Much like traditional fiat currencies such as the US dollar, Bitcoin is a currency that’s been designed to pay for goods and services. However, this is where the similarities between cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and traditional currencies end. After all, Bitcoin is decentralised, meaning it’s not controlled by any government or central bank. Plus, it’s also pseudo-anonymous, meaning it’s tied to your wallet ID rather than your personal information.
If you’re interested in learning more about Bitcoin, then here’s the complete history of the mysterious cryptocurrency, including detail on how its price has changed over the years.
Bitcoin was developed back in 2008 and is credited to Satoshi Nakamoto. However, it’s unknown whether this pseudonym can be credited to an individual person or a group. According to businessinsider.com, everyone from American inventor Elon Musk to Australian entrepreneur Craig Wright have been linked to the creation of Bitcoin.
In October 2008, Satoshi Nakamoto published a paper on how a digital cryptocurrency could work. Only a few months later, the first open-source Bitcoin software was released and the mining of the first block of Bitcoin (known as the ‘genesis block’) began.
When you’re learning about Bitcoins, you’ll come across a lot of unfamiliar terms. We’ve already used phrases like ‘wallets’, ‘mining’ and ‘blocks’. As a result, it’s best to keep a glossary like this one from learncrypto.com to hand. Otherwise, the whole learning process can be quite confusing.
In the early years of Bitcoin, interest in the currency was minimal. As a result, the first commercial transaction didn’t take place until 2010. This happened when Laszlo Hanyecz bought two pizzas from Papa John’s for 10,000 Bitcoins. Given Bitcoin was virtually worthless at the time (it was worth $0.08 per coin), it seemed like a bargain. However, at 2019’s Bitcoin price, the pizzas cost around $80 million according to Yahoo.
In the following years, Bitcoin gained plenty of both positive and negative publicity. In 2012, several retailers opened up about the prospect of accepting Bitcoins. But, in October 2013, federal authorities in America closed a website called Silk Road where black market Bitcoin transactions had been taking place. In addition, in 2014, a Bitcoin exchange called Mt. Gox was closed after allegations of fraud. In the process, 850,000 Bitcoins were lost. However, by this point, the value of a Bitcoin had risen to around $1,000.
The next few years were turbulent for Bitcoin’s price. However, in October 2017, the value of a coin broke through the $5,000 value for the first time ever. A month later, it doubled to $10,000 per coin. In December, it almost doubled again, reaching $19,783.
Although Bitcoin had experienced a meteoric price rise in 2017, the cryptocurrency’s price came crashing back down to earth in 2018. After commentators and analysts claimed the Bitcoin’s price was a ‘bubble’, its price fell rapidly from highs of $20,000 per coin in January 2018 to $7,000 per coin in April and $3,500 per coin in November. However, an uncertain economic climate in 2019 caused Bitcoin’s trading volume and price to rise once again. This led to the value of the coin reaching $10,000 again in June 2019.
2020 has been a good year for Bitcoin and the cryptocurrency’s value has risen once more. Back in January, the coin was worth around $7,200. But, by December, its price had risen to record highs of $24,000 per coin.
Since it was first created in 2008, Bitcoin has had an incredibly volatile trading history. However, in 2020, interest in Bitcoin has never been higher and its price stands at an all-time high. With 18.5 million Bitcoins in circulation and a market capitalisation of over $400 billion, Bitcoin’s popularity doesn’t appear to be slowing down.