Bitcoin has been around for quite a while now, and many people are still wondering where and how the coin came to be. Apart from choosing to buy bitcoin, people also start exploring the project’s fundamentals by looking into the Bitcoin whitepaper, as well as its turbulent 12-year history.
In this article we will give a short history lesson about Bitcoin, the when, how, and why of its creation, and what you can learn from it as a new investor. Ready to delve in? Let’s get started.
2008 – Bitcoin’s whitepaper goes live
In October of 2008, the Cypherpunk community releases its latest newsletter. In it is a 9-page document written by a person called Satoshi Nakamoto.
No one had ever seen Satoshi before, but many people were intrigued about his idea of creating a decentralized, permissionless cryptocurrency that could act as an alternative to FIAT money. Today, the Bitcoin whitepaper can be found on the official website of Bitcoin (bitcoin.org) as well as other websites, including governmental subdomains.
2009 – The Bitcoin Network goes live
In January 2009, Satoshi finally releases the Bitcoin software to the public. Several early pioneers start mining Bitcoin, and the first-ever BTC transfer between two network participants occurs. Satoshi Nakamoto sends 50 BTC to now-deceased Hal Finney, which many believe to be the actual Satoshi.
In the early days, Bitcoin receives attention only from cryptographers and tech enthusiasts, who quickly realize the potential of the project. Hal Finney mentioned that if Bitcoin were to succeed, we could see the coin’s price go to $10 million or more. During these days, Satoshi Nakamoto mined more than 1 million Bitcoin.
2010 – First transaction & vulnerabilities
The year 2010 can be labeled as the year that Bitcoin entered the mainstream, and many non-cryptographers finally discover it online. The first cryptocurrency transaction is made on BitcoinTalk when a user paid 10.000 BTC for two Papa John’s pizzas. At a value of $40, this set the bottom price of bitcoin at $0,004.
The only major flaw in Bitcoin’s network was spotted on the 15th of August 2010, when users exploited a bug in the system, creating 184 billion coins, and transferring them to their personal wallets. The transaction was spotted, the network was hard forked to an updated protocol, and would since then continue operating without any issues.
2011 – Massive growth and first exchanges
Cryptocurrencies start to emerge based on the protocol of Bitcoin, including Litecoin, and others. It is during this time that the market really starts to grow as several stores start accepting BTC, including Wikileaks for donations.
In February of 2011, Bitcoin reaches parity with the USD, an event that receives massive coverage from mainstream media, helping the coin climb further to the $100 dollar area.
2012 – More exposure
Popular TV show “The Good Wife” by CBS mentions Bitcoin during the time of the show, causing a new wave of awareness stage consumers to discover the popular cryptocurrency. In September of the same year, the Bitcoin Foundation is launched, aiming to accelerate the project’s growth and protect Bitcoin from future technical issues. By the end of the year, BitPay would register more than 1000 merchants that accept Bitcoin for their services.
2013 – Hacks & Growth
2013 is the first year that Bitcoin breaks through the 4-figure price barrier. This is due to massive accessibility being created through many new exchange platforms, including Coinbase, which now starts to ramp up in popularity.
During the same time, the Silk Road platform, a black market that accepts BTC payments, shuts down, and its founder Ross Ulbright is taken in custody.
Later in the year, geopolitical tensions in Cyprus lead to massive bailout packages and wealthy individuals are threatened with new “wealth taxes”. In an attempt to hedge against risk, people find Bitcoin and decide to store part of their wealth in it. The coin grows from $350 to $1200 in a matter of days.
2014 – 2015 Bear market
The next two years will be long and dreadful as Bitcoin drops to $200 in value before slowly recovering to its prior highs. It would take until 2016 for it to reach its prior peak point.
2016 – 2017 – Bull market
Starting from the second Bitcoin halving, the coin starts accelerating its growth. We see a full recovery to prior highs that helps the coin eventually peak at $20.000 in December of 2017. Shortly after, however, we experience a similar reversal with Bitcoin entering a new bear market.
2018 – Build
In 2018 Bitcoin finds a new bottom at $3200. Industry enthusiasts don’t stop there, however. They continue building new financial products and acquire more FIAT onramps to help more people join the financial revolution.
2019 – Today
Bitcoin has now reclaimed its prior levels after making a full recovery. With a new peak of $42000 and increased institutional adoption, we are excited to see what the future will bring. Bitcoin is now more important than ever, as the COVID-related events have exposed the instabilities of our global economy.