Blockstream Wants To Rewrite The Bitcoin Whitepaper

People who want to find out more about Bitcoin will usually find themselves reading the Satoshi Nakamoto whitepaper at some point. However, some people within the Bitcoin development community feel this paper is outdated, and should be changed. While it is true the whitepaper does not mention everything in the Bitcoin world; there is no need to change anything.

Blockstream And The Bitcoin Whitepaper

TheMerkle_Bitcoin Whitepaper

Throughout the years, it has become evident the Blockstream development team things differently about Bitcoin than the majority of the community. While there is nothing wrong with change, they have to be justified. Taking the Satoshi Nakamoto whitepaper and attempting to partially rewrite it, will offend a fair amount of people.

Granted, the original Bitcoin whitepaper is no complete overview of what the ecosystem has become. There is no mention of mining pools, and some sections may need to be updated to reflect developmental changes over time. At the same time, one could argue that centralized mining pools have no place in the decentralized system that is Bitcoin, but that is a different discussion.

One Blockstream member is in favor of making changes to the Bitcoin whitepaper, as he feels “it will do more harm than good”. The obvious term that comes to mind is “censorship”, which should be avoided at all costs. Bitcoin was designed to be censorship-resistant, so why would any community member try to change that, all of a sudden?

The Bitcoin whitepaper by Satoshi Nakamoto is several years old, and a cornerstone of the Bitcoin ecosystem as we know it today. Academics doing research on Bitcoin will use the document as a resource, but they should conduct due diligence and look further as well. Creating a “revised” version of this whitepaper seems to be a political move, rather than a way to set the record straight.

One thing that could be considered is adding a date to the whitepaper, indicating this was written several years ago. However, anyone with more than two peas for a brain can look up and see when the whitepaper was revealed to the public. The original document should be left intact, albeit it is not unlikely we will see a “Bitcoin Whitepaper 2016 edition” at some point. Whether or not the community will be OK with that, is a different matter.

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