The Definitive History of Bitcoin


Many people may be just hearing about bitcoin, but it’s been around for a while now, celebrating its 5th birthday recently. Truth is, bitcoin already has a rich history.

Bitcoin was created in the latter portions of 2008 by the mysterious cryptographer Satoshi Nakatomo (though, that’s likely just a pseudonym). In January of 2009, Nakamoto mined the first, or genesis, block, thus bringing bitcoin into existence. That same month the first bitcoin transaction took place. In 2010, bitcoin started to be publicly traded.

In August 2010, a major vulnerability in bitcoin’s protocol was exploited. It allowed over 184 billion bitcoin to be generated in a single transaction. It was quickly discovered and deleted from the blockchain. Later that year, the worth of the bitcoin economy surpassed $1 million for the first time.

It was in February 2010 that bitcoin first achieved parity with the US dollar.

In June of 2011, the bitcoin exchange, Mt. Gox, which at that point was handling 90% of bitcoin transactions, was hacked and user information, including passwords and usernames were leaked. This caused 600 people to have their balances stolen. The hackers also exploited Mt. Gox to issue thousands of sell orders, sending bitcoin’s price plummeting from over $17 to $0.01. Mt. Gox reversed those trades and halted trading for a week.

In 2012, bitcoin started to be accepted by some companies, including WordPress.

But 2013 was the year of bitcoin. In the wake of the Cypriot financial crisis, bitcoin surged to an all-time high of $200. Companies such as Reddit and Virgin Galactic started accepting bitcoin for payment, as well. In November 2013, the price of one bitcoin surpassed $1,000 for the first time. And at the end of 2013, despite the collapse of the Silk Road, one bitcoin was worth over $800.

It would appear that bitcoin is not going away any time soon, and history will continue to be made and new milestones achieved in 2014.

For your tweeting convenience:

  • Satoshi made his final programming contribution in 2010 before passing the reigns to Gavin Andresen Tweet this
  • The reward for the genesis block was 50 bitcoin Tweet this
  • The first bitcoin transaction, between Satoshi Nakamoto and Hal Finney, took place in Jan. 2009 Tweet this
  • In 2010 a Fla. programmer traded 10,000 bitcoin (currently $ 7.6 million, about $41 then) for a pizza Tweet this
  • Bitcoin was first publicly traded in 2010 ­– one bitcoin was worth $0.003. Tweet this
  • Originally, Mt.Gox started was an online exchange for Magic: The Gathering playing cards Tweet this
  • The Aug. 2010 flaw was the only time a security flaw in bitcoin’s protocol was found and exploited Tweet this
  • In February 2013 one bitcoin became more valuable than one ounce of silver for the first time Tweet this
  • The world’s first bitcoin ATM was opened in Vancouver, Canada in Oct. 2013 Tweet this
  • In November 2013, bitcoin surged to $1,000 – 300,000 times more than the first publicly traded bitcoin Tweet this


About the author: Alexander Maykowski

Alexander Maykowski is a recent graduate of Marquette University, where he studied journalism and political science. He has an ardent interest in cryptocurrencies (such as Bitcoin) and how they will shape the financial and global landscape in the future.

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