Why Bitcoin Hasn’t Solved The Double-Spending Problem

How double-spending works in practice and what must be done to prevent it

Joe Kelly


Trust minimisation is the idea.

That’s what Bitcoin is all about — being able to hold and use money without relying on custodians, intermediaries, or central planners.

You, by yourself, have everything you need to validate every single bitcoin and transaction that impacts your life, and the total money supply. You can know in an instant — with certainty — that the bitcoin you own is real and represents a precise fixed proportion of all bitcoin in existence.

No-one can stop you spending your bitcoin however you want, and it works the same everywhere on Earth. You don’t have to trust in any governmental body or its agenda to know how spendable your bitcoin is.

No-one can decide to inflate the money supply. You don’t have to trust in any governmental body or its agenda to know how scarce your bitcoin will be in future: 1/21,000,000 BTC now = 1/21,000,000 BTC forever. It’s the hardest money in the world, as they say: it’s impossible to produce more of it, no matter how hard anyone tries. You can’t print it and you can’t dig it up from the ground.

In sum, Bitcoin gives us a perfectly measurable scarce asset that everyone can verify and no-one can fake, which anyone can use to settle transactions across any distance, without involving a trusted third party of any kind.

All of this taken together represents ‘Bitcoin: The Revolution’ — a radical neutering of government power over money, replaced by unassailable principles of sound money, literally written in code, accompanied by a monumental transfer of wealth to early buyers.

From sovereign nations to sovereign individuals.

The BTC-specific Vision

In Christian theology, the beatific vision is the ultimate direct self-communication of God to the individual person; seeing God finally face to face and not imperfectly through faith.

The Revolution described above is what Bitcoin is built for. Trust minimisation — don’t trust, verify directly, for yourself, as an individual person. That’s the mission, that’s…