Bitcoin Turns 10: A Look Back At The World’s First Cryptocurrency

By Emily Rys | January 6, 2019
Bitcoin celebrates its 10th birthday. Source: shutterstock.com

Bitcoin, the world’s first and most famous cryptocurrency, was created a decade ago this week.

Since its birth in an anonymous white paper, Bitcoin has become one of the biggest flurries in technology innovation that brought blockchain to global attention. Here is a recap of its major milestones over the last 10 years since its inception:


A nine-page white paper called “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System” was published by Satoshi Nakamoto on Oct 31, 2008. Bitcoin was defined as an alternative form of electronic cash with blockchain as one of the key technologies underlying Bitcoin. Nakatomo’s identity still remains a mystery today.


It was not until January 3, 2009 that the first bitcoins were mined in a block of 50 coins called “Genesis Block”. Nakamoto made the first bitcoin transaction with and software developer Hal Finney .


The first real-world Bitcoin transaction took place when Laszlo Hanyecz spent 10,000 Bitcoins on two Papa John’s pizzas. That same year, Tokyo-based Mt. Gox was launched, becoming the world’s largest Bitcoin exchange in the world. Bitcoin’s price was reportedly around $0.07 per coin, according to Coindesk.


Bitcoin hit $1,000 in November 2013, gaining increased media attention. Major businesses like Baidu and Overstock agreed to accept Bitcoin as payment. 2013 became the year of Bitcoin, resulting in surging demand from Chinese investors. The Chinese government, however, prohibited its banks and payment companies from handling Bitcoin transactions.


Mt. Gox declared bankruptcy after suffering a hack which resulted in a loss of 850,00 Bitcoins.

Police collecting evidence from Mark Karpeles’s house in Tokyo on August 3, 2015. Source: JIJI PRESS/AFP/Getty Images


The price of Bitcoin passed its peak in 2014 and surged to a high of over $20,000 in December 2017. Bitcoin became mainstream as many investors started believing the idea of a decentralized currency.


Bitcoin’s price dropped dramatically during the first three months of the year to its lowest level. Many investors suffered heavy losses as Bitcoin fell below $4,000 in a market-wide slump. People begin fearing Bitcoin could become the second dot-com bubble.


Bitcoin celebrates its 10th birthday with experts sharing their price predictions for 2019. In a Bloomberg interview, Sonny Singh, Bitpay’s Chief Commercial Officer, says he believes Bitcoin will hit $15,000 by the end of the year and see its mainstream adoption around the world. BitMEX CEO Arthur Hayes thinks instead that Bitcoin could drop below $5,000 with the long reach of the bear market lasting even till spring in 2020.


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