S.Atoshi Nakamoto had an idea. The mysterious creator of Bitcoin believed that e-commerce was highly dependent on real-world financial institutions acting as necessary but expensive intermediaries in digital transactions. So why not use math and computer code to create a system that got rid of them?

In 2008, during the global financial crisis, Nakamoto presented his vision. In Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer E-Cash System, he outlined a digital payment system that used cryptography instead of middlemen to prove the validity of transactions. He said it would create a “pure, peer-to-peer version of electronic cash” that would allow payments to be “sent directly from one party to another without going through a financial institution”. He brought Bitcoin to the world in 2009.