Bitcoin has become a familiar staple of the investing world. Nearly 15 years old, you would be hard-pressed to find someone who hasn’t at least heard of Bitcoin. A lot has changed since Bitcoin was created, but only a few actually know how it started.
Before you worry about the price of Bitcoin, try learning a little bit about it first. When you watch the price and see it climb (or fall, depending on when you look), you will at least have a better idea on the creation of one of the world’s most volatile investments.
Bitcoin is the originator, the OG, the first known cryptocurrency to hit the market. What many don’t know is that it wasn’t the first attempt to create an alternate form of currency. There have actually been a few attempts to create online currencies that have ledgers protected through encryption.
Though they don’t have any notoriety, Bit Gold and B-Money gave it a go first. They were fully formulated but never reached finished development. Many feel that the technology simply didn’t exist at the time, hindering any developments from advancing forward.
Bitcoin is about anonymity in the blockchain. So it’s only fitting that its creator still remains anonymous even 15 years later. In 2008, Bitcoin was added to a mailing list that discussed cryptography. The name attached – Satoshi Nakamoto – may or may not be real. It could just be an alias, and no one knows who Nakamoto is or has confirmed that person’s existence.
After Bitcoin was announced, it wasn’t immediately made available to the public. That wouldn’t happen until January 2009, the software being available for download to anyone interested. Mining, which is how bitcoins are created, how the transactions are made, and how those transactions are verified, first started to happen.
Initially, there wasn’t much buzz involved. A select few even knew of the existence of Bitcoin, let alone how it worked or whether there was investment potential to be made. As a matter of fact, it wasn’t even traded during the first year of its creation.
That all changed in 2010. After a year or so being in the public light, Bitcoin was sold for the first time. There was no monetary value assigned to it because no one had ever done such a thing before, leaving uncertainty shrouding this new currency.
Even more incredible is what the first transaction was. Someone chose to sell 10,000 bitcoins for a whopping two pizzas. At the time, no one cared. If that person still owned their coins today, they would be worth over $100 million today.
It’s fair to say that no one saw this coming, and they’d be a liar if they said they did. Even still, that first person is definitely regretting their decision even all these years later.
By 2011, Bitcoin began to rapidly increase in popularity. As is the case with any new product or invention, copycats started to emerge. There were more backers beginning to believe in the idea of encrypted, decentralized currencies. All of which led to competitors.
Litecoin and Namecoin were two of the first competitors to gain traction. Since then, more than 1,000 different cryptocurrency options have been put into circulation. You can’t go more than a day or two without a new one popping up.
To this day, Bitcoin remains the standard. As of May 19, 2023, it trades for just under $27,000 per coin ($26,841.20). Bitcoin is also arguably the most volatile investment option going today. Investors ride the wave of action and hope for the best.