For those of us who were introduced to crypto in the last couple of years, it is often difficult to get a sense of everything that has come before. You hear whispers and comments of past tokens, past scams and past profits and losses that are often hard to interpret.
And like me, if your time is finite, you don’t always have time to dig through reddit posts to uncover the truth from the myth. So I figured I would try to do a condensed history of crypto that covers the main points.
The first mentions of a ‘digital currency’ were way back in 1983, when a cryptographer and computer scientist by the name of David Chaum proposed a form of electronic money called ‘ecash’. Many of the ideas present in his early proposals are still used today in modern blockchains.
In 1995 he put the ideas to use and created ‘Digicash’ which implemented concepts such as digital signatures and mixed networks to preserve security and anonymity. This allowed the digital currency to be untraceable by the issuing bank, the government, or any third party.
Then in 1998, computer engineer Wei Dai published a paper discussing the idea of ‘B-money’, which basically suggested the idea of a digital currency, which could be sent along a group of untraceable digital pseudonyms. At the same time, another blockchain pioneer by the name of Nick Szabo drafted a plan for a currency called ‘Bit Gold’. Both plans never came to see the light of day. But all this previous work helped eventually pave the way for Bitcoin.
The birth of Bitcoin, the first cryptocurrency
Then on the 31st of October 2008, Satoshi Nakamoto (a pseudonym for a group or person) published the white paper called ‘Bitcoin: A Peer-to-peer Electronic Cash System’. In early 2009, Nakamoto mined the first block (otherwise known as the Genesis block) of the Bitcoin blockchain and released the technology to the public.
From here I will outline some key dates and milestones for Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in general over the past 12 years.
22nd May 2010 – aka ‘Bitcoin Pizza Day’! The first recorded purchase of goods with Bitcoin was made when Laszlo Hanyecz buys two pizzas for 10,000 BTC!. I wonder how Laszlo feels now…
March 2010 – the first cryptocurrency exchange opens under the name ‘Bitcoinmarket.com’ (already defunct)
July 2010 – Mt Gox exchange opens and dominates Bitcoin transactions globally for years to come.
February 2011 – Bitcoin reaches parity with the US dollar.
June 2011 – Mt Gox exchange is hacked for the first time, and 2000 BTC is stolen (worth around $30k at the time).
August 2013 – Litecoin and XRP join the ranks of crypto tokens on offer.
February 2014 – Mt Gox is hacked again. However, this time the hackers come away with 850,000 BTC. This is the largest theft of BTC in Bitcoin history, which was valued at $460 million at the time (current date value near $3 billion).
Since then, hacks of smaller exchanges have become commonplace. This impacts the Bitcoin price for a time, until it begins to recover in 2016. And also, with the introduction of the second in charge – Ethereum!
Ethereum: and the introduction of ERC-20 tokens.
On the 30th July 2015, the Ethereum network was launched. It is still second in line to Bitcoin in terms of market capitalization, and it brought many other features to the crypto world.
February 2015 – Tether (USDT) is created and begins trading as a fiat backed stablecoin pegged to the US dollar.
August 2015 – the first ever Initial Coin Offering (ICO) takes place for the AUGUR crypto asset, as an ERC-20 token.
Since then over 200,000 different ERC-20 tokens have been created, including WolfpackBOT’s very own EvolV (link).
January 2017 – Binance opens its virtual doors for the first time, and soon becomes the world’s most popular crypto exchange.
January 2018 – Bitcoin reaches its all time high price at $17,900.
Post-all time high
The crash soon after has led the way to a period of consolidation, and cryptocurrencies in general are gaining popularity once again.
June 2019 – Facebook announces its ambitions to create a digital currency. Concerns and questions over how this would be implemented bring cryptocurrency into sharp political focus. However, these plans are soon put aside.
March 2020 – with the global pandemic and the overall crash in financial markets, Bitcoin too takes a dive. However, Kraken exchange reports an 83% increase in new account signups over the week of the collapse as new buyers looked to capitalize on the low price.
May 2020 – the halving!
Hope you enjoyed that brief walk through the history of crypto! If there is anything in particular you would like to learn more about on any topic around crypto or trading, please let us know.
This article is brought to you by WolfpackBOT, an advanced cryptocurrency trading bot that allows you to securely and automatically trade digital assets on Binance, and by the EvolV Smart Contract. The EvolV Ecosystem includes built-in referral dividends and volume based staking dividends for all token holders, meaning that every time EvolV is bought or sold, all EvolV holders receive instant dividends, paid in Ethereum.