We would like to publicly thank the BBC for writing about the events of last week. We are saddened that criminals have used the blockchain. We believe these events present us with an opportunity to take a stand in favor of basic human decency, moral behavior, and law, and against criminality.
The blockchain was invented in 2009 by a pseudonymous individual named Satoshi Nakamoto. Since Day 1, everything on the blockchain has been digitally signed, authenticated, and tracked in a way that cannot be altered after it is written. This is done in order to make sure that businesses can validate and produce blocks. One of the consequences of this design is that it is straightforward for investigators to track crimes, since every transaction is traceable.
Also since Day 1, it has been possible to write metadata to the blockchain for use in Turing-complete smart contracts. For instance, the OP_PUSHDATA4 opcode allows writing data up to four gigabytes in size. The purpose of this opcode and others is to allow any conceivable type of financial contract to be written to and executed on the blockchain.
This design gives us remarkable properties. Payments are sent peer-to-peer with nearly zero fees, and cannot be blocked, reversed, frozen or inflated away. Credit card fraud is impossible, reducing costs for merchants and consumers. Information can be stored and authenticated on-chain, and intellectual property rights such as copyright, trademarks and patents can be enforced.
In the future, musicians and other artists will publish their works directly to the blockchain. People who help, like distributors, will be able to share a portion of the revenue in exchange for their work, in a manner where the contracts are automatically enforced, audited, and transparent to signatories.
Every industry will be improved. Even the supply chain, which affects every nook and cranny of the global economy, will be fully on-chain. When a product is built or delivered inaccurately, the faulty point in the supply chain can be traced and corrected. Everything and everyone will benefit.
Unfortunately, Satoshi Nakamoto left the community in 2010. Since then, many of the proponents of the original meaning and purpose of the protocol have left the community, and a new culture of well-intentioned, but wrong, protocol designers have taken over.
The new protocol designers do not believe in the original design of Satoshi Nakamoto. While most of their actions are benign, some unintentionally facilitate crime. We urge everyone to recognize that it is important and useful that the blockchain facilitates investigations and prosecutions. Everyone is protected, and criminals can be caught, with comprehensive and immutable records.
Criminality is an important part of why it is valuable that we track everything on the blockchain, and why the original vision of Satoshi Nakamoto was so brilliant. The blockchain does not facilitate crime. The blockchain makes crime harder and makes the lives of every moral person on the planet better.
We deeply value privacy and wish to remind everyone that although everything is traceable on the blockchain, that doesn’t mean everyone knows how much money you have or what you are spending it on. Using techniques like hierarchical keys and Diffie-Hellman, balances and payments are completely private and impenetrable to strangers and competitors, while still being 100% auditable and investigable when needed.
We believe in morality, human decency, and equal rights under the law. The original design by Satoshi Nakamoto perfectly reflects our values. We invite the entire blockchain industry to join us in rallying for of these principles, and against criminality. The blockchain is our ally for a more transparent and moral future.
The Money Button Team