” It isn’t obvious that the world had to work this way.
But somehow the universe smiles on encryption.”
Nobody yet knows for sure if the universe’s smile is genuine or not.
It is possible that our assumption of mathematical asymmetries is wrong and we find that P actually equals NP, or we find surprisingly quick solutions to specific problems which we currently assume to be hard.
If that should be the case, cryptography as we know it will cease to exist, and the implications would most likely change the world beyond recognition.
“Vires in Numeris”
“Strength in Numbers”epii
Vires in numeris is not only a catchy motto used by bitcoiners.
The realization that there is an unfathomable strength to be found in numbers is a profound one.
Understanding this, and the inversion of existing power balances which it enables changed my view of the world and the future which lies ahead of us.
One direct result of this is the fact that you don’t have to ask anyone for permission to participate in Bitcoin.
There is no page to sign up, no company in charge, no government agency to send application forms to.
Simply generate a large number and you are pretty much good to go.
The central authority of account creation is mathematics.
And God only knows who is in charge of that.
Bitcoin is built upon our best understanding of reality.
While there are still many open problems in physics, computer science, and mathematics, we are pretty sure about some things.
That there is an asymmetry between finding solutions and validating the correctness of these solutions is one such thing.
That computation needs energy is another one.
In other words: finding a needle in a haystack is harder than checking if the pointy thing in your hand is indeed a needle or not.
And finding the needle takes work.
The vastness of Bitcoin’s address space is truly mind-boggling.
The number of private keys even more so. It is fascinating how much of our modern world boils down to the improbability of finding a needle in an unfathomably large haystack.
I am now more aware of this fact than ever.
Bitcoin taught me that there is strength in numbers.