Digital Currency and the History of Bitcoin
Bitcoin is not the first digital currency technology to be tried, but it is the very first to be successful, and also the first digital currency without a central controlling body. This crypto-currency was invented by a programmer or group of programmers under the alias of Satoshi Nakamoto. Its domain name was registered on August 18, 2008. In January 2009, the first block called “Genesis” was mined and issued by its inventor, and the Bitcoin network began. The very first bitcoin transaction took place between Satoshi and another programmer, Hal Finney. Now, the time of the release of Bitcoin as a currency coincided with serious financial crises in 2008, and this newly invented currency, as described in Satoshi Nakamoto’s “white paper” was to be a digital peer-to-peer currency, which would serve as a bailout for banks.
In May 2010, a great milestone in the history of Bitcoin was accomplished when a programmer named Laslo Hanyecz paid a volunteer in England 10,000 bitcoins (currently worth over $50 million) to order 2 pizza’s from Papa John’s. A few months later, the first bitcoin hack was carried out, which revealed the faults in the verification system for the value of bitcoin. Subsequent months carried poor reports about the currency, scaring its reputation. Nonetheless, by November, its resilience was showcased as it became valued for $0.50 per bitcoin, giving it a net worth of $1 million according to the number in circulation then and by March 2013, it reached an amazing market capitalization of $1 billion. Soon after, even Bloomberg, among others endorses Bitcoin, which enjoys more legitimacy. The digital currency was cleared by a Federal judge in the US, declaring boldly that Bitcoin can be used as money, this was closely followed by the first US Senate hearing on the digital currency, wherein it was given the go-ahead by the then Federal Reserve chairman, Ben Bernanke in November 2013.
From here on, this digital currency received acceptance from one financial body to another, including the European Banking Authority. All of this quickly allowed Bitcoin to enter the financial mainstream. Also, many stores, merchants, and companies started to accept payment in this digital currency and in December 2014, Microsoft began to accept bitcoin as a source of payment. Bitcoin then entered into the New York Stock Exchange, a very big promotion. In fact, in few months, that move sent ripples down to the UK government. Late in 2016, this incredible currency hit the $1,000 per bitcoin mark, and with quick acceptance from Russia, China, Japan and many other European countries between 2016 and 2017, it even made its way to an unbelievable $5000. Japan went further to accept Bitcoin as a legal tender and China became the biggest trader in Bitcoin, with over 80% of all worldwide bitcoin transactions taking place there.
The future of this digital currencies seems to be even more promising, having already started a journey into the financial mainstream, and very soon in the UK, financial services will be more involved with digital currencies. All of these because of Bitcoin.