2008 : The Year It All Began
Neil Kin, Vladimir Oksman and Charles Bry apply for an encryption patent application. Not only, did the deny any connection to Satoshi Nakamoto, the alleged mastermind behind Bitcoin, but they also registered the site Bitcoin.org in the same month itself, buying the domain name anonymously over anonymousspeech.com
Despite Kin, Oksman and Bry trying to sabotage Bitcoin, Nakamoto went ahead to release his white paper which depicted his idea for a purely peer-to peer version of electronic cash. He provided the basic fundamental solution to the problem of virtual money being copied, giving electronic cash like Bitcoin the indispensable foundation to grow legitimately.
2009 : The Rise of Genesis Mining
The initial mining of Bitcoins began with the first block ‘Genesis’ being launched. Later in the month, the first transaction took place between Satoshi and Hal Finney who is a developer and a cryptographic artist.
BTC received its traditional equivalent of currencies. The New Liberty Standard established the value as 1$ = 1309 BTC. The equation took into consideration the cost of electricity that was required to run the computer that was used to create the bitcoins in the first place.
2010–11 : The Chaos Theory
Laslo Hanyecz, a programmer from Florida sent 10,000 Bitcoins to a volunteer in England who spent about 25$ to order Hanycez a pizza from Papa John’s. One of the most major milestones in the history of Bitcoin, that pizza is valued at 1,961,034 pounds today.
A vulnerability in how the system verifies the value of Bitcoin is discovered and the organization gets hacked out of 184 Billion Bitcoins. The value of the currency that had risen to $1 in June, drops through the floor.
Bitcoin is thrown under the negative spotlight with inter-governmental group publishing a report on money laundering using new payment methods. The report was published right after discovering other vulnerabilities in the blockchain in September after the hack in August.
BTC reaches the 1 Mil$ mark. Based on the number of Bitcoins in circulation at the time, the valuation leads to a surge in the BTC value to $0.50/BTC.
The Silk Road, an illicit drugs marketplace which used Bitcoin as an untraceable way to buy and sell drugs online, is established.
Bitcoin reaches parity with the US Dollar, for the first time in its history. By June 2011, 1 BTC = $31, giving the currency a market cap of almost 206$ million.
2013 : “Bitcoins Accepted Here”
After BTC market capitalization reached an all-time high of $1bn, Bitcoin Forum Founder Allinvain reports having 25,000 BTC stolen from his digital wallet. This marked the first major BTC theft, with a dollar equivalent of $375,000 being stolen at that time.
Federal Judge Mazzant backed Bitcoin by saying “It is clear that Bitcoin can be used as money to purchase goods and services” in a case against Trendon Shavers, the so-called ‘Bernie Madoff’ of Bitcoin.
With the US Senate holding its first hearing on the digital currency, the price of BTC escalated to 700$ along with Bitcoin receiving the blessing of Ben Bernanke, the chairman of the Federal Reserve.
People’s Bank of China derides the usage of Bitcoin as currency be saying it has no ‘real meaning’ and should not be given the same status as of fiat cash, and subsequently bars Chinese financial institutions from handling BTC transactions.
2014 : Increments in BTC Storage
Bitcoin can no longer be considered as a “Currency for Criminals” with the US Govt auctioning off more than 29,000 bitcoins seized from The Silk Road. The use of Bitcoin often means that the identity of the user can be established.
George Osborne, the Chancellor of Exchequer, along with HM Treasury established their positive outlook on the BTC with a purchase of 20 pounds worth of Bitcoin and announced HM Treasury’s Call for Information on digital currencies. This offered digital currency businesses the chance to draw attention to the risks, benefits and give them the chance to potentially influence future Government policy.
Technology powerhouse Microsoft began accepting Bitcoins as payment. They could be used to buy games and videos on the X-Box, add apps and services to Windows phones or to buy Microsoft software.
2015-Mid 2016 : The Slow and Steady Rise of BTC
In this one and a half year, BTC slowly scaled up the charts to reach a value close 770$ by the June 2016, where it started with a lowly value 177$ in January 2015. The number of miners, developers associated with Bitcoin grew exponentially in this one and a half year
2017 : The Bitcoin BOOM!
Come 2017 and Bitcoin starts breaking through the glass ceiling. It hit a high of almost 2900$ in the first half of 2017 itself. With Japan introducing new rules for digital currency and China letting down its guard a little, the worldwide demand for digital currency soared, leading to hype-cycle which in turn meant a bigger boom for the Bitcoin industry!
The birth of Bitcoin Cash
August 1 saw the birth of a brand-new cryptocurrency: “Bitcoin Cash,” sometimes referred to as “Bcash” and using the currency tickers “BCH” or “BCC.”
Bitcoin Cash, initially defined by the Bitcoin ABC software implementation, was set to fork on August 1 at 12:20 p.m. UTC. Though, because of how Bitcoin nodes measure time, the actual fork happened a little bit later.
Where is the BTC going next
Through tighter regulations, there are several ways Bitcoin can go at this point, all of which point to a legitimate, widespread adoption by large institutions. Its journey into the financial mainstream has already begun, highlighting the necessity of digital currencies.
HM Treasury’s report is encouraging traditional financial institutions to slowly shift towards digitizing their currency with the introduction of anti-money laundering, consumer protection and technical standardization for companies in the UK through digital currency. This will accelerate the integration of the Blockchain technology with financial services.