Today marks 10 years of Bitcoin; its original white paper was released onto the internet on Halloween day, 2008.
What began as an idea to challenge the financial establishment, has since grown to become a $110 billion market.
10 Years of Bitcoin: The Whitepaper
The purpose of Bitcoin was straightforward; the digital asset, as a “purely peer-to-peer version of electronic cash would allow online payments to be sent directly from one party to another without going through a financial institution.”
By logging every transaction on a distributed ledger called the blockchain, the issue of “double spending” would also be solved.
10 Years of Bitcoin: Blockchain Technology
The ledger can be seen by anyone to verify that the transaction occurred. The network records every transaction and adds them to this ongoing chain, forming a log or record that can’t be changed or erased. As everyone has access to the network, no one body has control of it. Therefore it is secure and transparent.
Blockchain technology is widely considered the most important innovation to come out of the creation of Bitcoin. So much so that this ‘distributed ledger’ technology has since been implemented by industries outside of cryptocurrency, including banking, farming, and healthcare. But those are only a few examples, and the list of adoption is constantly growing.
10 Years of Bitcoin: Satoshi Nakamoto
Its first ten years has seen the digital currency spark mania. It has spawned hoards of imitator coins, it has risen to unprecedented values (20,000 per Bitcoin in 2017), and it has started an industry now rife with multi-billion dollar exchanges. Not to mention an industry of miners and blockchain coders. Bitcoin is even catching the attention of some of the world’s most powerful financial institutions despite being created to circumvent them.
So, from such a small acorn came a ground-shaking oak tree. Invented by an anonymous cryptographer who went by the name Satoshi Nakamoto, on Halloween day, 2008, he, she, or they, wrote Bitcoin’s whitepaper and posted it to the world.
Many have made claims to who Satoshi really is; Elon Musk was considered. He denied the claim. Some believe Nakamoto is a Japanese coder. But others believe the English on the whitepaper is too perfect and colloquial to not have been written by a native English speaker.
10 Years of Bitcoin: The Next 10 Years
So its first 10 years have seen massive financial gains and losses for hodlers of the coin. What will the next 10 years bring?
Bitcoin’s original whitepaper has paved the way for technical advances that have occurred around Bitcoin. The value of the coin will always remain unpredictable, but the technological systems are only getting more advanced and more widespread.
As developers and software engineers create different applications that improve the way we use Bitcoin and interact with the blockchain, user-experience is expected to improve:
“Much like as internet based technology has improved over the years, mainstream Bitcoin users will understand very little of how the underlying protocols operate—they will simply follow the guidance of the applications they run on their machines.”
Decentralization will obviously be a part of the future, but it will be interesting to note what industries adopt blockchain technology.
One thing is for sure, Bitcoin turning 10 years old serves to remind us of how much this digital currency has changed the face of the current financial and technological era. Anything that can do that much in so little time paves the way for bigger things in the future.
Featured Image: Depositphotos/© dmvasilenko