The blockchain story of the world. How it happened?
It is hard to believe that the blockchain has completed a decade. It is harder to adjust to the fact that blockchain has established itself as one of the most revolutionising technologies after the advent of the internet. Not only it has managed to spread throughout the world but has actually reached every sector of our society.
Let us look at the timeline of blockchain and how it has managed to spread from Satoshi Nakamoto’s mind to everyday talks.
The blockchain is not something to come up within a year or two. It is the fruit of several years of hard work. It is a rewarding combination of Game Theory, Cryptography and decentralisation (check out). While distributed ledgers existed prior to Bitcoin, the Bitcoin blockchain marks the convergence of a host of technologies, including timestamping of transactions, Peer-to-Peer (P2P) networks, cryptography, and shared computational power, along with a new consensus algorithm.
1982 – It was in 1982 that computer scientist David Chaum came up with the idea of Electronic Money in his paper “Blind signatures for untraceable payments.” This was the first time, the world heard of a new form of cryptography which could allow for an automated payment system without the interference of a trusted third party.
Read Chaum’s Paper here
1997 – This year came with another significant improvement which Satoshi incorporated with the E-cash to remove the lapse in present faulty E-cash system used. It was Adam Bank who invented hashcash, a proof-of-work system very similar to what Bitcoin uses.
1998 – Coming to 1998 marked the advent of ‘b-cash’ in an essay by Wei Dai. B-cash uses a proof-of-work system that creates the currency by solving a mathematical computation, and the transactions are broadcasted to the entire network. It is very similar to what later became Blockchain.
1998 also witnessed an alternative currency called “Bit Gold”. This currency has a feature that lets you function without the requirement of third-party and solving the proof-of-work gets you a series of bits and the last bits are used for creating a string for next transaction. Sounds similar to the blockchain? You guessed it right.
2008 – Now this was the year the world saw the genius Satoshi Nakamoto coming up with solutions to many intricate problems in electronic cash by introducing bitcoin and blockchain in his white paper “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System” on 31st October 2008. It was the brilliance of Satoshi that assured a successful attempt to eliminate trusted third-party and also solved the problem of double spending.
Read the Bitcoin white paper here
2009 – This was a very active year for progress in the blockchain. On January 3, 2018, the first block (Genesis block) was mined. In October 2009, first Bitcoin exchange rate was published in the young cryptocurrency’s history by the New Liberty Standard. The first iteration of Bitcoin software was released on January 9 while Satoshi Nakamoto sent 10 Bitcoins (BTC) to noted computer programmer and developer Hal Finney on January 12.
2010 – The year is famous for the usage of Bitcoin to make a purchase for the first time. Programmer Laszlo Hanyecz sent 10,000 BTC to a London man in exchange for two pizzas in May 2010. It was after two months that Bitcoin’s value crossed the penny threshold.
First Bitcoin exchange came up in 2010, the first mining pool, also mined Bitcoin successfully for the first time that year. The market cap for Bitcoin surpassed $ 1 million in November 2010.
2011 – The market value of Bitcoin increased steadily, and it attracted media attention, both good and bad. Even the Time Magazine wrote about it! By June 2011, Bitcoin’s worth was over $30 million, but soon it witnessed crypto winter and crashed to $10 million. As Bitcoin was gaining popularity, more and more altcoin came into existence.
2012 – The year marked the Bitcoin becoming the world’s top digital coin was its crossing the $100 threshold in April. Overall, 2012 was a smooth year, with steady growth for Bitcoin and gaining interest in the technology.
2013 – In March 2013 Market capitalisation of bitcoin reached $1billion. June 2013 marked the first major virtual currency theft of 25,000 bitcoin from Bitcoin Forum founder’s wallet. Bitcoin also passed a value of $1,000 for the first time in 2013.
The major progress of 2013 was the introduction of Ethereum and smart
contracts in a white paper by Vitalik Buterin.
2014-2016 – These years marked many crypto winters for cryptocurrencies, but Bitcoin emerged victorious out of them. July 2014 saw the launch of Ethereum Project via crowdfunding as the first smart contract.
The very famous HYperledger Project was established by the Linux Foundation in December 2015. Several other small and significant events took place through these three years. These events marked the expansion of the blockchain technology from cryptocurrencies to other decentralised applications.
2017 – This was the busiest year in the history of Blockchain. The applications of the blockchain diversified to almost every sector. Many startups began experimenting with the blockchain platform. Tech enthusiasts saw potential to revolutionise almost every sector from supply chain to agriculture to medicine.
In January 2017, seven giant European Banks announced a partnership, Digital Trade Chain, to offer trade finance platform enabled by blockchain.
Japan became the torch-bearer for experimenting with the blockchain as it officially recognised virtual currencies.
2018 – Though a harsh year for Bitcoin, but a very progressive for blockchain technology. In 2018 we saw blockchain getting support from world leaders and UN itself.
Image credit: gem.co
The decade has been full of ups and downs, but as we said by Victor Hugo “Nothing can stop an idea whose time has come.”