A Bitcoin Timeline: A Timely Creation That is shaping the World
March 10, 2019 - How-To Articles
Bitcoin is now a household name around the world. Even though this reality may have seemed inevitable to some, Bitcoin has surmounted enormous odds to get to where it is now. Satoshi Nakamoto, the enigmatic founder of Bitcoin, delivered his gift to cryptography enthusiasts in 2008. In 2009, Bitcoin got up to speed as the open-source software it is today. Thus, came about the pioneer decentralized and highly reliable peer-to-peer cryptocurrency network. A decade later, this seemingly novice invention has grown to shake up the world of finance.
The foundation of any cryptocurrency network is the blockchain. A blockchain, in the case of Bitcoin, refers to a public ledger that records BTC transactions on the network. Participants in the Bitcoin network transact between each other. Miners bundle transactions together into a block and compete for the right to add the next block of transactions to the blockchain in rewards for 12.5 BTCs every 10 minutes.
In total, only 21 million coins will ever be mined into existence. In many ways, the financial meltdown of 2008 was the perfect backdrop for Bitcoin to launch. This crisis displayed what could happen when reckless central banks fail to control the monetary system properly. Bitcoin provides an appealing alternative to centralized finance, a system left in tatters in the aftermath of the crash.
Nakamoto mined the genesis block in early 2009, at the height of this crisis. However, the elusive and anonymous figure remained active, answering questions and responding to emails till 2011 when he melted away. In those formative years, participants in Bitcoin mining were few and far in between. Miners could use their regular computers to mine Bitcoin profitably and earn a decent return.
Bitcoin Pizza day
The first time Bitcoin reportedly facilitated real-life commerce was in May 2010. A Florida programmer by the name of Laszlo Hanyecz offered 10,000 BTCs in exchange for a single pizza. The offer was taken up by a British enthusiast, who paid for the pizza using a credit card, and Hanyecz got the pizza delivered to his place. This day, May 22, is forever significant and mentioned in Bitcoin folks and rightly dubbed the “Bitcoin Pizza Day”. The transaction is even more remarkable because, at press time, those coins are worth an astonishing $74 million!
With popularity increasing, the first Bitcoin price increase on record was in July 2010 when prices went up to $0.08. Jed McCaleb launched the first prominent Bitcoin exchange in July 2010, The Mt. Gox exchange. The exchange was based in Shibuya, Tokyo, Japan. This exchange went on to become the largest exchange, impressively handling up-to 70% of all BTC transactions. By the end of 2010, Bitcoin was trading at $ 0.5, with a market capitalization exceeding $1 million.
Still, Bitcoin acceptance in mainstream commerce was next to none. Nonetheless, the number of people who mined and owned Bitcoin continued to rise. Retail outlets did not accept this mysterious digital coin for obvious reasons. Bitcoin continued to offer unprecedented anonymity and digital movement. These qualities made Bitcoin a natural fit for the black market.
The Silk Road Scandal
In 2011, an online market called Silk Road was launched by a mysterious figure who went by the alias Dread Pirate Roberts. The platform allowed users with Tor routers to trade using “untraceable” Bitcoin payments. Roberts claimed the website ran on Libertarian ideals, as customers would transact without the fear of censorship or arrests.
Even if these intentions were noble, the place became awash with all sorts of illegal drugs, banned products, and other counterfeit products. Soon enough, this activity attracted the attention of authorities like the FBI.
The Bureau arrested a man by the name Ross Ulbricht in October 2013, adamant that he was the man behind drug dealing site. By the time of arrest, Silk Road had over a million active user accounts. The FBI shut down Silk Road, but Bitcoin had already gained the much-needed publicity.
In 2013, Bitcoin exceeded a watershed market capitalization of $1 Billion. That same year, Bitcoin crossed $1,000 for the first time, though volatility caused it to stutter in subsequent years before the historic Bull Run in 2017. Two Bitcoin entrepreneurs, the Winklevoss brothers, became the first to propose a Bitcoin Exchange Traded Fund (ETF). However, this ETF and a subsequent one in 2018, did not get the SEC’s approval.
The brothers went on to become the first Bitcoin billionaires. Meanwhile, a young Canadian developer, Vitalik Buterin, began work on a new platform, Ethereum in 2014. Ethereum would later morph into a utility platform incorporating smart contracts, opening infinite possibilities.
Mt. Gox Hack
Mt Gox exchange was transacting 150,000 BTCs per day by May 2013. In 2014, the exchange went under after a series of hacks, losing about 850,000 BTCs. This news was so devastating, it rocked Bitcoin prices and cast doubt on its legitimacy.
Bitcoin prices cratered from $900 to about $260 in twelve disastrous days. Such devastation slowed Bitcoin’s momentum from the publicity it received in 2013. Luckily, prices did recover to around $600 in March 2014. Still, it is only left to imagination where Bitcoin would be without this catastrophic event.
The 2017 Rally
Bitcoin went through some slumps before a gradual rise to break $1,000 again in early 2017. This year is when the excitement really took off. Bitcoin had a legendary year with great appreciation, especially towards the end of the year. By the close of 2017, Bitcoin was hovering around the $20,000 mark. Bitcoin rose in prominence to become a true force in finance. Many who thought this innovation would never make it had to pay attention to the new darling for speculators.
Blockchain technology struck the imagination of many tech experts. In fact, many Fortune 500 companies began to research intensively on how to utilize blockchain technology. Similarly, Bitcoin gained widespread retail acceptance. In a country like Japan, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies even got official recognition. Impressively, the once-fringe entity was now a force to be reckoned with. A few altcoins became relatively successful, as well.
Unfortunately, just as exciting as the historic bull market was a devastating crypto bear market followed. Bitcoin fizzled out from February 2018, and by the time the year closed, it was trading at $3,200. The depressing episode led some to cast aspersions, doubting the project’s viability and whether it couldn’t indeed withstand regulators’ determination.
Luckily Bitcoin had a resurgence in 2019. By Mid-2019, prices reached an impressive $13,000 before slumping gradually to current prices of about $7,400. Despite the highs and lows, no one can deny that this is an incredible story with so much more in store.
The Evolution of Bitcoin Mining
As Bitcoin became popular, mining difficulty followed suit. By 2014, mining using a home PC became unprofitable. Miners resorted to Graphic cards (GPU) mining and later, the unavoidable Application Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) miners.
With block rewards reducing periodically, only miners with minimal power costs and high-power equipment have certainty of profitability. Bitcoin solo mining is impossible if you are not familiar with the technicalities around crypto mining. Even if you are, the considerable power costs and need for equipment cooling can seriously eat into your profits.
This difficulty is why the option of Bitcoin mining makes a lot of sense. In mining, you can invest in a high hash rate miner and consistently benefit without incurring logistics costs. VBit Technologies offers this utility service to anyone seeking to efficiently mine Bitcoin by allowing his/her money to do the work. The company is based in 1625 Washington Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19146, United States, and is duly registered with relevant government agencies meaning that you will be partaking in a legal enterprise.
To ensure maximum profitability, they have several bitcoin mining facilities in Colorado and Alberta, Canada.The abundance of cheap power coupled with the cold weather reduces the cost of operation.
The cool thing is that it is easy to get started. There are seven packages to choose from and rewards, despite fluctuating prices, will be steady and streaming from a transparent and legally-compliant hardware mining provider.
Sign up and start mining Bitcoin today!