A new mystery about Satoshi hidden in the Bitcoin block-chain


Some time ago, I received an e-mail from my friend Timo Hanke. If you don’t know Timo, then you should, because he is, apart from a respected mathematician and Bitcoin enthusiast, an excellent person. The e-mail suggested that I looked into the nonce field to see if I could find out the endianess of Satoshi’s original mining machine. He was talking about the nonce in each block header, not the ExtraNonce I talked in my first post on Satoshi. My first thought was “nonces increase too quickly to leave any recognizable fingerprint”, but then I recalled that back in 2009 there were no GPUs and no ASICs and even if the nonce wrapped-around zero a couple of times, there would be a perceptible statistical imbalance towards zero in the most significant byte. So, armed with my own block-chain parser library, I prepared to begin a new fight against time and go back to the early days of Bitcoin. It took me half an hour to get my first surprise. One image worths a thousand words (or at least it stops a thousand false verbal arguments) so here is the image:



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