Every time you mention cryptocurrencies, the first thing that comes to people’s minds is Bitcoin. Bitcoin is now everywhere in newspapers, social media, online news, and forums; the term “Bitcoin” continues to garner substantial interest from people. In fact, it has over 5.8 million users, and the numbers go up daily. However, the question is, how did Bitcoin begin? How has it evolved in its 11 years of existence?
Bitcoin as a digital currency has an interesting history. It is the first decentralized cryptocurrency, and it ushered in the new era of blockchain technology. It has gone through several trials, but it has stood the test of time, though.
Let’s take a walk through the History of Bitcoin.
An anonymous developer, “Satoshi Nakamoto” created Bitcoin in 2008, and since then, it has been progressing gradually.
- The Bitcoin domain name, Bitcoin.org, is registered in August.
- The Bitcoin Whitepaper is published on 31st October. This Whitepaper has nine pages with detailed information on this peer-to-peer electronic cash system.
- In the same year, the Bitcoin project is registered at SourceForge.net (a web service that offers software developers a centralized online location to control and manage free and open-source software projects).
- The Genesis block is successfully established on the 3rd of January at 18:15:05 GMT, and it is the founding block of the Bitcoin blockchain.
- The first open-source client (Bitcoin version 0.1) is released on 9th October and hosted at SourceForge.net.
- The first-ever bitcoin transaction takes place in January from Satoshi Nakamoto to the late Hal Finney. Hal Finney was an early contributor and supporter of the Bitcoin network. He received 10 bitcoins.
- Bitcoin version 0.2 is published.
- The growing interest in Bitcoin leads to the first increase in the difficulty of Bitcoin mining in December.
- Dwdollar establishes the first Bitcoin cryptocurrency exchange (Bitcoin Market), and the Bitcoin talk operates it.
- Bitcoin version 0.3 is released.
- Jed McCaleb creates the Mt.Gox crypto exchange in July.
- An unknown attacker exploits the vulnerability in Bitcoin to generate a ridiculously high number of Bitcoins (184 billion Bitcoins) — the bug is quickly fixed.
- The Bitcoin economy passes $1 million.
- Bitcoin pooled mining begins. A few miners agree to combine their hashing power, thereafter forming the slush mining pool in November, and it finds its first block on 16th December.
- Bitcoin reaches parity with the US dollar for the first time. (1 USD was equivalent to 1 BTC). This was the beginning of the great Bitcoin journey.
- A vehicle is, for the first time, exchanged for bitcoins in February. The Owner of an old Porsche exchanges it for 3000BTC.
- Bitcoin gains recognition from the press. TIME Magazine for the first time publishes an article on Bitcoin, and in the same year, WeUseCoins also releases a viral YouTube video on Bitcoin, which has over 9.4 million views.
- The Bitcoin community holds the first Bitcoin conference and World Expo in New York City in August at Roosevelt Hotel.
- In December, a transaction pays 171 BTC in fees; it is the largest amount of fees, to-date, in a single transaction.
- The Bitcoin Foundation is established in September to restore the reputation of Bitcoin after several scandals, and to manage its development and uptake.
- The First Bitcoin Halving Day is observed on November 28th, with block 210000 having a block reward of 25 BTC.
- The Bitcoin community holds a Bitcoin conference in London in September.
- A hard fork of reference client version 0.8 occurs, featuring improved download speed.
- Bitcoin market capitalization surpasses 1 billion USD in March.
- Robocoin and Bitcoiniacs launch the world’s first Bitcoin ATM in Vancouver, British Columbia, and Canada to sell and purchase bitcoin. This was a big milestone for Bitcoin.
- The exchange rate of Bitcoin reaches 100 USD for 1 Bitcoin.
- China bans the use of cryptocurrency in their country, so the first cryptocurrency exchange in China, BTCChina, closes down.
- Companies (i.e. Microsoft, Dell, Newegg, and many more) agree to accept Bitcoin as a payment method for their services. This opened the door for the mainstream adoption of Bitcoin.
- BTCChina renews sales on January 28th.
- Johnny Barrett releases an official Bitcoin song, “Ode to Satoshi,” in late 2014.
- Bitcoin mining difficulty passes 35 billion.
- The exchange rate for Bitcoin reaches 262 USD for 1 Bitcoin in February.
- The New York State Department of Financial Services releases “BitLicense,” which outlines the rules blockchain start-ups should follow within their state.
- The Unicode committee agrees to add the Bitcoin currency symbol “B” in the future version of the Unicode computing character standard in November.
- Bitcoin is exempt from Value Added Tax (VAT) under the provision concerning transactions relating to currency, banknotes, and coins used as legal tender.
- Nasdaq Linq enables first-ever private securities issuance using blockchain.
- In January, the network speed exceeds 1 exhash/sec. Now it’s 100X more than that number.
- The number of Bitcoin users grows from 83 users in 2009 to 3580 Bitcoin users in 2016.
- On 9 July 2016, the second halving occurs as the block reward is reduced to 12.5 bitcoins per block.
- Open Bazaar is released in April as the first decentralized place for buying and selling goods using cryptocurrency.
- The largest Bitcoin exchange by volume to date, Bitfinex, is hacked, and 119,756 Bitcoins ($72 million) are stolen
- Bitcoin breaks the $1000 mark in January for the first time in three years.
- In March, GitHub’s open-source projects are over 10,000.
- In April, Japan categorizes Bitcoin as legal tender after long disputes between regulators and crypto exchanges.
- On August 1st, crypto enthusiasts advocate for an increase in the block size, so there is a Bitcoin code split that starts Bitcoin Cash. The split increases the transaction limit to 8 megabytes.
- CME Group announces the launch of Bitcoin Futures.
- At the end of 2017, the Bitcoin price skyrockets to $20,000, which is so far the peak value of Bitcoin.
- Facebook, Google, and Twitter ban crypto and ICO advertisements to protect investors from cryptocurrency fraud.
- Over 80% of the total Bitcoin supply is mined by January 2018, and only 20% is left for production.
- SegWit is implemented to allow Bitcoin fees to fall to the lowest median level.
- An Indian cryptocurrency exchange, “CoinSecure,” is breached for $3.5 million worth of BTC.
- Ohio appears to become the first US state to allow taxes to be paid in Bitcoin.
- The Bitcoin price falls below $4000 in November.
- Canadian crypto exchange QuadrigaCX says it cannot repay the $190 million in client holdings after its founder, Gerald Cotten, the only person who has access to private keys, unexpectedly dies.
- Binance exchange hackers steal over 7,000 Bitcoins in one go.
- Mainstream adoption of Bitcoin occurs in 2019.
The price of bitcoin in early 2020 is surging at around $8,500. The crypto community expects 2020 to be a blockbuster year because of Bitcoin’s upcoming halving event, which will happen in May.
Honestly, the journey hasn’t been smooth for Bitcoin but it has an incredible story…