With many countries now embracing various cryptocurrencies and trying to adopt them for use as a medium of exchange, we take a look at how it all started.
Ten years ago, Satoshi Nakamoto, bitcoin’s mysterious founder, published a nine-page long academic styled paper called “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System.” The published documents would go on to serve as the founding text for the cryptocurrency.
As at then, no one would have suspected the price of bitcoim would accrue so much value, like it is today, as its value back then was in the fractions of cents. Said to be as low as $0.01 at the time, time would see bitcoin’s value increasing more than 1 million fold over the years.
The first bitcoin transactions recorded were said to have taken place between 2008 and 2010 in private. Although no one really knew when or how numerous they were, but the first trade is believed to have been between Nakamoto and developer Hal Finney.
However, Bitcoin’s at a point were considered so worthless that, in May 22, 2010, Florida-based programmer Laszlo Hanyecz bought two Papa John’s pizzas for 10,000 Bitcoin, valued at the time at $30. This is believed to be the first “real world” bitcoin transaction; more so, had he kept the currency, it would have been worth more than $63 million today.
In 2013, despite the fact that Bitcoin’s journey continued slowly at first, the cryptocurrency increased in value from around $100 per coin to $1,000 in just over a month, before halving in value over the next three or four months. Not until 2017, Bitcoin never hit the $1,000 mark again.
2017 came with its own luck for bitcoin owners, after three years of relative calm, the cryptocurrency began to increase in value from around $1,000 per coin to almost $20,000 per coin in a matter of months.
Part of the spearhead for that huge jump in the value of bitcoin, is the bitcoin “fork” which saw bitcoin split into bitcoin and bitcoin cash, after a group of Chinese developers decided to split bitcoin’s original code in protest at what Reuters calls “improvements to the currency’s technology meant to increase its capacity to process transactions.”
More so, 2017 witnessed the first major financial institutions to get involved in cryptocurrencies, with two US exchanges, the CME and Cboe, creating platforms for customers to trade bitcoin futures. Numerous major banks also announced projects involving crypto, which helped fuel the rapidly expanding bubble in bitcoin’s price.
Meanwhile, in January 2018, bitcoin had fallen from around $20,000 per coin to just $10,000. The falls were driven in part by rising fears that regulators planned to crack down on the cryptocurrency, which had largely operated outside the auspices of normal regulators until that point.
Bitcoin continued to decline during early 2018, before eventually stabilizing at around $7,000 per coin. It has remained in the $6,000 to $7,000 range since June, and the volatility that characterised the market in 2017 and early 2018 has all but evaporated.
Its 10-year anniversary, would see bitcoin trading at $6,305 per coin with the promise of rising higher, despite the fact that many still have the fear in mind, that it might fail again.