[Ads-l] Coinage of "Blockchain"

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Sat Feb 2 01:05:26 UTC 2019

The Wikipedia article on blockchain has numerous citations, but a
quick scan suggests that the earliest citations given are in 2013,
rather late.


The Wikipedia article on Satoshi Nakamoto says he posted about bitcoin
on a cryptography mailing list in October 2008.

I suspect that the earliest use of "block chain" is in a technical
paper or on a cryptography mailing list. Wikipedia points to
mail-archive.com for Satoshi Nakamoto messages. I tried a few crude
Google inquiries on that domain, but I did not find any strong matches
earlier than the June 2011 citation given below from Google Groups.
This was found with an overly restrictive query, so it should be
possible to improve this date.

Google group: DC650
Timestamp: 10 Jun 2011 17:25:27 -0700
From: travis+... at subspacefield.org
Subject: bitcoin preso @ BAHA!
Verification: Accessed February 1, 2019 via Google Groups Search

[Begin excerpt]
Date of Meeting:


Sun 12 Jun 2011

This month we present:


Brian McQueen



He'll give an intro to the technology, how it works, proof-of-work,
the block chain, and how simple it is to use from the user side.
Demonstrate some scenarios of how it works, and discuss a few projects
that need doing.
[End excerpt]

The message above was about a meeting of the Bay Area Hacker's
Association. So, someone who was a member of that group between 2008
to 2011 might have some pertinent knowledge.

The mail-archive.com domain did March 2009 message mentioning
"cipher-block-chain", but this was not a reference to crypto-currency,
and it is conceptually different. Nevertheless, it is in interesting
syntactic precursor, and it might provide insight into how the
crypto-currency term developed.


[Begin excerpt]
To: <openssl-users at openssl.org>
Sent: Sunday, March 08, 2009 9:11 PM
Subject: RE: des_ncbc_encrypt question

DES_ncbc_encrypt() encrypts/decrypts using the cipher-block-chaining
(CBC) mode of DES. If the encrypt argument is non-zero, the routine
cipher-block-chain encrypts the cleartext data pointed to by the input
argument into the ciphertext pointed to by the output argument, using
the key schedule provided by the schedule argument, and initialization
vector provided by the ivec argument.
[End excerpt]


On Fri, Feb 1, 2019 at 6:56 PM Shapiro, Fred <fred.shapiro at yale.edu> wrote:
> Can anyone help me to determine the earliest use of the term "blockchain" in its cryptocurrency meaning?
> Fred Shapiro
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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