August 2017 saw a landmark moment for blockchain and cryptocurrencies: the price of a single Bitcoin exceeded 4,000 USD…a 4 million percent markup compared to its first introduction to the market in 2009.
Around the time of the Lehman Brothers Bankruptcy, a paper was published online outlining the potential of Bitcoins, a new form of virtual currency.
Written under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto, the paper alleges the possibility of a currency form that does not require a centralized authority.
Original paper: https://bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf
Engineers jumped on the idea and began developing a working system based on the concepts contained within the paper. Bitcoin version 0.1 was released on January 9, 2009, after only a few months of development.
Bitcoins were traded for the first time in the real world on May 22, 2010. Lazlo Hanyecz, a programmer living in Florida, exchanged 10,000 BTC for two pizzas. Those same pizzas would be worth about 42,260,000 USD as of September 2017. Fun fact: May 22 is known as ‘Bitcoin Pizza Day.’
Bitcoin’s Biggest Mystery
Satoshi Nakamoto’s true identity remains unknown, although many people have come forward claiming the title. All remain unproved. To prove one is Satoshi Nakamoto himself/herself, one must either remit Bitcoin from Nakamoto’s personal address or send an email from Satoshi’s mailing list to the Bitcoin community
The Future of Bitcoins
Unlike legal tender such as the US dollar and the Japanese yen, Bitcoin allows users to remit BTC in a matter of minutes with negligible fees
More and more people are looking to Bitcoin as a means of solving the problems of traditional financial institutions