After the subprimes crisis and the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy shedding light on vulnerabilities of the financial system in place has been published the 31st October 2018 the Bitcoin white paper detailing how the protocol works. This new exchange system has learned from the failed but instructive experiences of its predecessors HashCash (1997), B-Money (1998), RPOW (2004) and Bitgold (2008).
Bitcoin echoed, in particular, the Cypherpunks, a community that defended privacy rights and had detected well in advance the problems that the Internet would pose in terms of privacy breaches. Satoshi Nakamoto, a pseudonym used by the creator(s), was able to surround himself with members of this community who had already worked on the projects mentioned above such as Nick Szabo, Hal Finney, Adam Back, and Wei Dai.
Let us take again the important points of the history of Bitcoin in a chronological way since its installation :
- January 3: Satoshi Nakamoto launches the platform by generating the first Bitcoin block, also called “genesis block”. 9 days later, the first transaction took place in block 170 between Satoshi Nakamoto and Hal Finney for 10 BTC. For the anecdote, the block generated includes the text: “The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks”, Satoshi proves that he did not mine a block before January 3, 2009.
- October 5th: the first exchange rate is given on the New Liberty Standard platform. It is 1309.03 BTC for 1$, this price is established by calculating the price of the electricity spent to undermine this quantity of bitcoins.
- May 22: Programmer Lazslo Hanyecz makes the first Bitcoin transaction against a property. It was two pizzas for a price of 10000 BTC, equivalent to 20$ at market price.
- July 17: MtGox is born. This collecting card exchange will become the largest Bitcoin trading place for the next 4 years.
- December 12: Satoshi Nakamoto disappears from the project and gives the lead to Gavin Anderson, a developer still active today on Bitcoin.
- February: Bitcoin reaches parity with the dollar.
- The famous illicit marketplace Silk Road is open and uses Bitcoin as a means of payment.
- The first crypto asset emerging as alternatives to Bitcoin. Namecoin and Litecoin were the first to present themselves.
- 27 September: Creation of the Bitcoin Foundation, which aims to standardize, protect and promote Bitcoin.
- 28 November: the first “Halving” takes place, dividing the reward awarded to minors with each block of transactions by two. It is now 25 BTC.
- October 2: Silk Road closes. The price of Bitcoin will begin a new period of progress: it surpasses its previous record of 237 euros on 7 November to achieve 912 euros on December 4.
- February: The world’s largest marketplace MtGox goes bankrupt following a hack of 744,000 BTC, resulting in a colossal drop in the price of Bitcoin that will last until 2015.
- During this period, the course collapses more than 750 euros to go below 160 euros.
- May 13: the birth of La Maison du Bitcoin, the first and only space dedicated to cryptoassets in France, bringing expertise and know-how to the general public, and also allowing easy and serene buying and selling via its Coinhouse platform.
- Groups such as UBS, IBM, Orange and the American army are beginning to take Bitcoin and blockchain technologies seriously and are working on use cases.
- Development of the Ethereum project led by Vitalik Buterin, which will develop to become the second crypto-active in terms of market capitalization. Ethereum offers a decentralized platform facilitating the creation of decentralized applications, called Apps.
- August 2: Bitfinex suffers one of the biggest hacks in the history of Bitcoin with a 119 756 BTC theft.
- The crypto ecosystem is growing significantly with a strong increase in the number of projects and a stable and gradual increase in the price of cryptoassets.
- On 4 April, Japan introduced a legislative framework for “virtual currencies” and recognized them as legal means.
- The explosion of the courses and the craze around the crypto assets made rise the price of a Bitcoin until 20000$. This digital gold rush has also shown the current limitations of technology as a global means of payment, with transaction fees of up to $30 per transaction.
- However, the community has proven its ingenuity and efficiency by proposing solutions like SegWit and the Lightning Network that will drastically increase the capacity of the Bitcoin network.
Outlook for 2018 :
2018 also promises to be the year of regulation, with governments and regulators expressing their positions on cryptoassets, and becoming aware that global competition is underway on these disruptive technologies.