Satoshi Nakamoto.

The Principal

Jon Gulson
2 min readFeb 9


Human language and philosophy can throw up paradoxes on simple turns of phrases or expressions, which might mean different things to different people, at different times, and in different context.

Translations can change through experience, and although some might say there is no out of context — at least to the post-modernists — the game assumes meaning in respect of how it’s quantified to some observable and enforceable degree.

This leads into social group theory and what constitutes the majority decision: it might be added, everything is subjective — but equally, if there wasn’t a universally agreed upon acceptance of the sun, no-one would catch a tan!

Flippancy aside, there is some philosophical thought which can be directed toward the “true” nature of a blockchain — as in, how does a blockchain represent a state of play or explanation of events which can be relied by those who observe them?

To this regard, we can relate a Prisoner Dilemma game to the Byzantine Generals’ Problem — i.e. what information are players (no matter their size or legal complexity) acting?

This can be verbalised in that verbalising (most commonly in noun-based formal English on the internet) is beneficial to lots of people who don’t, or can’t, engage in cypher or code or that kind of “geeky” way of thinking.

In this respect, game theory becomes acute — if there is a “Principal” in a so so-called trustless network like Bitcoin, then doesn’t that defeat the value proposition (of Bitcoin), if the value proposition is the majority who don’t necessarily want to know who you/they/we/are?

The network then becomes more based upon “principles” — rather than a “Principal” in respect of what’s occurring. The representation in itself begins to assume a value in that way, if it’s removing the possibility for litigation, which is itself merely a representation of verbal complication.

In other words, the Bitcoin network or consensus really only properly scales as a non-zero sum game — not zero sum — and there is a genealogy behind that which perhaps tells us where it comes from.