Before the birth of Bitcoin, cryptocurrency existed as a theoretical notion. Several attempts to create digital currencies were made before the current version, although all of them failed to garner popular support. In the early 1980s, Digicash was founded by American computer scientist and cryptographer David Chaum. Probably the first leading digital currency, Digicash went bankrupt in the 1990s because it failed to persuade banks to adopt its technology. Bitcoin was launched almost a decade later.
Here’s a look at some of the most significant events in cryptocurrency history:
Satoshi Nakamoto, the mysterious creator of Bitcoin, publishes a white paper titled “Bitcoin: A peer-to-peer Electronic Cash System”. Based on the concept developed by Chinese author and computer engineer Wei Dai in 1998, the article describes the fundamentals of blockchain and Bitcoin.
2009: The first Bitcoin transaction takes place on January 12 when Nakamoto sends 10 Bitcoins to computer programmer Hal Finney.
2010: Bitcoin was first hacked on August 15, exposing vulnerabilities in the system. In the same year, Bitcoin was first attached to a monetary value when a user traded 10,000 coins for two pizzas.
2011: Rival cryptocurrencies Litecoin, Namecoin, and Swiftcoin are emerging.
2012: Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase launches services after being founded by former Airbnb engineer Brian Armstrong and former Goldman Sachs trader Fred Ehrsam.
2013: Various countries are trying to find ways to manage cryptocurrencies. Germany does not accept cryptos as official currency but gives it the status of “unit of account”. Thailand bans bitcoin, while China prevents financial institutions from using bitcoin. Meanwhile, the first bitcoin ATM is launched in Canada.
2014 : Japan-based cryptocurrency trading exchange Mt Gox files for bankruptcy. In the United States, Microsoft allows customers to purchase games with digital currency.
2015 : Ethereum, the second largest currency by market capitalization in the crypto industry, is emerging. The European bitcoin exchange Bitstamp is hacked, but resumes trading a few days later.
2016: At the end of 2016, 900 bitcoin ATMs were created. Uber begins accepting bitcoin payments in Argentina. Swiss national railways are also starting to accept currency.
“Smart contracts”, a collection of code and data stored on the Ethereum blockchain, are developed.
2017: Japan legalizes bitcoin, while Norwegian company Skandiabanken integrates bitcoin accounts and recognizes bitcoin as an investment asset.
2018: European government work on the regulation of cryptocurrencies.
2021: El Salvador becomes the first country to accept bitcoin as legal tender alongside the US dollar.
(Edited by : Thomas abraham)
First publication: STI