"Bitcoin: A Peer to Peer Electronic Cash System" was developed by an unknown person/group who goes by the name of Satoshi Nakamoto. But in reality, it was the 5th attempt to make a truly decentralized currency that works for the public good, and luckily it worked.
Bitcoin works on the P2P(Peer to Peer) network model and cryptography both of which date back to the early 80s technology. Before bitcoin, numerous attempts have been made for making a digital currency, some being:
- DigiCash(1995) by David Chaum: The first ever attempt to facilitate anonymous system transactions on the internet using cryptography.
- b-money(1998) by Wei Dai: Attempted to implement anonymous and distributed electronic system for cash.
- Hashcash(2002) by Adam Back: Introduced proof-of-work system to limit spam and DoS attacks.
- Bit Gold(2005) by Nick Szabo: Attempt to build a completely trustless system for transactions.
Each of the successors learned from and corrected the mistakes of their predecessors. With every release, the work became more polished and more secure overall.
Think of this in a way that a puzzle was being solved for decades and Bitcoin happened to put the last piece of the puzzle i.e. Building trustless Consensus, Nakamoto Consesnus in its right place and the never been done before was achieved.
Nakamoto happened to be "standing on the shoulder of giants" and for good. Maybe for this reason the developers of Bitcoin never revealed their identity because they borrowed all the ideas and inventions and never really wanted to misguide anyone into thinking that they were the ones who invented "Bitcoin" from scratch.
"What If Bitcoin ceases to exist tomorrow?"
Well if you are asking this question then the simple answer is that you really have to understand first that Bitcoin is not a company or just a product developed by a company. It is way bigger than wall street of startups where companies go bankrupt and/or products get discarded overnight.
Though everyone can buy bitcoin as easily as they buy shares of a company so it's misunderstood that owning Bitcoin is also like having shares of a company, But No, it's not.
To really understand the answer to this question check out my Blog on Bitcoin and subscribe to my newsletter. I write about Bitcoin to make people understand its value.
Contrary to the question if I ask "Will the Mona Lisa cease to exist?", of course, not. Similar is the case with Bitcoin. More on this in my next blog.
Thanks. Pranshu, signing off.