Looking into the History of Bitcoin – Key Milestones
The cryptocurrency industry is home to well over 1000 different assets, tokens, and coins. Some serve largely as investments, some as a utility coin and many have other use cases. However, there is one currency that is more valuable and popular than any other by a large margin, and that is Bitcoin. In fact, it is worth about 10 times more than any other cryptocurrency.
Bitcoin is not only the most valuable and popular cryptocurrency, but it is also the oldest and the true pioneer in the space. Throughout the decade-plus that we have an opportunity to buy Bitcoin, many key events and milestones have helped to shape it into what it is today. Without these events, both good and bad, we would have no idea what our cryptocurrency industry would look like, or if there would even be one at all.
With that in mind, let’s look at some of the key milestones and the moments that mattered the most in the storied history of Bitcoin.
The Beginning of Bitcoin (January 3rd, 2009)
January 3rd, 2009 is when it all began. This is when the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto created Bitcoin by mining the first (genesis) block of the Bitcoin blockchain. Without this event, there would be no Bitcoin and potentially know cryptocurrency or blockchain technology at all.
Setting the Initial Exchange Rate (October 5th, 2009)
October 5th, 2009 was when the website New Liberty Standard set the initial rate of exchange for Bitcoin. The exchange rate they came up with was 1,309 Bitcoin per US dollar. They arrived at this rate by observing the cost of running a computer and how much it would take to mine a Bitcoin. The rate has constantly been changing for the past decade or so.
The First Real-World Purchase Using Bitcoin (May 2nd, 2010)
While plenty of online or virtual transactions had taken place, Bitcoin was never used for a real-life purchase until May 2nd, 2010. On this date, a man named Laszlo Hanyecz decided he wanted to order a pizza with Bitcoin. He ordered two pizzas, which became the first time a physical product was delivered and paid for by cryptocurrency.
He paid 10,000 Bitcoins for the two pizzas, which was worth around $20 or a little more at the time. Now, that same 10,000 Bitcoin would be worth well over $100 million. Hindsight is always 20/20, but that one still has to hurt.
Bitcoin Reaches Parity With U.S Dollar (February 9th, 2011)
From inception, Bitcoin was worth less than a dollar and most people weren’t excited about a currency that was only worth that. However, in early February of 2011, that all changed. That is when Bitcoin reached the $1 mark and was finally equal to a U.S dollar. Within another 2 years or so, a Bitcoin was worth around $1,000 and the growth only continued from there.
Silk Road is Taken Down (October 2nd, 2013)
The Silk Road was a marketplace on the dark web where people could buy a variety of illegal and other unsavory things. The preferred method of payment there was Bitcoin, as it was decentralized, secure and anonymous.
However, the creator and founder of the Silk Road was apprehended by the police and the marketplace was taken down. The price of Bitcoin soon dropped by about 50%. A big part of this was the negative perception of the public regarding Bitcoin. Since it was involved with the dark web and illegal purchases, many simply lumped in Bitcoin with everything else happening on the Silk Road.
Mt. Gox Went Bankrupt (February 28th, 2014)
Mt. Gox, which launched in 2010, was the first exchange and trading platform for Bitcoin. Over the following years, it grew significantly and had a ton of users. Unfortunately, after some hacks and problems relating to cash-flow, it shut down and went bankrupt. This caused quite the stir in the industry as you could imagine. The hacks were incredibly large, as it was believed that Mt. Gox lost around 850,000 Bitcoin that was held by users.
The Hard Fork and Birth of Bitcoin Cash (August 1st, 2017)
As Bitcoin grew, the community was beginning to split. There were those wanting to increase the block size from 1 MB to 8 MB, while the other wanted a technical solution for scalability, called SegWit. Eventually, those who wanted a bigger block size had a hard fork and created Bitcoin Cash.
Bitcoin Cash has grown and matured considerably since inception and is now in the top 5 of all cryptocurrencies in terms of total market cap. Other forks (both soft and hard) also took place, but they were less impactful.
Bitcoin Reaches Its Highest Price Yet (December 17th, 2017)
After many positive and negative moments over the years, 2017 was finally a breakout year for Bitcoin. It grew steadily all year and began to skyrocket during the last few months of the year to new crazy heights. Bitcoin would reach it’s an all-time high of over $20,000 USD on December 17th, 2017. This rise in price got millions of more people aware of and interested in Bitcoin and the cryptocurrency industry as a whole.
Unfortunately, since reaching this all-time high, Bitcoin prices plummeted for almost the entire duration of 2018 and the early portion of 2019.
Thankfully, as of early September 2019, the price of Bitcoin has rebounded nicely and is now over $10,000 USD for the first time since very early 2018.
In conclusion, we hope this article has helped you learn a little more about the history of Bitcoin. It has only been around for a little more than a decade but has already had a vast and interesting history. New events and milestones will surely be added over the years as Bitcoin (and crypto as a whole) will become a bigger part of our mainstream culture and society.