Bitcoin is a well known cryptocurrency and digital payment system that was created in 2009 by an unknown computer programmer and cryptographer believed to be living in North America using the alias Satoshi Nakamoto. Bitcoin uses peer-to-peer technology to operate with no central authority, therefore transactions using Bitcoin are made without any middleman – meaning, no banks! Also, there are no transaction fees and no need to provide your real identity. As of 2016 many merchants and large companies have been accepting bitcoins as a legitimate source of payment, allowing their online products and services to be bought with Bitcoins.
Bitcoin is open-source; its design is public, therefore nobody owns or controls Bitcoin and everyone can participate.
Many investigators into the origin of Bitcoin now believe Satoshi Nakamoto, the creator of bitcoin, who is arguably one of the greatest disruptors in modern history, to be of American nationality, asserting that the time frames for code submission coincided neatly with someone living in an Eastern Time Zone (EST).
Stefan Thomas, a Swiss coder and active member in Nakamoto’s bitcoin forum, graphed the timestamps for each of Nakamoto’s bitcoin forum posts (more than 500) which showed a steep decline to almost no posts between the hours of 5 a.m. and 11 a.m. Greenwich Mean Time. Because this pattern held true even on Saturdays and Sundays, it suggested that Nakamoto was asleep at this time. If Nakamoto is a single individual with conventional sleeping habits, it suggests he resided in a region using the UTC−05:00 time offset. This includes the parts of North America that fall within the EST time zone.
On August 18, 2008, the domain name bitcoin.org was registered.In November that year, a link to a paper authored by Satoshi Nakamoto titled Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System was posted to a cryptography mailing list.
Nakamoto implemented the bitcoin software as open source code and released it on January 3, 2009 at 18:15:05 UTC. The bitcoin network came into existence after Satoshi Nakamoto mined the first-ever block on the chain, known as the genesis block, deploying the first decentralized digital currency for a reward of 50 bitcoins.
Embedded in the first block also includes text from the UK Times newspaper saying “03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks,” a reference to bitcoin’s birth-date and possibly mocking fractional reserve banking.
For the past eight years Bitcoin has matured into a billion dollar economy operating without the oversight and management of Central Banks, financial institutions, established exchange markets, e.g. Wall Street, corporations, or government entities. Below is a list of fifteen facts you may not know about when it comes to the history of bitcoin.
- Satoshi Nakamoto may have mined over 1 million coins during his years within the bitcoin community.
- With Satoshi’s creation, the total number of bitcoins in circulation will never exceed 21 million.
- An estimated 64% of bitcoins have remained untouched in wallets since bitcoin’s inception.
- As of May 24, 2017, Nakamoto is believed to own up to roughly one million bitcoins, with a value estimated at approximately $4 billion USD as of September 2017.
- 12.5 bitcoins per block are created approximately every ten minutes until mid-2020, and then afterwards 6.25 bitcoins per block for 4 years until next halving. This halving continues until 2110–40, when 21 million bitcoins will have been issued.
- 64% is the amount of Bitcoin sitting in accounts that haven’t been touched since the currency began in 2009.
- During the holiday season of 2013, a New York resident sold his home for $800,000 in bitcoin.
- Satoshi Nakamoto sent the first transaction to developer Hal Finney on January 12, 2009.
- For the first 12 months of existence, users could obtain roughly 1,300 hundred BTC for $1 USD.
- Denial-of-Service (DOS) attacks can affect the bitcoin network, but there are built-in protections.
- Bitcoin is pseudonymous, meaning that funds are not tied to real-world entities but rather other Bitcoin addresses. Although every Bitcoin transaction is public, it can be pseudo-anonymous as long as a user takes the necessary steps of obfuscation.
- Eight years, 2 months is the time interval it has taken for one Bitcoin to go from $0 to surpass the value the market value of an ounce of Gold (March 3, 2017).
- Bitcoin has since reached parity with the U.S. dollar, one troy ounce of silver, and one troy ounce of gold.
- 2140 is the year when the last Bitcoin will be generated.
- Transaction of bitcoin can not be reversed. Unlike popular platforms like PayPal, you don’t get second chances while making a transaction.