The Birth of Bitcoin
In October 2008, a paper on cryptographic technology titled “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System” in Japanese was released. For the first time, the concept of “bitcoin” was presented. The author is Satoshi Nakamoto – the inventor of Bitcoin. His true identity remains unknown.
In January 2009, the first transaction using bitcoin was completed. In February 2010, the first exchange of money between bitcoin and legal currency were accomplished. In May 2010, payment using bitcoin was done for the first time – two pizzas were purchased at 10,000 BTC.
The Birth of Altcoins
Bitcoin was conceived as the world’s first encrypted currency; however, a number of problems have been pointed out. For example, it takes about 10 minutes to approve a transaction, so it is not suitable for settlement at stores. In order to solve such problems, new encryption currencies are frequently being developed. Cryptocurrencies developed following Bitcoin are collectively called Altcoin.
Lightcoin – released in 2011 – is a pioneer of Altcoins, boasting such changes as a shortened transaction time.
There are currently hundreds of altcoins issued all over the world.
Ethereum in a Nutshell
In 2013, Vitalik Buterin introduced the concept of a new cryptocurrency called “Ethereum.”
Whereas bitcoins are “currencies” that earn value via simply recording transactions, Ethereum is able to execute programs written by code. Therefore, it utilizes blockchain to create so-called “smart contracts”: programming specified so that processes are automatically executed when certain conditions are satisfied.
Thanks to Smart Contracts, blockchains have become widely available as platforms as well as currencies.
For example, the concept of “smart property” – physical assets recorded on a blockchain and transactions are carried out (useful in rental properties, for example), and DApps (Decentralized Applications) and DAO (Decentralized Applications) have all been developed.
Currently nearly 500 DApps have been developed, including conceptual stage projects (reference URL: https: //dapps.ethercasts.com/), and there are many projects that are gathering operation funds through ICOs.
Projects that utilize block chains for fields other than finance are called “bit coins 2.0”
Many protocols have been developed since the cryptographic currency came into the world. With the introduction of “Bitcoin 2.0”, the possibility of utilizing block chains has greatly expanded, and expectations for future prospects are increasing.