theverge.com / Nathaniel Popper on June 10, 2015 09:52 am
This is an excerpt from From Digital Gold: Bitcoin and the Inside Story of the Misfits and Millionaires Trying to Reinvent Money by Nathaniel Popper.
These days the technology known as Bitcoin is a hot topic among the digerati of Silicon Valley and barons of Wall Street. But years before Bitcoin was a global phenomenon and the subject of financial speculation, it was a piece of open-source software that was struggling to attract more than a handful of users.
In the spring of 2009, the Bitcoin software had been up and running for a few months since being launched by a shadowy creator named Satoshi Nakamoto. The software gave out free bitcoins to anyone who downloaded and ran the software, to encourage new participants, but almost no one seemed interested — after all, what would someone do with the free bitcoins?
Satoshi Nakamoto stuck around cryptography forums and an incipient Bitcoin message board, responding with excitement to anyone who expressed interest — but almost no one was there. It was, at this point, that the technology got its savior from an unlikely place: a small dorm room in Helsinki.
When Martti Malmi found