Bitcoin, the crypto-currency has skyrocketed into history in less than five years, going from abstract concept to a global currency with an over billion dollar market cap. The aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis and the massive quantitative easing programs created a crisis in confidence in government issued currencies and the perfect climate for a new currency.
A Look at the Bitcoin HistoryCCTV’s Michelle Makori walks us through the major milestones of the Bitcoin Phenomenon.
In 2008, a person or persons, going by the name Satoshi Nakamoto published a paper outlining a peer-to-peer electronic cash system. The idea used a software code to authenticate and protect transactions without resorting to a government treasury or central bank and the following year, the first bitcoin is issued.
In 2010, bitcoins became tangible with the first transaction using over 10,000 coins for a pizza delivery and two months later the Mt. Gox exchange is launched.
Last year, bitcoin was accepted on several websites, the collective value passed one billion dollars and became the sole currency on the anonymous online marketplace, Silk Road, allegedly used for drug dealing around the world.
Last year, the first bitcoin ATM opened in Vancouver, Canada and in October, the anonymous online marketplace, Silk Road, shut down.
Regulators begin to see the value of the currency as a U.S. Congressional hearing investigates the benefits of the digital currency for the financial system.
As more established retailers like Overstock.com accept bitcoins, the market cap of the currency exceeds over $10 billion dollars in November 2013. Last December, the value of a single bitcoin crosses the $1000 mark.
With China’s tighter controls on alternative currencies, the implosion of the Mt. Gox exchange and a U.S. Internal Revenue Service ruling that says bitcoins should be taxed as a property -the digital currency is negatively impacted.
As a result, bitcoins lose about half their value in four months. Currently, the price per single bitcoin is $507 from an all-time high of $1,242 dollars per single coin.