The Bitcoin Genesis block began on a Saturday, January 3, 2009. Since then it's been going strong for over a decade now and seeing its highest price of roughly $20,000 per BTC. It is the original coin of all the cryptocurrencies with the highest market cap.
Since the mysterious creator, Satoshi Nakamoto started this crypto revolution it really had its impact globally. From businesses to regulations, today's society is making the changes to grow with a young industry. After the first blockchain started there have been countless copies that flood the market today.
With a new innovation up and running with a very few that began with it, the distribution started as mining on the network kicked into gear the 21 million supply cap. The mining rewards for every block began with 50 BTC and cut in half every 4 years or 210,000 blocks. It is currently at 12.5 BTC per block and will half into 6.25 BTC per block.
As the GUI spread, people got familiar with how to use and get some Bitcoins and being part of a new peer-to-peer (p2p) network.
Eventually, everything grew on the network and groups of miners began to combine their mining resources and mining pools began to battle for solving the cryptographic hash functions utilizing Secure Hash Algorithm 256 (SHA256).
Here is the Hashrate distribution for the past 24 hours at the time of writing this:
As the mining network difficulty grew from CPU and GPU in laptops and desktops, Application-Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs) such as Bitmain hit the market and demand for Bitcoin started mining farms with millions of dollars worth of mining equipment in giant warehouses.
Source: IEEE Spectrum
There were bad actors going as far as running mining operations stealing electricity from the grid making headlines all over the globe.
Bitcoin and altcoins have gone through so many hard forks it's tough to keep track of. Consensus changes that added features and secured their networks. Bitcoin alone had many forks that there are so many variants of Bitcoin all claiming to be the better Bitcoin.
The rise and fall of what was the largest Bitcoin exchange at the time in 2014 Mt. Gox were where users could trade their Bitcoins. Then the infamous hack that brought down the exchange and crippled the market for some time as a reported $460 Million worth or 850,000 Bitcoins were stolen. However, more than 200,000 of them have been recovered since.
As Mt. Gox fell, it was a race to be the top exchange and then eventually led to the boom of altcoins and Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) in 2017 that let to the all-time price of Bitcoin. Traders rode the market and saw large gains that made it appealing to all sorts of investments into the world of cryptocurrencies.
More exchanges started to rise as altcoins flooded the market. The likes of Binance, Coinbase, Bitfinex and many more began to dominate the exchange market. Eventually, that led to Initial Exchange Offerings (IEOs) and now the market is flooded with a long list of centralized and decentralized exchanges.
The market is so flooded with different types of crypto coins, the crypto community popularized the term "shitcoins". A term still used to this day even all the way in the U.S. Congress as it was discussed in July 2019.
As we go back to Mt.Gox hack as being the first major one that brought down a popular exchange at the time, even today we continue to see hacks and the majority of exchanges have dealt with some form of hacks and losses of Bitcoin and altcoins.
The growing use of the spread of crypto computer malware and Ransomware has been making headlines. More and more seek to get a hold of some of the limited 21 million Bitcoins that will be in circulation
Things were even getting sophisticated as "Sim Hacking" or many other names it goes by where attackers would target smartphone sim cards and combine it with social engineering techniques that allowed the attacker to obtain your phone service and initiate a password change on the targeted person's email. They will receive the SMS text message and gain access to the email where they can do the process with any platforms or exchanges that the targeted person used for their Bitcoins.
Blockchain technology and the crypto market now in the spotlight with the world's largest social media platform Facebook decided to try and launch their Libra coin that is now being on hold as the U.S. regulators put a stop to Facebook releasing the coin. While many still have questions about Libra on how it will affect the global economy and prevent money laundering that leads to funding terrorist organizations. With the latest news of Ethereum developer Virgil Griffith being indicted for attending a cryptocurrency conference in North Korea, U.N. Sanctions warns not to attend the upcoming conference from February 22-29, 2020.
Bitcoin is fighting through all these regulations as institutions joined the market with the launching of Bitcoin Futures with Bakkt being the most recent and anticipated platform being created by Intercontinental Exchange Group (ICE), the same company behind the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). Bakkt has the partnerships of Boston Consulting Group (BCG), Starbucks, and Microsoft to have its institutional investment to attract more investments into the crypto market.
The Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) and other global exchange security are now heavily in the market to prevent scams from plaguing the space and protect investors and consumers from Ponzi schemes like the infamous Bitconnect.
Aside from the attention of regulators, it has gotten the attention of entertainment industries, social media, news outlets, sports franchises. From talk shows to TV and Movies. It was reported that the movie Dope was the first movie to accept Bitcoin payments for ticket purchases. Oddly enough, Bitcoin was featured in an illicit way that it may be used on the Darknet.
The film, which premiered at Sundance to positive reviews, centres on friends who sell drugs in exchange for Bitcoin, making the decision all the more relevant. As of 15 June, buyers are able to use the currency to order tickets online, in a similar way as they would pay via credit card.
The comedy opens on 19 June in the US on around 2,000 screens – an ambitious start for an indie – and Bitcoin can be used to pay for tickets to around 900 of these sites.
Unfortunately, the majority of the crypto-related movies and some type of criminal type of association with it. But you also see that with fiat money as well.
Bitcoin continues to rise in eCommerce as businesses adopt the technology and launch products and services for the use of the crypto. The Japanese eCommerce rival to Amazon has launched the Rakuten Wallet that is currently only for Japanese residents and is able to use it for purchasing goods in their online market with the use of Bitcoin.
EletroPay manufacturer released its Point-of-Sale (PoS) device to make it easy for merchants to accept alternative payments in Bitcoin and others. The device currently supports:
- Bitcoin Cash
- Wechat Pay
At the end of the day, currently, the crypto market revolves around Bitcoin. As the month of January 2020 is showing signs of being bullish market, Bitcoin continues to dominate the total market cap as the rest of the altcoins try to follow suit. It's been on an incredible journey so far and more has yet to come.