I discovered cryptocurrency 4 years ago, the thought of a virtual currency was still a myth to many and a money-making scheme to some. The internet was full of posts that backed the 'Blockchain' or the 'Bitcoin', anyone who knew these terms was deemed a Whiz-Kid, people passed the offer of virtual currency that changed the reality that we all know today.
Bitcoins release and effects on the public
The greatest peer-to-peer electronic cash system was released on 9 January 2009, this date marks the start of a contribution for many and retribution for others. Many had no idea about the online currency, the concept was still 'Dangerous' many had the money to invest but chose penny shares for fracking companies and oil companies that go out of business years later. In 2010 a man called Laszlo Hanyecz paid $600 million for 2 pizzas. 10,000 BTC was up for grabs for the lucky pizza company, how they spent that BTC nobody knows but Laszlo Hanyecz has no regrets from his 10,000 BTC payment worth around $41 in 2010. Little did Lazlo know he would become a Bitcoin legend years later and become to hopes, dreams, and reality that we all know today.
Laszlo Hanyecz with his family after the purchase of 2 pizza's in exchange for 10,000 BTC
Bitcoin was seen as a way for drug dealers and hackers to evade authority. Something changed that, with the help of the very thing Bitcoin was created to Circumvent, Wall Street took interest in the virtual currency and its endless potential as said by Max Neukirchen in 2015 “A year ago, it was more of an idea. Now, it is a real opportunity. You test it and realize that this can play a big role in our thinking about how our own infrastructure will evolve.”
Many compared Bitcoin to the Dutch tulip bulb mania but others brought upon the idea of a free monopoly on virtual currency, large companies like Dell and Overstock began taking Bitcoin for online payments. Many people loved the idea and media hype was summoning until it all died down. These big companies become uninterested in instant online payments and cryptocurrency moving became fascinated by the network and technology that cryptocurrency was founded upon, 'How is Bitcoin able to be sent across the world for free?'. All previous online transactions were always made through a central authority; Paypal. The Wolfs of Wallstreet could not figure out how nobody could own the Bitcoin network and still have transactions and records held in real-time with nobody in charge.
This currency was so sought for that Vermont State Government commissioned a study in June to see how the blockchain could be used as a legal method of record-keeping whilst keeping to the Law. One of the most arguably revolutionary changes could be the Nasdaq software that enabled trading of stocks in private companies, like tech start-ups, on a new kind of blockchain, fully replacing the existing system of paper certificates which made basic trades weeks to complete.
People tarnished cryptocurrency with crime myths and legends, the Anthony Murgio Case in 2014 showed Bitcoin in the wrong light. This was one of the first Illegal Bitcoin laundering cases, Murgio had created an online exchange created to launder money, the amount he had laundered is unknown but the FBI estimates above $2 Million. This news report caused 20,979,400 volume of Bitcoin sold compared to the previous days.
Increase in Cryptocurrency Popularity
The first cryptocurrency released being Bitcoin had a little under 1.3 Million bitcoin circulating the market, compared to our now 18.74 million. Satoshi Nakamoto Bitcoins founding father and creator wanted to create a peer-to-peer electronic cash payment system that enabled anyone in the world to send electronic currency for free, without the speculation of government or authority. Bitcoin grew on speculation and grows on speculation, many social media platforms began to hype Bitcoins growth and news coverage of the 'Crime-Ridden Currency' kept people coming back for more, news sells and so does crypto. Many success stories were created, the greatest bitcoin legend argued by many is the Mr.Smith success story, he invested just shy of $3000 into Bitcoin, the date is unknown but estimated to be early 2010, 3 years later he opened his computer to remember the Bitcoin he held, seeing the Bullrun that had commenced he decided to sell all of his bitcoin and travel the world, he remains anonymous to this day. One of the less fortunate people to discover their Bitcoin remains was 35-year-old James Howells, James accidentally threw 7,500 Bitcoin into a landfill site in 2013, the contents on the hard drive are estimated at a Whale sum of £210 Million.
James Howells an IT Engineer from Newport, South Wales