proposal (the equivalent of a white paper).

Nevertheless, his work didn’t go unnoticed. Indeed, when Satoshi Nakamoto was developing Bitcoin contacted Dai before any other developers. What’s important is that, along with other cryptocurrency pioneers like Nick Szabo and Hal Finney, Dai supported Satoshi Nakamoto’s idea.

While there is no lack of similarities between the b-money proposal and Bitcoin, the exact relationship between them is difficult to identify.

Apart from that, many within the cryptocurrency community suspect that, because of the similarities between b-money and Bitcoin, Wei Dai may someday be revealed as the true identity of the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto.

Goals of b-money

By creating b-money, Wei Dai dreamed of a community where there would be little to no violence because the physical locations, as well as real identities of people, would be obscured from public knowledge. What’s interesting was the suggestion that because there would be no violence, this community would not need a government.

Nevertheless, he was aware that in order for the institution of government to become permanently unnecessary, a community would need to communicate as well as transact in a peer-to-peer way.

 

Photo by Ferhat Deniz Fors on Unsplash

 

 

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