Bitcoin is not the world’s first digital currency, but it is the most successful. Many have come before it but all have failed. And the reason for failure? Virtual currencies had an inherent problem – they were easy to double spend.
You could pay $100 to one merchant and use the same amount of money to pay a second merchant! Scammers and fraudsters simply loved this loophole.
Fortunately, in 2008, Satoshi Nakamoto started working on the Bitcoin concept. On October 31st the following year, he released his white paper entitled “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System” which outlined a payment system that addressed the double spending problem of digital currencies. It was a brilliant concept that drew the attention of the cryptographic community. The Bitcoin Project software was registered in SourceForge just a little over a week after the white paper was published.
In January 2009, the first-ever Bitcoin block called the ‘Genesis block’ was mined. Days later, on January 12, 2009, block 170 recorded the first-ever bitcoin transaction between Hal Finney and Satoshi Nakamoto.
Actually, Satoshi Nakamoto” is presumed to be a pseudonym for the person or people who designed the original bitcoin protocol in 2008 and launched the network in 2009.
Many have speculated that Satoshi is not just one person but rather a collective pseudonym for a group of cryptographic developers. Some have come forward claiming to be Satoshi, but to date, his real identity remains a secret.
The very next year, in November 2010, Bitcoin’s market cap exceeded $1,000,000! This was a very pivotal moment in the development of Bitcoin as this lead to more people getting interested and investing in bitcoins. The price at this point was $0.50 per BTC.
However, in June 2011, Bitcoin experienced the so-called “Great Bubble of 2011” after reaching an all-time high of $31.91/BTC. Just 4 days after reaching its highest price, the exchange rate plummeted to just $10 per BTC.
In October 2011, Bitcoin forked for the first time to create Litecoin.
In June 2012, one of the biggest US-based cryptocurrency exchanges Coinbase was launched.
On 27th September 2012, the Bitcoin Foundation was formed.
In December 2013, the price reached a high of $1,079, but at the beginning of February 2014 a cryptocurrency exchange, called Mt. Gox gets hacked. This was one of the worst hacks ever which lead to a drop in price.
On 1st August 2017, Bitcoin forked again to form Bitcoin Cash.
In December 2017, the first bitcoin futures contracts were launched by CBOE Global Markets (CBOE) and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME).
In December 2017 the price of Bitcoin reaches its all-time high of approximately 20 000 $.
In January 2018, the price drops as a result of the crash of the whole cryptocurrency market.
In November 2018 Bitcoin’s market cap value fell below $100 billion for the first time since October 2017.
On 3rd January 2019 was the 10 – year anniversary of Bitcoin (since the mining of the genesis block).
In November 2020, for the first time since the last all-time high, the price of Bitcoin surges back above the 18 000 $ level.
During Bitcoin’s lifetime, many investors managed to make a ton of money, but there were also many people, that panicked at losing so much money during the price corrections and sold at a loss.
After every significant crash of Bitcoin’s price, it took around 2 years for the exchange rate to recover and surpass the previous all-time high. Those who kept their bitcoins made the right decision as the price has continued to climb and surpass everyone’s expectations.