Maybe it’s just that winter is dragging on, but I find myself getting increasingly irritated with mainstream reports about Bitcoin that say it was a result of the financial crisis.
It wasn’t, and that matters.
First, let’s look at why it wasn’t, and then I’ll explain why this misunderstanding bothers me.
Bitcoin’s pseudonymous creator Satoshi Nakamoto started working on the Bitcoin white paper in early 2007, over a year before the financial crisis hit mainstream markets.
In early 2007, the subprime mortgage industry was collapsing, but even lifelong finance insiders didn’t foresee the scale of what was to unfold. As Satoshi worked, bankruptcies and bank tremors would have been making the headlines, but there is no indication this added to his* urgency.
(*We don’t know that Satoshi was a “he,” but to avoid linguistic clutter I’ll use that pronoun throughout.)
By the time Satoshi uploaded the white paper to a cryptography mailing list in October 2008, the markets were in full meltdown, the U.S. government was taking over parts of the financial ecosystem, and central banks around the world were dropping interest rates and printing money.