By now, you have at least heard about Bitcoin. It has become widely talked about, and people have been calling it and the blockchain technology it relies on game-changers in the world of finance. But how did this rise happen?
It’s fascinating just how rapid the Bitcoin and blockchain’s rise in popularity was, given their age. Bitcoin and blockchain came about in 2009, as the brainchild of the anonymous entity known as Satoshi Nakamoto. The idea for what it will become, however, first appeared a tad earlier, in August of 2018.
The First Years
Satoshi’s original idea for Bitcoin and blockchain was laid out in the now famous white paper simply titled Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System. This is when the world took its first peek into the future that is cryptocurrency.
On January 12, 2009, the first ever Bitcoin block was mined. For those of you wondering, mining a block means adding transaction records to data nodes, which yields Bitcoin in return.
Just three days later, the first Bitcoin transaction was performed: 10 bitcoins was sent to computer developer Hal Finney. It should be noted that, at this point, a single Bitcoin was only worth about $0,001.
The First Bitcoin Purchase
The first Bitcoin-based purchase happened in 2010, when 10,000 bitcoins were used to buy a pizza. Bitcoin’s surge in value couldn’t have been predicted by anyone back then, so today this pizza sounds rather pricey, to say the least.
For the next seven years, Bitcoin’s progress wasn’t as notable. It experienced some turbulence due to security breaches and bad press, but showed overall growth, reaching a value of $1,000 in 2013.
Bitcoin’s Highest Value Peak
The spike in Bitcoin’s worth took place in 2017, when it surpassed its previous mark and simply kept growing. It went over $3,000 in June, then $6,000 in October, and by the end of the year, it had reached its still standing record of $19,789.
This seems to have been the peak for Bitcoin for now though, since 2018 has shown itself to be its year of decline. At the time of writing, its worth was just shy of $3,446.
But What About Blockchain?
You might be confused as to why blockchain hasn’t been discussed yet. The reason is that, for the most part, Bitcoin and blockchain share the same history. Since blockchain technology was introduced to us at the same time as Bitcoin, they largely shared the same ups and downs.
However, around 2014, people caught on to how powerful this piece of tech was, and from here on its story has mainly been one of innovation and implementation, with even the Bank of England giving it a go in 2016. Blockchain was tinkered with and found to be applicable to far more areas than just cryptocurrency.
Thus far, the greatest innovation blockchain has seen (beside Bitcoin) have probably been smart contracts. Smart contracts are, essentially, digital contracts that cut out the middleman (like banks or lawyers, for example) and update themselves when necessary. This may radically change contracts as we know them, so it’s no wonder it’s a big deal right now.
As you can see, a lot occurred in the relatively short time from Bitcoin’s and blockchain’s inception till today. But this historical overview doesn’t really go into detail about how the two work.
This wonderful guide provides all the information a crypto beginner needs to know about Bitcoin and blockchain, and the info is presented in a neat and clear to understand manner. It serves as a great starter kit for those looking to become more involved in the world of cryptocurrency.