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The Developer Who Discovered Bitcoin's Original Codebase, Jim Blaskoby@penworth
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1,531 reads

The Developer Who Discovered Bitcoin's Original Codebase, Jim Blasko

by Olayimika Oyebanji October 21st, 2022
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Jim Blasko is the Bitcoin OG who recently discovered the original upload of Bitcoin’s code base, a historical document containing Satoshi Nakamoto's personal notations. The 13-year-old file, previously thought to be lost forever, provides valuable insight into Bitcoin's early development. He recalled Hal Finley, the first Bitcoin recipient in history, intended to mail this particular version to some people before his death in 2014. Olayimika Oyebanji sat down with him to learn more about his discovery of Bitcoin's codebase.

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Aspire founder and CEO Jim Blasko is the Bitcoin OG who recently discovered the original upload of Bitcoin’s code base, a historical document containing Satoshi Nakamoto’s personal notations. Dating back to 2009 when Bitcoin was invented, the 13-year-old file, previously thought to be lost forever, provides valuable insight into Bitcoin’s early development.

Jim was recently quoted by Cointelegraph and Bitcoin.com as describing his discovery as the "cleanest original version of Bitcoin." He recalled
that Hal Finley, the first Bitcoin recipient in history, intended to mail this particular version to some people before his death in 2014. In this exclusive interview, Olayimika Oyebanji sat down with him to learn more about Bitcoin’s early days and his astonishing discovery of Bitcoin’s v0.1 codebase.

(The Original Bitcoin code base discovered by Jim Blasko)

1. You are one of the early miners of Bitcoin in history. Can you tell us a little bit of the story behind your early involvement in Bitcoin?

I got into Bitcoin mining in 2010 when Dave Kleimen, a cryptography
friend of mine from Florida, knew I was doing hard-rock mining in the
Nevada desert as a hobby. He told me “he was mining digital gold” and
that sounded interesting. I trusted Dave but was cautious enough not to
trust the Bitcoin.exe software which seemed like a Trojan horse. I had
no reason not to trust him. Many years earlier(around 1999)Dave and I
played around with an old hacking program called Sub7.

So, I started mining Bitcoin on a cheap laptop for the safety of my networks, knowing there was nothing on the machine. I was nervous enough that I would remove the network connection to my main pc — in case my
suspicion was correct and Bitcoin was anything else. Bitcoin would make
the laptop run to the point of melting CPU processors, warping batteries
packs and the entire body of the laptop including hard drives.
Overclocking GPUs to mine Bitcoin with early mining software also had a
similar effect.

Roasted silicon was the smell of a burnt laptop, and it is just a terrible
smell. I didn’t think about it at the time, but until I started backing
up my wallets I had burned millions upon millions of dollars (not to be
realized for many years). I laugh now but that fact made me twitch in
the past.

2. How did you feel when you mined your first Bitcoin in 2010?

The fact that Bitcoin.exe actually worked was a good feeling. But the
downside was that I kept needing cheap laptops to burn. Soon, I started
bugging people for their old desktops and I would dissect them into milk
crates with box fans for cooling, essentially building the first
homebrew mining rigs.

It was not more of a big deal at the time, we didn’t know it would attract
so many so fast. The dark web stuff that came later from Ross Ulbricht
had a lot to do with early adoption but I wasn’t into the stuff he was
doing. I’m a collector of many sorts and Bitcoin was just another
collection for me at the time.

Some miners thought that Bitcoin’s code was broken because they got the 50 BTC plus the TX fees. It was fun to see people scramble in a race to
learn more about Bitcoin in the early days. The race to mine Bitcoin
faster was interesting as well. ASIC eventually won, so I’ve kept all
the ASIC miners I received including an early antminer prototype
directly from Bitmain. Eventually, it wasn’t reasonable to mine BTC
anymore because the cost of buying BTC is always cheaper than the cost
to mine it unless you go mega-scale mining with giant farms.

3. What does Bitcoin Pizza Day mean to you?

I order pizza weekly. It is my favorite food. So I’m glad its now
recognized as the official food sponsor of Bitcoin! Lazlo was part of
Bitcoin well before he made the 1st Bitcoin purchase of 10,000 BTC for
two PapaJohn pizzas. People confuse this as the first transaction on
Bitcoin but that came much earlier when Satoshi sent 10 BTC to Hal
Finnley.

What Laz did was make the first purchase using Bitcoin. My first purchase
was much smaller but it would be my Lamborghini Hurrican for 40 BTC in
2017. I bought the first Lambo with Bitcoin directly, meaning I didn’t
sell BTC for cash. Lamborghini of Newport Beach took the BTC directly
for the brand new car. I turned that “WhenLambo ‘’ meme into a
legitimate reality for Bitcoiners everywhere. Laz’s Tx gave Bitcoin a
starting value, my Tx gave Bitcoin its bling.

4. Does Bitcoin represent a new phase in the evolution of human civilization? If yes, how so?

Obviously, this is a YES. You can do anything with Crypto now, and it’s
borderless. Now that it is seeing mainstream acceptance things are
really going to change. Governments will soon all use cryptocurrency as
their main fiat. The use of paper money will be completely gone in under
20 years and will only be traded by collectors much like baseball cards
and vintage coins. Keep in mind it’s not all about Bitcoin anymore.

Many other projects are changing the way we look at crypto. Ethereum for one of course, and my friend Charles and his Cardano project look good. The project I head is called Aspire and it has grown well in its first 2
years. These projects take time to grow but with dedicated teams and
good features its inevitably going to happen.

5. What does Bitcoin’s codebase represent? Can you offer a simple explanation of how you rediscovered it?

It means we can look through the original Bitcoin code that was uploaded
the same year Bitcoin was released. It’s the oldest uploaded version in
the hands of the public dating to August of 2009 and uploaded by Sirius.
We know Martii Malmi to be sirius and also the 4th user on Satoshi’s
forum Bitcointalk.org.

Satoshi would credit Martii as a developer in in his early releases. I
discovered the code on Sourceforge, where it was known to be but had
been removed and scrapped from the search engines back in 2012. I was
able to rediscover it with a small browser hack pretty quickly. It’s not
searchable on the site, but it’s been there since 2009.

6. Why should we care about it?

If you are interested in the history of Bitcoin and the group that made up
Satoshi Nakamoto, then it is a fun discovery. We know Bitcoin’s code is
altered as time goes on, but this is the earliest upload out there with
origin notations and comments from Satoshi.

Inside this release we find SN explaining how actual Bitcoin functions work in deeper detail than that of the whitepaper. I’ve seen the claimed 2008
code releases but they weren’t uploaded until 2013 and they remain as
questionable in the community as they contained features not released in
Bitcoin.

7. A popular crypto website described you as a sleuth. I find this to be
quite revealing. Can you tell us how long you have been searching for
Bitcoin’s original code base?

I’m curious by nature and I enjoy hunting for treasure in many forms. I
wear my 2600 shirts proudly and I’ve been part of the computer space
since I got my first Tandy 1000 in 1987. I’m one of the FreeKevin guys
lol. Kevin Mitnick actually lives near me these days however we’ve yet
to meet in person.

I didn’t search long. It took me about 10 minutes to find
this code. When I found it, I was pretty surprised that it had not been
found or documented so I made an announcement on Facebook which turned into viral Bitcoin news.

8. Does Bitcoin or decentralization have a future?

It has a past, a present, and we learn from that for the future. Bitcoin
is the most decentralized cryptocurrency at the moment and moving into
the future this will likely continue. The miners choose Bitcoin’s path,
not a single identity making claims or pushing updates. As a developer
in our community, decentralization is something we all work towards with
security in mind.

Most blockchains are centralized by a single authority simply because that
is how they start until they can move on without their creator. Even
Ethereum suffers from this and will continue until Vitalik walks away
and leaves the project. I feel he’s probably still too young to
understand that.

When the time is right I will move on, but I still have work to do to get Aspire there. Maybe Vitalik feels the same way I do, but Ethereum no longer needs his oversight at this point. If he wants ETH to become truly decentralized, he will have to move on like Satoshi did, like we all have to.

9. Who is Satoshi Nakamoto ?

I think Satoshi Nakamoto is now the name that represents all Bitcoiners as a collective, just like it did in the very beginning.

Satoshi is the makeup of several cryptographers’ work. Hal Finney, Dave
Kleiman, Martii Malmi, and Nick Szabo. You can almost toss in Dorian for
the donation of his name, although that happened without his knowledge.
To be clear Dorian had nothing to do with anything Bitcoin, but his
namesake alone has more importance then Craig Wright and his BSV
propaganda. Don’t get tricked by BSV claims. BSV is not Bitcoin. Craig
Wright is NOT Satoshi.

10. Solving the mystery of Satoshi Nakamoto’s existence has been about altering the Genesis block. What do you make of this?

This is a complete misconception. The genesis block is block 0 and not block1. There was no reward for block zero other than spitting out the
Genesis block hash. There is no way to sign or alter the genesis block.
However, block 1 and up could be signed by someone who wanted to show
proof they controlled an early block. For instance, any block mined
previous to Jan 9th are all Satoshi’s. Signing any of them would be
cryptographic proof. We all know that #Faketoshi (referring to Craig
Wright) won’t be doing that

To read more about Jim Blasko’s discovery: Head Here

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