The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) took the world by a storm and its spread, and it shows no signs of slowing down. With the total number of infected people getting close to a million, countries around the world are instituting lockdowns to slow down the spread and keep the hospitals from overflowing with patients.
A closer look at Bitcoin’s whitepaper, however, reveals that its pseudonymous creator, Satoshi Nakamoto, had the foresight to create a system that’s effective in situations much like the current one. Could it be that he actually predicted the current pandemic?
Satoshi Nakamoto Predicting COVID in Bitcoin’s Whitepaper in 2008
In 2008, a pseudonymous entity published what would soon become a landmark whitepaper called Bitcoin: A Peer to Peer Electronic Cash System. In it, he describes a system that enables the transfer of wealth almost instantly from one party to another without the need for intermediaries.
However, a closer look at the document reveals that Satoshi Nakamoto actually had a scenario of the kind in mind and designed the system so that it could be sustainable even in such black swan events.
Of course, his words are entirely open to interpretation, and it’s possible that he might have been inspired by previous outbreaks of deadly viruses to which humankind is no stranger.
Still, it’s particularly interesting to see his creation handling the current situation the way it does. It’s true that Bitcoin declined in price substantially throughout the past month, and most of it was caused by panic selling likely catalyzed by the growing fears of the spreading virus and its impact on the global economy.
However, it’s also worth noting that Bitcoin, unlike legacy markets, has no one to safeguard it. There are no emergency circuit breakers, and there is no government to print trillions of dollars to patch the holes in the markets.
COVID-19: A Growing Concern
What started in China a few months ago has now transitioned throughout the entire world as the COVID-19 coronavirus has infected just shy of 900,000 people. Out of those, 44,201 have unfortunately lost their lives while 185,204 recovered, according to data at the time of this writing.
All of that becomes even more worrisome upon closer inspection of the closed cases. Out of 229,405 cases with an outcome, 44,201 people died. That’s 19%. 185,204 people have recovered and have been discharged.
What most scientific experts are worried about is the rapid growth in the numbers of affected people and the lack of resources to handle those cases.
Hence, many countries across the world have instituted either mandatory or recommended lockdowns in hopes to prevent the exponential growth of the virus so that hospitals don’t get overflown with patients they can’t possibly treat to the highest of standards.
Nevertheless, positivity comes from China – the country where the virus originally appeared. In the past few weeks, the cases in the country are virtually non-existent, hinting that the countermeasures they applied produced the intended results.
Disclaimer: the part about Satoshi Nakamoto predicting the outbreak of COVID is entirely fictional and intended as a comic April Fools’ joke. The image used in the article was intentionally fabricated, and the highlighted text doesn’t exist in the original whitepaper.
Everything else, however, is entirely true. The threat of spreading coronavirus shouldn’t be underestimated.
Also, remember that in times of uncertainty, the spread of misinformation is just as threatening. Always check the original sources before making any conclusions.