“This explanation rests on illustrating a few interesting properties of how Proof-of-Work is used in the blockchain that are not immediately obvious and sometimes are rather counter-intuitive, for example how participants collectively solve a problem without ever communicating .” – grisha

While we incessantly focus on the side-effects of the proof-of-work system in Bitcoin, the security it attributes to the Bitcoin history, the incentive structure it enables, etc, we can often forget the reason Satoshi himself stated for its use: to enable a distributed timestamp server. i.e. a decentralized clock.

An epic piece from @humblehack posted back in January 2018 on his blog at grisha.org. Check out the original and many other works at the link below:


Other great reads to dig further into the concepts:

The Drunkard’s Walk : https://amzn.to/2Mzzr2K

Fooled By Randomness : https://www.amazon.com/Fooled-Randomness-Hidden-Markets-Incerto/dp/0812975219/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=fooled+by+randomness&qid=1599781258&s=books&sr=1-1
Bitcoin Astronomy : https://anchor.fm/thecryptoconomy/episodes/CryptoQuikRead_303—Bitcoin-Astronomy-Part-1—Dhruv-Bansal-e6eqo5

Thanks to Marty & Chris from TFTC for bringing this to my attention again:

Episode 188: https://anchor.fm/tales-from-the-crypt/episodes/188-Chris-Bendiksen-ein7nj

Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/thecryptoconomy/message