In a fascinating revelation from the early days of cryptocurrency, an email exchange from 2009 has surfaced, showcasing Bitcoin founder Satoshi Nakamoto’s praise for the Ripple project. This exchange allegedly involves Martti ‘Sirius’ Malmi, an active Bitcoin developer from 2009 to 2011, who played a crucial role in the initial development and growth of Bitcoin, and Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous inventor of Bitcoin.

Earlier this week, Malmi made these personal communications with Nakamoto public, amidst a legal battle in the UK concerning the true identity of Bitcoin’s creator.

The case involves the Crypto Open Patent Alliance (COPA), a consortium of companies in the crypto industry aiming to prevent patent litigation and ensure open access to patented crypto technologies. They are contesting claims by Craig Wright, an Australian computer scientist who has controversially claimed to be Nakamoto, the pseudonymous person or group credited with creating Bitcoin and laying the foundation for blockchain technology.

The correspondence between Nakamoto and Malmi covered several Bitcoin-related topics, such as its inflation schedule, the total coin supply, denominations, and the concept of fractional bitcoins. Nakamoto provided insights into Bitcoin’s scalability and its ability to process a vast number of transactions without the immediate need for transaction fees.

During their discussions, Malmi introduced the topic of Ripple, recognizing it as a potentially groundbreaking project. Ripple, known for its unique approach to creating a decentralized trust system in digital transactions, contrasts with traditional digital currencies that rely on a central authority. Nakamoto responded with admiration, highlighting Ripple’s innovative approach. He noted, “As trust systems go, Ripple is unique in spreading trust around rather than concentrating it.”

In a July 2018 interview with CoinDesk, Malmi, recognized as the initial programmer to collaborate directly with Bitcoin’s enigmatic founder, reflected on his early involvement with the project. Starting as a novice developer in college in 2009, Malmi quickly became an instrumental figure in Bitcoin’s formative years. He was the sole active developer working closely with Satoshi, developing a relationship that bordered on friendship.

This bond led Satoshi to entrust Malmi with administrative privileges on the website, and Malmi’s contributions were significant in the second version of Bitcoin’s code. However, after a few years, Malmi decided to step away from the project, inspired by Satoshi’s own departure, believing that Bitcoin had matured beyond his necessity. “I felt like Bitcoin had already made the critical transition from inception to an established entity, with a burgeoning community and a cadre of talented developers dedicating their efforts to its advancement,” Malmi explained to CoinDesk.

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