Most of us have heard of the crypto-currency known as Bitcoin, but do you know where it came from? Here are the key points in the life of Bitcoin, from its beginnings in 2007 to the current day.
2007 - The idea to form a digital currency begins.
A person or persons shrouded in mystery called Satoshi Nakamoto, who allegedly lives in Japan would be credited with the work, but the name is an assumed alias of at least one person.
2008 - A patent is requested.
Three men, Charles Bry, Neal Kin and Vladimir Oksman file for a patented encryption method. They all deny being involved or connected with Satoshi Nakamoto. The same day the Bitcoin.org website is formed anonymously. Satoshi Nakamoto publishes a white paper on Bitcoin.
2009 - The genesis of a new currency.
The first block of Bitcoins is mined, known as Genesis block. The first version of the Bitcoin software was released allowing Bitcoin to be sent and received, as well as a Bitcoin generation option. The first transaction is made in January, An exchange rate of $1 = 1,309,03 Bitcoin is established.
2010 - A Bitcoin marketplace is formed.
The marketplace is created by the now defunct dwdollar, but holes appear in Bitcoin’s security. Thought of as safe until this point, Bitcoin is hacked, and 184 billion Bitcoins are created using a programming vulnerability. The currency value flatlines as a result. A new version of the software is created following a second hacking attempt.
2011 - Criminal intent.
The dark web drug marketplace Silk Road was formed, and the currency of choice was the Bitcoin because of its anonymity. The US government takes notice of the currency for the first time thanks to the illegal involvement. Meanwhile, the value of the Bitcoin is beginning to rise again passing parity with the Euro and the US Dollar.
2013 - Market Cap reaches a high.
By January 2013, the Bitcoin market cap reached $1 billion dollars. However, thefts of Bitcoins had become common, forcing the government to attempt to regulate the currency. In China, the currency was described as having no ‘real meaning’ and banks were banned from taking it. Despite this, China remains the largest user of the Bitcoin with around 80% of transactions coming from the country.
2014 - The wider world takes notice.
By 2014, larger companies begin to take Bitcoin as a currency, including Microsoft. There has also been an increase in investments in Bitcoin with legitimate investment funds with financial backing cropping up all over the world. Chancellor George Osbourne also purchases some Bitcoins and brings out new legislation surrounding the currency. Some of the best casino companies in the world, such as Mr Green, Casumo and 32Red consider bitcoin as a payment method also.
2015 and beyond - The New York Stock Exchange invested money into bringing transparency to the Bitcoin, allowing for safer transactions online. As a result of the increasing interest in the currency many, more retailers are interested in using the digital cash.