Cryptocurrency seems to be a relatively new concept for most people, even with the onset of financial technology being accepted into financial institutions. The revolutionary digital currency called Bitcoin started way back in 2009; however, the blockchain technology behind it has come from roots even further from the said year.
At present, cryptocurrency is becoming more and more popular. People have become savvier with virtual, decentralized currencies by using online resources such as TheCoinOffering.com. Even though cryptocurrency has come a long way since its inception, it’s still worth knowing the roots of this technology.
Here are the years and their key milestones:
1998 to 2008
Bitcoin is the first official cryptocurrency that came into existence. However, previous attempts to make online currencies were already made prior. The previous attempts used ledgers that are made secure by encryption; examples of these include Bit Gold and B-Money. These online currencies were created but not fully developed.
2008 to 2010
In 2008, Satoshi Nakamoto posted a paper entitled “Bitcoin – A Peer to Peer Electronic Cash System” to a mailing list discussion focused on cryptography. While Satoshi Nakamoto sounds like a name of a real person, it was actually a screen name of an anonymous developer. The real identity of Nakamoto is still a mystery to date.
In 2009, the Bitcoin software was released to the public. That year, the development of new Bitcoins began. In addition, transactions were also recorded, and their verification was done within the blockchain. At that time, it was more of an urban legend than an actual currency.
Up until 2010, Bitcoin was never traded and was only mined. That’s why a monetary value wasn’t assigned to each unit of this digital currency. A notable event was when a person decided to sell 10,000 units of Bitcoins for pizza. A single Bitcoin is currently worth over 3,000 USD as of writing.
2011 to 2013
In 2011, since Bitcoin and the notion of encrypted, decentralized currencies are becoming popular, the first alternative cryptocurrencies came into existence. These currencies are called altcoins and they try to provide an improved form of Bitcoin through faster speed, enhanced anonymity, or any other advantage. One of the first altcoins were Litecoin and Namecoin. At present, there are a lot of cryptocurrencies being circulated globally with new ones appearing now and then.
In 2013, when the price of Bitcoin reached the 1,000 USD mark for the first time, the price of the digital currency began to decline steeply. The people who invested when Bitcoin reached a new high suffered losses when the price went down to the 300 USD mark. It would take over two years for the price of Bitcoin to go back to the 1,000 USD level again.
2016 to 2018
In 2016, a specific cryptocurrency almost trumped over Bitcoin’s popularity. There was a considerable enthusiasm around the Ethereum platform. The platform utilizes Ether cryptocurrency to facilitate apps and smart contracts that are blockchain-based. The arrival of Ethereum was also marked by the materialization of Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs).
ICOs are the digital equivalent of IPOs or Initial Public Offerings. ICOs are platforms for raising funds which provide investors the opportunity to trade shares or stocks in startup ventures similar to the act of investing and trading in cryptocurrencies.
In 2017, gradually, there were more places where Bitcoin can be used as currency to purchase goods and services. The increase in places also contributed to the growth and popularity of the cryptocurrency. As the user base of Bitcoin increased, there were realizations that money was flowing into the cryptocurrency ecosystem.
During this time, the market capitalization of all crypto coins increased from 11 billion USD to a height of 300 billion USD. Even banks such as Deutsche Bank, Barclays, Citi Bank, and BNP Paribas stated they were looking for ways they can work with Bitcoin. In the meantime, blockchain, the tech behind Bitcoin, paved the way to a revolution in Financial technology or Fintech and other industries with projects that are just getting started.
In addition, the “Bitcoin cash hard fork” has occurred. This results in the split of Bitcoin into two different derivative cryptocurrencies namely Bitcoin Cash and BTC. Japan also passed a law that accepts Bitcoin as a legal mode of payment.
In 2018, Samsung has confirmed that it is creating chips for mining coins. In addition, multiple European governments worked together to cooperate with regards to regulation of cryptocurrencies. More continue in their quest to launching innovative partnerships with powerful, big names. This includes the 2018 launch of Ripple’s app with Santander for transfer of money internationally.
Cryptocurrencies are no longer the profoundly mysterious digital technology that most people aren’t familiar with. There are multiple opinions regarding these decentralized, digital currencies. However, its continued growth from its beginnings with Satoshi Nakamoto’s Bitcoin shows that it is most likely here to stay.
Will it stay for good to replace centralized, government-regulated currency? Apparently, the future is always uncertain. But one thing is clear: Cryptocurrencies are gaining strength and popularity over time, and further developments are being made to make them more useful to the global masses.
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