Thirteen years ago today, Satoshi Nakamoto, an anonymous person or group, published the Bitcoin white paper.
It has now spawned a crypto network worth more than $1 trillion, a remarkable feat for a decentralized blockchain with no C-suite or board of directors guiding it to that value. (Read more here about the wonders of decentralization.)
Here are 13 pivotal moments in Bitcoin’s rise, staring with the publication of the white paper 13 years ago.
1. $0 — October 31, 2008: publication of the Bitcoin white paper
Satoshi Nakamoto published his/her/their Bitcoin white paper to the cypherpunk mailing list on Oct. 31, 2008. “I’ve been working on a new electronic cash system that’s fully peer-to-peer, with no trusted third party,” the email began.
2. $0 — January 3, 2009: Launch of the network
The Bitcoin network launched on Jan, 3, 2009. In the beginning, it was run only by two entities: Satoshi Nakamoto and Hal Finney, a developer, cypherpunk and cryptography activist. The so-called genesis block, meaning the first block in the bitcoin blockchain, or ledger of all bitcoin transactions, included this note, entered by Satoshi, “The Times Jan/03/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks.”
3. $0.0041 — May 22, 2010: Bitcoin Pizza Day
For a long time, bitcoin had not price. That was until Laszlo Hanyecz infamously traded 10,000 bitcoins for two pizzas costing about $41. According to today’s prices, he paid $631 million for those two pizzas.
According to Investopedia, “Bitcoin first started trading from around $0.0008 to $0.08 per coin in July 2010.”
4. $0.67 — August 15, 2010: bug creates 184 million bitcoins
The Bitcoin software was designed to only ever create 21 million bitcoins. But in August 2010, an anonymous developer exploited a vulnerability in the code called an “overflow bug,” which enabled the creation of more than 184 million bitcoins. According to Decrpyt, the error was caught before the 184 million bitcoins were mined, which enabled the community to implement an update that erased those coins.
5. $0.52-$1.10 — February 2011: Launch of Silk Road
For better or worse, the first big application to use bitcoin was the darknet market Silk Road, which launched in February 2011. It became the first online drug marketplace, enabled by bitcoin, which was the first digital currency to enable cash-like transactions online.
6. $2.50-$9.70 — April/May, 2011: Satoshi leaves Bitcoin
Two years after launch, creator Satoshi Nakamoto wrote to two different close collaborators, that he had “moved on to other things.” To one, he/she/they also added wishes that the trusted lieutenant “wouldn’t keep talking about me as a mysterious shadowy figure,” and to the other, he/she/they transferred the Bitcoin.org website. Then Satoshi was never heard from again.
7. $1,000 — November 27, 2013: Bitcoin’s price crosses $1,000
What had been a valueless digital token a mere three-and-a-half years prior now became worth more than $1,000 for the first time.
8. $200-$7,450 — 2015–2017: big vs. small blocks debate
The Bitcoin blockchain is created of blocks of transactions that are “chained” together by cryptography. Hence, the term “blockchain.” From late 2015 to late 2017, the community was embroiled in a civil war over whether to increase the amount of data that could be included in any block simply by increasing the limit on the number of megabytes. The downside was that doing so required a so-called hard fork, an upgrade to the network that ran the risk of splitting the network in two, thus creating a competing version of Bitcoin. For years, the community argued between doing that and other options for increasing the number of transactions per block that did not require a simple increase to the block size limit/a hard fork.
9. $7,450 — November 8, 2017: SegWit2x called off
Another group of frustrated Bitcoin entrepreneurs that had called for a compromise solution called SegWit2x that would be a mixture of the simple increase on the block size limit as well as other ways of fitting in more transactions per block had set a deadline for when they would hard fork to implement this compromise. Days before it was set of occur, they called it off. The network has gradually been implementing the solution that did not require a hard fork, SegWit, which is currently at about 80% adoption.
10. $14,500 — December 10, 2017: First bitcoin futures launch
Cboe became the first derivatives exchange to launch bitcoin futures, which was seen as a major step toward the legitimization of bitcoin by traditional finance. Eight days later, on December 18, rival CME, a much bigger exchange, began trading bitcoin futures as well.
Cboe later abandoned its bitcoin futures product in June 2019.
11. $11,550— August 11, 2020: Microstrategy becomes the first public company to buy bitcoin
In August 2020, Microstrategy became the first publicly traded company to put bitcoin on its balance sheet as a hedge against inflation, spurred by the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. A number of other public companies have followed suit, most notably Tesla, one of the world’s most valuable companies.
Microstrategy has continued to purchase bitcoin, and currently owns 114,042 BTC.
12. $48,000 — September 7, 2021: El Salvador becomes first country to adopt bitcoin as legal tender
Forty-year-old El Salvadoran president Nayib Bukele became enamoured of bitcoin and was able to get it adopted by his country as legal tender. The rollout was accompanied by the launch of the Chivo mobile wallet, which enabled Salvadorans to pay for goods and services in US dollars or bitcoin.
13. $63,000 — October 19, 2021: Bitcoin Futures ETF launches
While the Bitcoin community has waited for years for a bitcoin ETF, they made do with a bitcoin futures ETF, a product that holds bitcoin futures as opposed to actual bitcoin. According to Bloomberg, in its first day of trading, the Proshares Bitcoin Strategy ETF (BITO) became the second-most heavily traded fund on its launch day.
Article originally posted here https://medium.com/@laurashin/13-bitcoin-facts-on-the-13th-birthday-of-the-bitcoin-white-paper-f325ab1283f2