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Business News/ Markets / Cryptocurrency/  Bitcoin - 15 years and counting: Key facts to know about the first cryptocurrency in the world
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Bitcoin - 15 years and counting: Key facts to know about the first cryptocurrency in the world

Some of the industry representatives MintGenie spoke to believe that bitcoin is set to play a big role in the finance industry in the near future.

Earlier this month, spot bitcoin ETF was given a green signal by US markets regulator Securities Exchange Commission (SEC), pushing bitcoin prices higher.Premium
Earlier this month, spot bitcoin ETF was given a green signal by US markets regulator Securities Exchange Commission (SEC), pushing bitcoin prices higher.

Earlier this month, Bitcoin completed 15 years of its existence. Although the maiden crypto token trades above $41,500 per unit in the international crypto exchanges, its glory was conspicuously missing in the early days of inception.

Did you know that the first-ever transaction carried out in bitcoins took place on May 22, 2010 when 10,000 bitcoins were paid to buy two Papa John’s pizzas? Did you also know that it took three years and ten months for bitcoin to touch $1,000 for the first time?

Cut to Jan 10, 2024, US markets regulator Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) gave a green signal to spot bitcoin ETF, garnering an investment to the tune of $4.6 billion within a couple of days.

How was bitcoin introduced?

Bitcoin’s creator Satoshi Nakamoto (pseudonym used by the inventor) released a whitepaper titled Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System on October 31, 2008 to a cryptography mailing list.

In fact, Satoshi took two years writing the code before he completed the last task i.e., the white paper.

He even mentioned that he was working on bitcoin for two years by the time the white paper was finally released, writing: “I actually did this kind of backwards. I had to write all the code before I could convince myself that I could solve every problem, then I wrote the paper."

He implemented the bitcoin software as open-source code and released it in January 2009. Nakamoto’s identity remains unknown.

The total number of bitcoins is limited to 21 million. And by design, the number of bitcoins minted per block is reduced by 50 percent about every four years. The creator designed it to create its scarcity to increase its demand and price.

Earlier attempts before bitcoin

Even before bitcoin came into being, several digital cash technologies were released with David Chaum’s e-cash being the first in 1980s. In fact, the very idea that solutions to computational puzzles could have some value was first proposed by cryptographers Cynthia Dwork and Moni Naor in 1992.

Another attempt was made in 2004 when Hal Finney developed the first currency based on reusable proof-of-work. Notably, these attempts were not successful.

Term ‘cryptocurrency’ was not used by Satoshi

It is intriguing to know that the terms ‘blockchain’ and ‘cryptocurrency’ were never used in the bitcoin white paper. Instead, Satoshi calls the blockchain a timestamp server.

Surprisingly, Satoshi named bitcoin quite late in the process and it is believed that he wanted to refer to it as ‘electronic cash’ or ‘netcoin’.

In fact, in early emails Satoshi sent to other scientists for review, bitcoin was referred to as ‘electronic cash’ — a term that has been in use since the 1990s.

Where is bitcoin creator now?

Although Satoshi never revealed his identity, there are speculations that suggest that Satoshi is, in fact, first bitcoin user Hal Finney or mathematician John Nash.

There are unconfirmed estimates which say that Nakamoto had already mined nearly one million bitcoins before s/he disappeared a year later in 2010 but only after handing over the network alert key and control of the code repository to Gavin Andresen.

Gavin later became lead developer at the Bitcoin Foundation, an organization founded in September 2012 to promote bitcoin.

What experts say on bitcoin completing 15 years

Some of the industry representatives MintGenie spoke to believe that bitcoin is set to play a big role in the finance industry in the near future. Thanks to the approval to spot bitcoin ETF by the US markets regulator and the follow-up inflow of billions of dollars, there are expectations that bitcoin would soon reclaim its life time high of $67,566.83 that it touched on Nov 8, 2021.

Shivam Thakral, CEO of BuyUcoin, says, “Bitcoin’s future relevance depends upon its ability to face challenging circumstances, regulatory acceptance and adjusting to the changing environment will determine its continued significance. Despite competition and volatility, its well-established brand, scarcity, and technical potential indicate that it will probably continue to play a big role in the finance industry going forward."

ALSO READ: Bitcoin ETF approval: Indian investors too can participate - here's how

“As Bitcoin completed 15 years this year, it has shown remarkable resilience in its journey as an asset class, from the fringes of crypto-punk communities to being touted as a ‘digital safe-haven’ by the world’s largest asset manager, Blackrock. The journey has been volatile with shadow bans, regulatory scrutiny, and mining disruptions; but the network continues to chug along with almost no downtime," says Parth Chaturvedi, Investments Lead, CoinSwitch Ventures.

“The algorithmically hardcoded supply schedule has worked like clockwork and with an upcoming halving of supply, we can expect the historical price cycle to repeat itself. The spot ETF approvals might have been a ‘sell the news’ event in the short term, but with over $10 billion in volume flow in the first week of trading, BTC has cemented its place in risk-adjusted diversified portfolios," he adds.

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Published: 22 Jan 2024, 01:27 PM IST
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