Despite its relative youth the cryptocurrency industry has had its fair share of historic milestones. Let’s take a look. Creation of Bitcoin. Everything began with a single white paper. On October 31st, 2008 Satoshi Nakamoto released a white paper describing the first cryptocurrency. Bitcoin.
The white paper was merely a theory. The genesis block is where Satoshi really put his cryptocurrency. Where his mouth was. On January 3rd. 2009 Satoshi created the Bitcoin blockchain genesis block or block zero containing the first 50 bitcoins. Still she left a message in the code of the first block. The Times. January 3rd, 2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks. The message referenced an article from The Times in London dated January 1st, 2009 which detailed banks receiving a massive bailout from the British government.
Nakamoto whose purpose was clear to make banks obsolete.
Now to put it in use. First Bitcoin transaction.
For a long time you couldn’t buy goods with cryptocurrency but on May 22nd, 2010 Laszlo Hanyecz made the first real purchase using Bitcoin. He bought it 2 Papa John speeches for 10,000 bitcoins for $25 at the time. Now these pizzas are worth around 100 million dollars. May 22nd is now celebrated as the Bitcoin pizza day. People soon realized you could buy more than pepperoni pizza with Bitcoin.
The Silk Road. The first online store to accept Bitcoin as payment was launched in February 2011. It was Silk Road. Also the first darknet market where users could buy illegal stuff like drugs and weapons. All the transactions were anonymous and made in Bitcoin. Silk Road was a very popular site. In total 9.5 million Bitcoins exchanged hands on the Silk Road. In October 2013, the FBI arrested its owner William Ross Ulbricht, shut down the Web site and confiscated all the Bitcoins. The FBI later sold them for almost 50 million dollars enjoying healthy returns. After the big drug bust came an even bigger hack appeared.
MtGox hack. In February 2014. MtGox the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world at that time was hacked. 850 thousand bitcoins worth, half a billion dollars were stolen. A subsequent investigation discovered that the exchange had been hacked several years before. Mark Karpeles former CEO of MtGox was arrested and charged with fraud and financial regulations. After this incident new KYC and client identification measures were developed in allowing more security. Enough for the closures already. There were positive news as well. Ethereum smart contracts and ICOs. In 2011 a 17 year old started to see a common problem in the cryptocurrency world.
So many exciting projects but they all needed their own blockchain to build applications. The existing Bitcoin blockchain simply couldn’t do. The young man realize that since there was one internet for everyone, why not one blockchain for everyone to build applications on. The young man was Vitalik Buterin and in 2015 Ethereum went live into the world. Ethereum like Bitcoin is a blockchain. Its cryptocurrency called Ether. But Ethereum is different from Bitcoin as it features smart contracts. Smart contracts allow for the creation of new cryptocurrencies and digital assets like tokens. Actually thanks toEthereum there is now the ICO or the initial coin offering. It is a crowd funding mechanism that is used by blocking startups. It quickly became a very popular way to raise funds due to its simplicity.
How important is Etheruem to the ICO. Very. It’s ERC20 tokens became the industry standard allowing for the much needed integration of different tokens. Now almost all the ICOs are done using ERC20 Ethereum blockchain.
Cryptocurrency and blockchain are emerging technologies.