You would never believe that when Bitcoin first came to fruition it cost 10,000 of them for two large pizzas. 10,000 Bitcoin for two large pizzas! In 2020 when Bitcoin was at its peak, just one token was worth $70,000. The industry has seen exponential growth in a record amount of time, to the point that many people make a living from investing in and trading crypto. Not to mention, cryptocurrency is starting to be accepted by a large number of businesses and it’s not showing any signs of slowing down. So, how did we get here? Keep reading to find out more about the history of cryptocurrency.
Where It All Started
These days, there are so many forms of cryptocurrency that it can be hard to keep track of them all. Sites such as Cosmos have been put together that make it easier for people to keep track of the different tokens they have and allow simpler migration (OKX have a guide on cosmos atom if you want to find out more). But all these cryptocurrencies would never exist where it not for Satoshi Nakamoto.
Satoshi Nakamoto was a name used by one or a group of coders who published the Bitcoin white paper, describing its functionality and creating the first ever token. With the first block Satoshi embedded a headline from The Times, making a reference to the condition of the economy that will last forever. This block is referred to as the Genesis Block.
At the time, Bitcoin had little to no value, and this continued for the first few months of its existence. When it became tradable in 2010, the value of one Bitcoin was just under 14 cents. That year prices went up but only marginally, peaking at 36 cents per token, but it was here that it all began.
The Formation of the Market
Though it still wasn’t worth a lot, Bitcoin was showing promise. The prices continued to rise to the point that at the end of May 2011, it rose to $8.89. Following an article published by Gawker, the price tripled in a week, but this soon dropped down again over a matter of months. The peaks and troughs witnessed here are a fairly accurate representation of how the Bitcoin market would behave in the coming years.
At the end of 2011, competition came about in the form of Litecoin which became the second-biggest form of cryptocurrency by the market cap. Other forms of crypto included PeerCoin, Namecoin and then other variations (very small numbers compared to the amount available now). 2012 saw prices continue to steadily rise, which continued in 2013 before there was a crash due to software issues. After that crash, the steady rise continued before scams started to dominate the headlines.
A Speed Bump on the Journey
In 2014 there were talks of scams that dominated the headlines. A lot of different forms of cryptocurrency were suddenly prone to hacks, showing that the currency wasn’t entirely secure and that protocols had to be followed to guarantee the security that it does today. Anyone who owns crypto now or trades it is advised to use a digital wallet to store everything safely. Wallets can be software or hardware, both are safe. These weren’t accessible during the early stages in the history of cryptocurrency.
The Rise to Popularity
As prices continued to rise, it was the approval in the software which led to a real surge. The development of the Lightning Network was confirmed which would make Bitcoin a layer 2 scaling solution and improve security. Once this was confirmed and the upgrade was activated, Bitcoin was trading at $2700 before reaching an all-time high of $20,000 in December 2017.
More currencies were being developed at this time which only brought about more popularity in the market. One of the new currencies was Ethereum, which today is still worth thousands. There were dips but the prices in crypto, especially Bitcoinincreased to reach a high of $70,000 in 2020. Since then, there have been crashes, but the value of these cryptocurrencies tends to be relatively steady and high. Cryptocurrency is now being used by different businesses and is becoming an intrinsic part of our society.