To some, it may be much, but few to others, it’s already a decade since the Bitcoin whitepaper written by Satoshi Nakamoto was launched. In this article, we will like to go back to the main stages in the history of the King of Cryptocurrencies, still less known, but we are sure it will become a benchmark to many investors and digital currencies users in the next years.
In this article we will try as much to highlight the most significant events in the history of currency, from its origin to present date, highlighting the main stages.
2008: The Whitepaper and Bitcoin.org
The origins of Bitcoin, at least from what we know, dating back to August 2008, when the Bitcoin.org domain was registered. This is only the first step, designed to anticipate the publication of the Bitcoin Technical Report, signed by Satoshi Nakamoto. On October 31st, 2008, a link was published to a document called Bitcoin: a peer-to-peer Electronic Cash System. This link was sent to a cryptographic mailing list. Thus, initiating the propagation of the Whitepaper. The document describes in detail how to use a peer-to-peer network to create an electronic transaction system without central entities.
2009: The network was created and the first blocks were mined
It was in 2009 that Bitcoin started taking its first steps. On January 3rd, 2009, the first block called the Genesis block, was mined by the Satoshi Nakamoto’s PC (equipped with a Pentium 4). This is the first block, also known as Block 0, of the Bitcoin blockchain, with a 50 Bitcoins reward.
In this block, is the following text message:
This is a clear reference to the New York Times of that day (January 3rd, 2009), which refers to the financial instability caused by banking operations with fractional reserve System.
A few days later, on January 9th, 2009, the first open source Bitcoin client (version 0.1) was launched. Subsequently, the first 10 Bitcoins transaction was carried out on January 12th 2009 to Finney directly from Nakamoto.
From that moment, a slow but inexorable spread of Bitcoin began, with the birth of the BitcoinTalk Forum on November 22nd, where users could sell and exchange Bitcoin privately, setting up currency’s prices.
Then, on October 5th, 2009 the Bitcoin market price was established: A dollar worth 1309.19 BTC (1 BTC = $0.00076). The year ended with the first increase in the difficulty of mining operations, which took place on December 30th, 2009.
2010: Pizza, Exchange and MtGox
In 2010, the first exchange dedicated to the Bitcoins exchange started. In fact, on March 6th, 2010, the Bitcoin market was created.
Some weeks later, on May 22nd, 2010, the first purchase was made via Bitcoin. They were two pizzas, paid at 10000 Bitcoins, which worth $25. The operation took place in Jacksonville, Florida, when Laszlo Hanyecz offered to pay 10000 BTC for two pizzas in the forum, then delivered to Papa John's later.
On July 17th, 2010, MtGox was created, the historical Bitcoin exchange. However, on August 6th, 2010, the very first problems started. An important vulnerability was discovered. In fact, transactions were not verified correctly before being included in the Blockchain. This made a user on August 15 to generate and send more than 184 billion of Bitcoins to two different addresses. The problem was solved immediately and a fork (bifurcation) was created to isolate the two addresses containing the vacuum-printed Bitcoins.
In October 2010, the first accusations for the use of the system for illegal purposes or laundering by some American entities began. Still in October, some mining tools were launched through OpenCL and CUDA, in order to take advantage of the PoW video cards, on October 18th, 2010, the first mining pool, Slush pool, extracted the first block. On December 12th, 2010, Satoshi Nakamoto published The Last Post in BitcoinTalk. Gavin Andresen continued the development of Bitcoin.
The year ended with the achievement of a capitalization equal to $1 million.
2011: SilkRoad, Exchange Bucati (pieces) and BTC at 10 dollars
SilkRoad was created at the start of 2011, a real illegal market where it was possible to buy drugs, weapons and many more using Bitcoins as means of payment. Meanwhile, Slush's Mining Pool plays 10 GH/s and on January 28th, 2011, 25% of the total Bitcoin offer was extracted.
On March 9th, 2011, Bitcoin reached the value of $1 million, making a market capitalization close to 6 million dollars. In the following weeks, dozens of trading platforms were created around the world. In June, Bitcoin reached $10 in MtGox and then collapsed after a cyber-attack on the exchange. Some started comparing the system with a bubble and the exchanges excluded PayPal as a means of payment after scams due to the escrow system. At that same point in time, mining difficulties increased dramatically. On July 29th, BitPay launched its Wallet, while miners started using the FPGAs for BTC's mining operations.
On July 26th, the Polish Exchange Bitomat lost access to its Bitcoin wallet, thus losing 17000 BTC of its users. A few weeks later, the MyBitcoin Exchange was hacked and 150,000 Bitcoins was stolen, which worth $2 million. Therefore, the price of the currency dropped, leading to the first fall of August 30th 2011.The P2Pool was created in the same month and the BIP: Bitcoin improvement proposal (proposed improvement of Bitcoin) concept was proposed.
2012: Coinbase was created and the first halving was produced
2012 started with other cases of hacked-exchanges. On April 8th, 2012, a leaked report of FBI investigation on the use of Bitcoin as a payment method for illicit transactions was published. The Bitcoin magazine was founded or co-founded by Vitalik Buterin.
On April 24th, 2012, the Satoshi Dice was created, the first betting site that foresees the use of Bitcoin. In July, the giant Coinbase was created, meanwhile the Bitcoin Foundation was created on October 27th, just two weeks after the first Bitcoin conference held in London.
On December 28th, the first Halving, with miners reward was carried out from 50 to 25 BTC per block. Towards the end of the year, the first ASIC SHA-256 for BTC's mining debuted. It was the beginning of the mining career.
2013: Bitmain and ATH were created at thousand dollars
The year 2013 is a very important year, given the rally suffered by Bitcoin and the diffusion by the currency on the web. The year started with BitPay, which registered a boom in transactions carried out on its merchant platform, Mega accepts Bitcoin as a payment method and with the creation of several online stores that accepts BTC. The giant Bitmain was equally created this same year, who will soon become the leader in the production of ASIC cards for mining operations.
However, on March 11th, 2013, a problem was encountered with the Bitcoin Core software, which blocked transactions, causing a 23% drop in value, up to 37 dollars. A few days later, more precisely on March 12th, 2013, a real hard fork took place. On March 21st, Bitcoin reached the price of 74.90 dollars. A week later, on March 28th, 2013, Bitcoin market capitalization was at a billion dollars.
In May, the first Bitcoin ATM was presented, but to be available only by the end of the year. In the meantime, Bitcoin was suddenly rising to reach 266, 000. Then, on May 20th, 2013, the price dropped below 150 dollars after the robbery of the Bitcoin Central. But it was just the beginning of the first correction. After a summer of ups and downs, on October 2nd, 2013, the FBI locked-up SilkRoad, confiscating all Bitcoin funds (26000 BTC). The market reacted to this with a new fall in the currency, which dropped to 109 dollars. In early November the Antminer S1 debuted, the first Bitmain ASIC with a hashrate of 180 GH/s. The first HD wallets were also tested, based on the BIP32 and the SEED concept to preserve their private key, they would be established in 2014.
The Bitcoin mania is unleashed, thanks to the acceptance of the BTC payments by the Chinese giant Baidu. The price started rising abruptly. On November 29 th, 2013, the price exceeded 1000 dollars, a figure that was later adjusted on December 3rd, with a new maximum of 1147 dollars. A few days later, however, China's ban touched Bitcoin transactions as well. This led to the collapse of the currency, which dropped to less than 700 dollars.
2014: MtGox hack, Hashrate Record, birth of the Ledger
The year 2014 started with a decrease in Bitcoin value and throughout the Cryptocurrency market, leading to a speculative stagnation of the sector for a couple of years, before the big boom of 2017. In 2014 the hardware manufacturer wallet, the Ledger was created.
Despite this, mining operations were continued in March, bringing the network’s hashrate to 10 Petahash/s. In early February 2014, the Mt.Gox stock Exchange suspended transactions for technical reasons. At the end of the same month, Mt.Gox filed an application for bankruptcy protection in Japan, claiming to have suffered a theft of 750 000 Bitcoins. Panic spread out in the community and the Bitcoin price suddenly dropped below 300 dollars.
In June 2014, the network surpassed 100 Petahash/s, thanks to the debut of the new ASICs of Bitmain and Canaan. In July 2014, Newegg and Dell began accepting Bitcoin. In September of the same year, TeraExchange received the approval of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to quote an over-the-counter swap product based on the Bitcoin price. It was the very first time that a U.S. regulatory agency approved a financial product based on BTC.
In December 2014, Microsoft began accepting Bitcoin to purchase Xbox console games and the Windows platform. The rise and rise of Bitcoin was also published. The year ended with a downward BTC trend, which in December 2014 was quoted at just over 300 USD.
2015: The Winklevoss brothers created Gemini
2015 is perhaps the quietest year for Bitcoin, as there are very few news and highlights. Among the main ones was the start of the Gemini exchange of the Winklevoss brothers, which took place on October 8th. In addition, Coinbase raised an investment fund of 75 million dollars at the start of the year, a recorded figure for a company in the world of Cryptocurrency.
On the contrary, BitStamp suffered a robbery of 19000 Bitcoins at the beginning of the year. The Bitcoin price remained fixed (stagnant) throughout the year between 200 and 400 dollars, with a rise of up to 450 dollars by the end of the year.
2016: Bitcoin on Steam and Bitfinex hacked
In January 2016, the network reached a hashrate of 1 Exahash/S. On January 14th, 2016, the Lightning Network’s WhitePaper was published, the Bitcoin-out-of-chain solution aimed at improving scalability and reducing high transaction rates.
In April 2016, Steam began accepting Bitcoin for the payment of video games and other online media. In August 2016, Bitfinex was hacked. Nearly 120,000 BTC were extracted. At the same time, the number of Bitcoin ATMs has doubled, with nearly 800 ATMs spread all over the world.
In November 2016, it was now possible in Switzerland, to buy train tickets using BTC thanks to the new SBB vending machines. Google Trends recorded a significant increase in Bitcoin-related searches. The number of articles and academic reviews dealing with Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies also increased dramatically. At the end of the year, the Bitcoin price was almost $1000.
2017: SegWit, Bitcoin Cash and the great growth
2017 is a year of records, in which Bitcoin and all Cryptocurrencies have reached their ATH (all-time high or historical maximum), thus obtaining the best maximum diffusion and popularity, so far.
On March 8th, 2017, Bitcoin Core version 0.14 was published and on April 1st, 2017 Japan adopted a law thereby recognizing Bitcoin as a payment instrument by implementing a series of anti-money laundering policies (KYC) to local exchanges.
During spring of 2017, the stock exchanges began to record a significant increase in the Bitcoin trade volumes, which fluctuated around 900-1000 USD. At the start of summer, the ascent started, pushing Bitcoin to 2500 dollars. The Bitcoin symbol was then added to Unicode in June.
In the month of July, Bitcoin took an important step: On July 20th, 2017, the lock-in SegWit protocol was executed. The latter to be enabled on August 23rd 2017. On August 1st, a hard fork, took place, from where Bitcoin Cash was created. On September 2nd, bitcoin reached a new maximum (ceiling) of 5.000 dollars, but was momentary as new Chinese policies disturbed the market, which made Bitcoin to rapidly fall by 20-25%. At the same time, Japan granted 11 licenses to local exchanges, while Russia's Central Bank announced her intentions to block the sites dedicated to Cryptocurrencies trading which were considered dangerous.
In October the increase started and Bitcoin reached 6000 dollars. On October 20th, 2017, the Bitcoin capitalization reached 100 billion dollars. On November 29th, BTC reached 10000 dollars, and on December 1st, 2017 the first US futures contract in Bitcoin was approved.
On December 17th, 2017, Bitcoin reached the value of 19.783.21 dollars, marking the new ATH. It increased as well the network’s hashrate, which reached 10 TH/s. Meanwhile, the first BTC transaction was made on the Lightning network. In late December, Korea announced a series of restrictive measures with respect to Cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin ended the year at about 13000 dollars. Intensive use of the network congested the BTC network, significantly increasing transaction costs and confirmation times.
2018: Crypto Crash, Lightning Network, hashrate on the rise
2018 is a year of corrections, as well as the Crypto Crash, which revealed that Cryptocurrencies market capitalization has decreased considerably and has channeled an existing downward trend. The first significant drop occurred in mid-January, when Crypto Ban news from China and Korea reported that the BTC price is slightly more than 9000 dollars.
Network congestion at the beginning of 2018 maintained high rates and significantly increased the number of unconfirmed transactions in the Mempool, about 250,000 pending transactions, a standardized situation in February. Continuous Mining fever, with the debut of new ASIC and the increase in hashrate despite the fall in prices.
The first part (start) of 2018 continued with constant Bitcoin price adjustments. On April 26th, the 17 millionth Bitcoin was extracted Meanwhile, Lightning Network is still growing. Towards the end of 2018 summer period, the price is maintained at about 6000-6500 dollars, with occasional high and low. On August 18th, the absolute record of the network’s hashrate was recorded, equivalent to almost 62 Exahash/s.
Finally, on October 10th, 2018, the Liquid Network, a side-chain or secondary chain to accelerate Bitcoin transactions between exchanges.
These are just some of the many milestones and highlights that Bitcoin experienced over the past 10 years. There are many others, but we decided to select the most significant ones.
What reserves Bitcoin for the next 10 years?...
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