From its beginnings in 2008 to its peak price in 2021, Bitcoin has taken investors and the world for a ride. Over a decade, Bitcoin has spiked and crashed and reassembled and fallen again, on the way to a price in the tens of thousands.
Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer electronic exchange. This means people can send money directly to anyone without a bank or third party. The invention of bitcoin was to make sure that people don’t rely on government or financial institutions to make transactions. Bitcoin allows users to send or receive bitcoin amongst themselves using the Bitcoin blockchain, which depends on a proof-of-work method for tracking and verification of transactions.
Bitcoin is the world’s most popular cryptocurrency today and some advocates believe that it could replace physical cash. Bitcoin growth has reunited a passionate community that is excited about cryptocurrency’s rise and its opportunities. The development of thousands of other cryptocurrencies is also inspired by bitcoin.
When did Bitcoin start?
Bitcoin was created out of the confusion of the 2008 Great Recession as distrust of banks and their role in the financial system grew. An individual or a group of people by the name of Satoshi Nakamoto issued a white paper to address the centralized control of money and the trust required in handling citizens’ cash.
In the traditional financial system, transactions can be reversed with third parties, and transaction costs can add up. Bitcoin was presented as a way to make transactions without using a third party. Rather, the Bitcoin system uses cryptographic proof to maintain the honesty of the network instead of relying on third-party banks and other institutions.
The blockchain was launched on 3rd Jan 2009 when the first block was mined. The first test transaction took place after one week. Bitcoin became available on exchanges in 2010 and it became easier to buy, sell, trade and store. With the help of these exchanges, Bitcoin gained a reliable price against the U.S. dollar. It has now been officially adopted as legal tender in El Salvador alongside the dollar.
Today, one Bitcoin is worth about $42000. It’s a long way from its all-time high but also a long way from its post-peak bottom in 2018 of just over $3,000.
To this day, no one knows who Satoshi Nakamoto is or was, an organization or a person? it is a mystery till today.
While Bitcoin is still growing its role as a store of value and unit of account, cryptocurrencies have largely disrupted the “idea that money somehow isn’t money unless it is accepted as payment for taxes”.