Start date: 03/01/2009
Proof type: PoW
Difficulty adjustment: 2016 blocks
Block reward reduction: 50%
Balances – block chain The block chain is a shared public ledger on which the entire Bitcoin network relies. All confirmed transactions are included in the block chain. This way, Bitcoin wallets can calculate their spendable balance and new transactions can be verified to be spending bitcoins that are actually owned by the spender. The integrity and the chronological order of the block chain are enforced with cryptography.Transactions – private keys A transaction is a transfer of value between Bitcoin wallets that gets included in the block chain. Bitcoin wallets keep a secret piece of data called a private key or seed, which is used to sign transactions, providing a mathematical proof that they have come from the owner of the wallet. The signature also prevents the transaction from being altered by anybody once it has been issued. All transactions are broadcast between users and usually begin to be confirmed by the network in the following 10 minutes, through a process called mining.Processing – mining Mining is a distributed consensus system that is used to confirm waiting transactions by including them in the block chain. It enforces a chronological order in the block chain, protects the neutrality of the network, and allows different computers to agree on the state of the system. To be confirmed, transactions must be packed in a block that fits very strict cryptographic rules that will be verified by the network. These rules prevent previous blocks from being modified because doing so would invalidate all following blocks. Mining also creates the equivalent of a competitive lottery that prevents any individual from easily adding new blocks consecutively in the block chain. This way, no individuals can control what is included in the block chain or replace parts of the block chain to roll back their own spends.
Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for the last few years, you will have heard at least someone in your network of friends and family mention this thing called Bitcoin.
This post is not intended to explain what this goliath, revolutionary cryptocurrency is. No, no, no. We will assume you are at least familiar enough with Bitcoin to know what it is and why it matters.
To that end, this post and the infographic herein serves to offer a comprehensive yet easy-to-digest timeline look at where Bitcoin began, how it has evolved, what the most significant monumental points are (thus far) in its still very young history — and what the current state of the now-infamous cryptocurrency is.
With that said, go ahead and check out the infographic below to take the quick “scrolling” journey through how Bitcoin has evolved and impacted the world to date:
Sometime in 2007
To give more colour to the above infographic, let us quickly dive into each step mentioned in a little more detail.
There is one name and one name alone in the world of cryptocurrency that is (and may forever be) swarmed in mystery and wonder: Satoshi Nakamoto.
This man is credited as being the creator of Bitcoin. Sources all point to Satoshi first conceiving and actively working on creating the world’s first cryptocurrency in 2007.
With that said, there are 7 names associated with the origins of Bitcoin, and with the incredible mystery and unknown identity of Satoshi Nakamoto, there is well-founded speculation that Satoshi may actually be a collective pseudonym for a number of the other 6 names accredited with being a part of Bitcoin’s development and implementation.
August 15, 2008
At this exact date, a patent application is received from three individuals (none of whom are named Satoshi Nakamoto) applying for a very specific encryption patent. All relation to Satoshi is outright denied by the three individuals named on this application.
This patent has shown an incredibly coincidental connection to the first public “launching” of Bitcoin to the world (see this great piece of “investigative journalism” to know more). From the technical detailing of the patent, to the very short time between dates from the patent application and the actual launch date of Bitcoin.org – something very fishy was brought to the crypto world’s attention…
August 18, 2008
Yup – you guessed it. A mere 3 days after the mysterious patent was submitted, Bitcoin.org was purchased and registered via (of course) an anonymous-friendly domain purchasing web store. What are the chances?!
November 9, 2008
Bitcoin.org makes its ‘decentralised’ and open-source intentions very clear by registering onto sourceforge.net. This is a online collaboration community that allows for total open collaborating on all manners of software projects.
January 12, 2009
History is made! The first ever official Bitcoin transaction is successfully made between Satoshi and a man by the name of Hal Finney – whom is closely tied to the earliest developments of the cryptocurrency (yes, he is one of the 7 names pinned to the origins of Bitcoin).
October 5, 2009
An official exchange rate is published to the world by New Liberty Standard. The initial exchange rate places the value of Bitcoin at $1USD = 1,309.03 BTC. This exchange rate is calculated in a specific way that includes how much electricity is used by a single computer to generate Bitcoins.
February 18, 2010
The aforementioned patent application is successfully published under the names of the three individuals that submitted the patent initially: Neal Kin, Vladimir Oksman and Charles Bry.
May 22, 2010
A monumental moment for the cryptocurrency occurs when a programmer from Florida by the name of Laszlo Hanyecz offers to purchase a pizza using Bitcoin. 10,000 BTC to be exact. At the time of this transaction, this equally around $25USD. Many look back on this moment as being a real key point that demonstrated to the world the real life application that Bitcoin can have.
July 12, 2010
Shortly after the infamous pizza-purchase, the exchange value of Bitcoin increases literally “tenfold” (10x) by jumping from $0.008USD to $0.08USD. Most see this as a temporary high off of the publicity that came from the pizza; some (in hindsight much smarter/braver people) see it as the beginning of what could be a huge surge in the value of Bitcoin.
July 17, 2010
The first easy-to-use Bitcoin exchange market is established, called MtGOX. It is founded by Jeb McCaleb. This causes a big increase in Bitcoin exchanges, however the platform itself remains quite primitive and suffers regular crashes over the years of its existence.
July 18, 2010
ArtForz creates and established an OpenGL GPU hash farm and subsequently mines his first ever Bitcoin block.
August 15, 2010
A vulnerability in the Bitcoin mining process is exposed and exploited. This results in over 184Billion being incorrectly verified and created.
September 18, 2010
Slush’s Pool mines it’s first ever block. This process of “pool mining” is where several users combine their computing power and work together in order to mine Bitcoins faster and more efficiently, then share the resulting Bitcoins equally amongst one another.
December 8, 2010
Using Bitcoind, the first ever portable to portable (mobile) Bitcoin transaction is completed between Ribuck sends Doublec 0.42BTC.
At the beginning of the year, on an unknown date, Silk Road launches. This is a Bitcoin marketplace that quickly becomes known as the “eBay for drugs”. Users can essentially buy anything using their Bitcoin as the currency.
January 28, 2011
At this point it is confirmed that more than 25% of total Bitcoins has been generated. 5.25Million Bitcoins are generated, making up a quarter of the total number of Bitcoins that can ever be mined (just under 21Million).
March 27, 2011
To allow official trading on Bitcoins in GBP (British) currency, Britcoin opens. This allows the exchange for Bitcoin to Great British Sterling (GBP).
April 5, 2011
Quickly following in Britcoin’s shoes, BitMarket.eu opens its doors and allows the public to exchange Bitcoin to EUR and many other European local currencies.
May 9, 2012
An FBI report is leaked that details how the US law enforcement are “concerned” with the allowability of Bitcoin to facilitate illegal purchases for drugs, weapons and more. The leaked report is ominously entitled: “Bitcoin Virtual Currency: Unique Features Present Distinct Challenges for Deterring Illicit Activity”.
March 28, 2013
The market cap for Bitcoin reaches $1Million.
May 2, 2013
The first ever Bitcoin ATM is debuted in San Diego, California.
October 2, 2013
After just over 2.5 years since launching, the FBI shut down Silk Road and imprison the website’s creator and founder. Although seen as reducing the mass global dealings of illegal substances — this is viewed as a loss for the crypto-world as it is the first instance of world government pushing back against the progress of cryptocurrency as a worldwide currency.
October 14, 2013
Baidu, China’s most popular search engine, begins accepting Bitcoin. The first of its kind to start doing so.
November 17, 2013
The price of Bitcoin doubles once more after already climbing into the hundreds of USD, reaching $503.10USD on MtGox.
November 19, 2013
Shortly after Senate Hearings in the US, Bitcoin value surges to over $1000USD, to $1242. At this point Bitcoin is recorded at now performing more transactions than Western Union, the global money transfer company.
Many casinos in downtown Las Vegas are reported to be testing out Bitcoin as a means of gambling currency.
Two goliath industry leaders in the IT world, Newegg and Dell, begin accepting Bitcoin as a method of payment.
Microsoft allows Bitcoin as a method of payment for customers to purchase xBox games and Windows apps.
21 Inc raises $116,000,000USD in venture funding. The largest ever funding recorded to date by a cryptocurrency related company.
Steam, the online gaming marketplace, begins accepting Bitcoin as a method of payment for game purchases.
With the number of ATMs globally reaching 711, this number has doubled in less than 18 months.
GitHub projects related to Bitcoin reaches 10,000. Also, Japan officially recognises virtual currencies (like Bitcoin) as having a legitimate real life value like any monetary currency. Subsequently the nation allows Bitcoin payments for both buyers and sellers.
In the month of May alone, the value of Bitcoin rises to $1402.03, to $1800, to $2000USD.
The official Bitcoin symbol is encoded in Unicode in the Currency symbols block, further establishing the currency worldwide amongst regular internet users. The cryptocurrency then reaches an all-time high value to date of $2846USD, before shortly crashing quickly once again to below $2000USD.
… to be continued!
So there you have it. A quick breakdown of how this insane cryptocurrency has exploded into the world financial market like no other currency ever has. The many monumental moments that Bitcoin has gone through in the last 10 years alone is astonishing.
From its humble, super-tech-geeky inception and early adoption, to the miraculous surge in its value against the USD, to its mass global adoption and acceptance by major companies and organisations — this mother cryptocurrency is only getting started.
As of our latest update on this, in October 30, 2017, Bitcoin is currently sitting at a dizzying $5000+USD value.
Who knows what the future is going to bring for Bitcoin. What we do know is that a huge number of “alt” coins has been launches, some to great success, in the shadow of Bitcoin’s growth.
What do you think the future of Bitcoin holds?