This week we cover the background and basics of bitcoin.

Q. Who invented bitcoin?

Stephen Whitelaw: Nobody really knows who invented bitcoin! It started back in 31 October, 2008 when someone calling themselves Satoshi Nakamoto sent a nine page paper to an obscure cryptography mailing list called It was titled “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System”- if you have not read it please do so – it is a wonderful read, you can find the original version in English here - and a Portuguese translated version here -

We do not know if the creator of bitcoin was a man or a women or even a group of people – after posting the now famous white paper and contributing to some online bitcoin forums he/she/they disappeared without a trace, sending a final message to one of the bitcoin core developers saying “I've moved on to other things” – the future of bitcoin he/she/they said was “in good hands”.

There have been many people over the last 11 years that technology journalists have suspected are Satoshi including Hal Finney, Nick Szabo, Gavin Andresen, David Kleiman, Adam Back, Craig Wright and even Elon Musk. All of them when asked, deny that they are Satoshi apart from Craig Wright who has claimed he is the inventor of bitcoin but he is yet to provide concrete proof that is indeed Satoshi.

In my opinion it does not really matter that no one knows who the creator of bitcoin is, he/she/they left behind the white paper and the open source software code which is all the bitcoin community needed to move forward.

Q. How many bitcoin are there in total and is there enough to go around?

Stephen Whitelaw: The software that runs the bitcoin system allows for the creation of a total of 21 million bitcoin. To date nearly 19 million have been issued (the technical term is mined), thus over 90 percent of the bitcoin that will ever exist are in already in existence and rather alarmingly around 20 percent of those have been lost (i.e. users have forgotten their private keys/passwords!).

Technically speaking there is no such thing as a bitcoin since they are broken into smaller parts called Satoshis. A single bitcoin is made up of 100 million Satoshis, so that means there will be 100 million x 21 million Satoshis – this is large number – it looks like this 2,100,000,000,000,000 – 2 million billion or 2 quadrillion 100 billion – in my opinion plenty to go around! The algorithmically controlled release of new bitcoin means that it could become the most scarce resource on earth and the very last Satoshi will be mined around 2140 – perhaps some of our very, very young readers may be around then to witness this event.

You can see how many bitcoin are in existence and their value at a number of sites including and, provide a specialist service where they can recovery your password from the password protected wallet file. They have been finding lost passwords in cryptography wallets since 2016.

Whether you are an interested new comer or are looking for specific technical help and assistance with anything to do with crypto currency, we are here to help.

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It should be noted that neither The Portugal News nor Stephen Whitelaw will provide any financial advice in relation to crypto.