Bitcoin, the best known and most widely used cryptocurrency, entered the global scene in October of 2008 when anonymous founder, Satoshi Nakamoto published a white paper entitled: ‘Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System’.
The Growth of bitcoin from 2008 to Present
The paper elaborated on methods to put in place a system of electronic transactions using peer-to-peer networks, without the need to rely on central authorities. Individuals who initially reviewed the white paper were eager to see this new technology come to fruition.
THE EARLY YEARS
The Bitcoin network was formed in January of 2009, with Satoshi Nakamato mining the first Bitcoin block. The value of the first 50 Bitcoin mined was negotiated on the bitcointalk forums. This was followed by the first notable transaction in digital currency, where 10,000 BTC were used to purchase two Papa John’s pizzas. In August 2010, a hard fork update to the Bitcoin protocol was introduced.
By 2011, the cryptocurrency had gained substantial ground. Wikileaks and some other organizations started accepting donations in Bitcoin. In September of that year, Bitcoin Magazine was founded. In July of 2011, Bitcoin’s first major bubble went from 1 USD up to 31 USD and then settled back down to 2 USD.
THE GROWTH STORY
In a testament to the growing popularity of Bitcoin, an episode in the third season of The Good Wife was centered on the digital currency. In October 2012, Bitcoin payment processor, BitPay, reported that over 1,000 merchants were now accepting the cryptocurrency as a mode of payment.
In February 2013, when the price of Bitcoin was at 22 USD per Bitcoin, payment processor and brokerage, Coinbase, reported to have sold $1 million USD worth of Bitcoin in a span of one month. The visibility of the cryptocurrency improved manifold when services such as Foodler and OkCupid recognized it as a legitimate mode of payment. In October, the world’s first Bitcoin ATM was launched in Vancouver, Canada, by Robocoin. This was a landmark milestone as it improved accessibility to the cryptocurrency, allowing users to buy and sell Bitcoin at a downtown coffee shop.
By the close of 2013, Bitcoin reached an all time high of 1,250 USD per Bitcoin and regulators and policy makers internationally started to take note that this was no longer a smaller internet currency but perhaps a global movement. One of the biggest highlights for the cryptocurrency in 2014 was Microsoft’s decision to accept payment in Bitcoin for Windows apps and Xbox. That same year, the American Red Cross started accepting donations in Bitcoin. By August 2015, a whopping 160,000 merchants had started accepting payment in Bitcoin. Perhaps for us, the largest milestone from 2014 to 2015.
By 2020, several governments recognized Bitcoin as a legitimate form of payment. The number of bitcoin ATMs doubled in a span of 18 months, with over 7000+ such ATMs installed worldwide.
As the world rang in 2020, the value of Bitcoin reached the 8,000 USD mark!
The growth story of this alternative form of money in less than a decade has been nothing short of phenomenal. In India, Bitcoin is just beginning to take off! We are excited to see what 2020 to 2021 will bring!