Bitcoin: One Small Step For A Man, A Giant Leap For Mankind

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Picture Courtesy: The Guardian

Bitcoin: One Small Step For A Man, A Giant Leap For Mankind

Bitcoin is the first digital currency to gain momentum in such a short span of time. This article walks you through the timeline of the most popular virtual currency .
October 2008
An idea comes into action when Satoshi Nakamoto releases a white paper,comprising ideas for a purely peer-to-peer version of electronic cash to the world.
January 2009
The first block, named ‘Genesis’ is launched allowing the initial ‘mining’ of Bitcoins to take place.
Later that month, the first transaction takes place between Satoshi and Hal Finney, a developer and cryptographic activist.
October 2009
Bitcoin receives an equivalent value in traditional currencies. The value of a Bitcoin at $1 = 1,309 BTC. The equation was derived so as to include the cost of electricity to run the computer that created the Bitcoins in the first place.
February 2010
The world’s first Bitcoin market is established.
May 2010
A programmer sends 10,000BTC to a volunteer who spent about $25 to order a pizza.Today that pizza stands as a major milestone in Bitcoin’s history.
August 2010
Bitcoin is hacked. Vulnerability in how the system verifies the value of Bitcoin is discovered, leading to the generation of 184 billion Bitcoins.
October 2010
After the hack in August – and a subsequent discovery of other vulnerabilities in the blockchain in September, a report on money laundering using new payment methods is published.
November 2010
Bitcoin reaches $1 million. Based on the number of Bitcoins in circulation at the time, the valuation leads to a surge in Bitcoin value to $0.50/BTC.
January 2011
The Silk Road is established using Bitcoin as an untraceable way to buy and sell drugs online.
February 2011
Bitcoin reaches parity with the US dollar for the first time. By June each Bitcoin is worth $31 giving the currency a market cap of $206 million.
June 2013
The first major theft takes place. A major breach of security sees the value of the currency go from $17.51 to $0.01 per Bitcoin.
March 2013
The US Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FINCEN) issues some of the world’s first bitcoin regulation in the form of a guidance report for persons administering, exchanging or using virtual currency.
March 2013
Bitcoin market capitalization reaches $1billion.
August 2013
Bloomberg begins testing bitcoin data on its terminal. Although alternative tickers exist, endorsement from Bloomberg gives bitcoin more institutional legitimacy.
December 2013
China’s central bank bars financial institutions from handling bitcoin transactions. Today China remains the world’s biggest bitcoin trader, with 80% of global bitcoin transactions.
February 2014
Bitcoin is classified as assets or private money, meaning that no VAT will be charged on the mining or exchange of bitcoin. This is important as it is the world’s first and most progressive treatment of bitcoin.
June 2014
The US government auctions off more than 29,000 bitcoins seized from the Silk Road, the illegal online marketplace. The sale and closure of the marketplace marks growing institutional understanding of the potential use cases of bitcoin.
October 2014
TeraExchange announces that the first bitcoin derivative transaction was executed on a regulated exchange, adding a new hedging instrument to bitcoin and instilling credibility and institutional confidence in the entire bitcoin community.
December 2014
Tech giant Microsoft begins accepting bitcoin payments.
January 2015
The New York Stock Exchange is a minority investor in Coinbase’s $75M funding round. The NYSE aims to tap into the new asset class by bringing transparency, security and confidence to bitcoin.
March 2015
The results of the UK Treasury’s call for information on digital currency are announced.
September 2016
The number of bitcoin ATMs had doubled over the last 18 months and reached 770 ATMs worldwide.
November 2016
The Swiss Railway operator SBB (CFF) upgraded all their automated ticket machines so that bitcoin could be bought from them using the scanner on the ticket machine to scan the bitcoin address on a phone app.
January 2017
The number of businesses accepting bitcoin continues to increase. Bitcoin gains more legitimacy among lawmakers and legacy financial companies.
For example:Japan passed a law to accept bitcoin as a legal payment method,and Russia has announced that it will legalize the use of cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin.
March 2017
Exchange trading volumes continue to increase.
Future predictions
There are several possible ways Bitcoin can go at this point, all of which point to a legitimate, widespread adoption by large institutions through tighter regulation.
But Bitcoin’s journey into the financial mainstream has already begun.

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