Bitcoin is perhaps not only the largest Cryptocurrency in terms of market cap but also the most popular. It has been around since 2009 making it the oldest virtual currency. The coin has revolutionized the banking sector enabling people to send and receive cash from almost anywhere without the need for intermediaries.
Bitcoin has undergone significant highs and lows in the last decade. Currently, the coin has been through one of its most turbulent times experienced a price reduction since it recorded a peak value of almost $20,000 in December 2017. Despite the buzz, its creator or creators remain anonymous to this day.
Who Is Satoshi Nakamoto?
Satoshi Nakamoto is an anonymous person or a group of persons who wrote Bitcoin whitepaper. Two months before the writing of the paper, in August 2008, bitcoin.org was first registered online. It is through the paper that the name Satoshi Nakamoto first appeared on the web and became permanently connected to the Cryptocurrency.
Among the first people to interact with Satoshi Nakamoto was Hal Finney. The console game developer was a member of a group called “cypherpunk movement” who discovered Bitcoin proposal through its mailing listings.
When Satoshi released its software, Finney became the first one to mine Bitcoin which he received from the creator as a test. While speaking about his dealings with Satoshi, Finney said he thought he was interacting with a person of Japanese ancestry. He vehemently denied he was the real Bitcoin creator saying his role was only secondary.
Although Bitcoin has only been around since the 2000s, some people trace its origin several years ago.
In 1982, David Chaum a prominent computer scientist first proposed the concept of e-Cash. The scientist went ahead to publish a paper with more details about a kind of Cryptography that he said would block third parties from seeing payment information.
In 1990, Chaum created DigiCash to put his blind signature system to the practical test. Just like Bitcoin, DigiCash was developed with the intention of creating a safe and secure online currency. Despite attracting the attention of both employees and venture capital, the project became bankrupt by the late 90s.
In 1998, there were two Cryptocurrency ideas namely, B-Money and Bit Gold. However, the proposals never came to fruition.
This year saw the entrance of the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto. A paper titled “Bitcoin – A Peer to Peer Electronic Cash System” first appeared. The document mentioned ambitions expressed in previous papers such as secure digital signature, proof-of-work, and eliminating the third party. The true identity of the writer(s) of this paper remains a mystery.
Bitcoin software becomes available to the public. The first ever Bitcoin transaction takes place when Nakamoto sends 10 BTC to Hal Finney, a noted computer programmer and developer. The New Liberty Standard published the first Bitcoin exchange rate as $1 to be worth 1,309.03 BTC.
Previously, only mining was taking place. However, after the valuation of Bitcoin, someone swapped 10,000 BTC for two pizzas. Bitcoin Market and Mt. Gox Bitcoin exchanges also emerged and the coin’s market cap surpassed $1M for the first time.
The popularity of Bitcoin continued to grow. 1 Bitcoin was now worth $1. Other forms of Cryptocurrency were developed with the intention of improving Bitcoin or for different purposes. Litecoin emerged in this year.
Bitcoin crossed the $100 mark in April 2012. By 2013, the coin surpassed the value of $1,000.
This was a turbulent period for the Cryptocurrency with the price falling below $1,000 in January 2014. The currency experienced a rise and fall in its price.
This year is regarded as one of the best years for Bitcoin with its price reaching almost $20,000 in December.
This was one of the toughest years for the Cryptocurrency as its price kept descending from the levels achieved in December the previous year.