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 .
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.
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.
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.
The world’s first Bitcoin market is established.
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.
Bitcoin is hacked. Vulnerability in how the system verifies the value of Bitcoin is discovered, leading to the generation of 184 billion Bitcoins.
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.
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.
The Silk Road is established using Bitcoin as an untraceable way to buy and sell drugs online.
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.
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.
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.
Bitcoin market capitalization reaches $1billion.
Bloomberg begins testing bitcoin data on its terminal. Although alternative tickers exist, endorsement from Bloomberg gives bitcoin more institutional legitimacy.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The results of the UK Treasury’s call for information on digital currency are announced.
The number of bitcoin ATMs had doubled over the last 18 months and reached 770 ATMs worldwide.
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.
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.
Exchange trading volumes continue to increase.
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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