Bitcoin History: 2009 and 2020 Technology usually advances at an exponential rate. We have observed this in so many different industries over the pas
Bitcoin History: 2009 and 2020
Technology usually advances at an exponential rate. We have observed this in so many different industries over the past many decades. The same is being witnessed with bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as well. In this article we will take a look at Bitcoin’s history from 2009 to present.
Bitcoin’s history isn’t too long. Its whitepaper was published in 2008 and the network went live on January 2009. As of now, it has only existed for 11 years. However, in such a short duration, things have changed a lot. Early adopters have witnessed these changes first hand. Just like with the internet, there are stark differences between how things were and how they are now.
The following dives deep into some of those differences. As you will probably be able to tell, it paints a picture of bitcoin’s evolution over the years.
Most technological innovations have a similar beginning. Initially, only hardcore tech enthusiasts get involved. They quickly try to learn everything they can about it. This initiates a cycle of innovation. The early adopters look to build new applications to address specific problems in the market. This causes the developers of the technology to further advance it. Slowly but surely, it starts becoming more popular.
With bitcoin too, the early adopters carried the mantle forward for a good chunk of the initial years. They were busy building bridges for people to enter the crypto ecosystem. The objective was to mimic the development of the internet – from a few use cases to countless. This created a lot of excitement in the Bitcoin community.
Today, bitcoin’s platform is highly developed. You have
- Cryptocurrency Exchanges
- Online Wallet
- Peer to Peer platform
- and many other innovation using bitcoin’s platform
It has spread to hundreds of millions of people worldwide. In fact, most people in developed and developing countries know about bitcoin. A good number of them also own the cryptocurrency. Many governments of the world have formulated laws regarding cryptocurrencies. There are more companies and institutions than ever serving customers involved in cryptocurrency.
It is pretty safe to say that things have moved way past the ‘early adopter’ phase. This is a really impressive feat, considering that bitcoin has been around for only a decade.
2. Large Transactions Were Common
In the initial days, bitcoin’s price was really low. In fact, until 2010, it didn’t even have a proper ‘value’. It was only in 2011 that it crossed the $1 mark. And it took two more years to cross the $100 mark. So naturally, to transfer even a few thousand dollars, a lot of bitcoins used to be moved. Sending and receiving large amounts like 20,000 to 100,000 bitcoins were no big deal. Also, due to the low prices, the transaction and transfer fees were in pennies.
Today, however, such large transactions are rare. They still happen but not as much as the early years. The reason is simple. The price of a single bitcoin is worth more than $6000. As such, moving even 10,000 bitcoins is huge. These days mostly exchanges transfer such large number of bitcoins at a time. Even then the fee has remained unbelievably low. In September of last year, someone moved 94,504 bitcoins at a fee of just $700. At the time, the value of those bitcoins was more than $945,040,000!
Also, in the early days, people use to give thousands of bitcoins away for free. There are many examples of people setting up faucets to distribute free bitcoins. These days, owning even a single bitcoin has become a huge thing.
3. Fiat On And Off-Ramp Were Limited
Bitcoin serves as its own payment network. However, to enter this ecosystem, there needs to be a mechanism in place to convert fiat into bitcoin. The same goes for when a person wants to cash out their bitcoin for fiat. In the initial days, the crypto infrastructure lacked this important component. There were no bitcoin exchanges were you could instantly turn fiat into bitcoin. Sure, there were some ways in which it could be done but it was quite difficult.
In any system, if there are barriers to entry, it is hard to make it attractive to the masses. The same happened with bitcoin too. Since it was hard to get involved, most people were simply discouraged. While it took some time, this problem was eventually solved.
Today, there are a ton of ways one can enter or exit the bitcoin markets. You can do so with online cryptocurrency exchanges, peer to peer networks, OTC desks, debit and credit cards, and more. In some countries, even banks have started to sell bitcoin and other cryptos to its customers. This has removed almost all the barriers to entry. This is a major reason why bitcoin is so popular today.
Bitcoin Has Gone Through Many Forks
Bitcoin was created by an anonymous person or a group of people. Since its inception, everyone has thought that it is an ingenious idea. That is the reason why it is the king of crypto and universally loved. However, there are always people who remain dissatisfied. Over the past decade, many communities have come together to create their own version of bitcoin.
This is a unique feature of public blockchains. Since they are open-source, anyone can copy the code, make some changes and launch their own blockchain. This is called forking. In the last ten years, bitcoin has been forked many times. To be precise, there are 105 bitcoin fork projects. The most notable one was the creation of Bitcoin Cash in 2017. It is also one of the most successful forks. Currently, it is ranked 5th most popular cryptocurrency in the world.
This is another thing that is quite different today. Bitcoin was the only cryptocurrency in the world at the time. Slowly, many crypto projects sprung up that wanted to address different problems and use cases. Today, even though there are thousands of cryptos, bitcoin is still the king and thus Bitcoin’s history will always be remembered.