Bitcoin has been an evolving invention, starting as a decentralized currency with no central authorities. From its decentralized beginnings, Bitcoin has transformed into an emerging global payment option. In light of its revolutionary spirit, and the force of distributed consensus at its core, Bitcoin is changing the landscape of the global economy.
But the beginning of the bitcoin story is as interesting as the idea itself.
Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are in their relative infancy, with less than ten years of true innovation and development. We are still following the same evolutionary path to what is hopefully a greater future.
Bitcoin was introduced in 2009 as a decentralized currency without the need for a central bank or any intermediaries. While many people have considered the birth of Bitcoin, the true inventor has never been confirmed.
The author of the Paper that spawned Bitcoin is also said to have created a pseudonymous name called “Satoshi Nakamoto.” Most of the earliest developers have also been pseudonymous, which is why the official bitcoin.org website allows for addresses, or names, to correspond
with bitcoin holdings.
The Genesis Block
The earliest confirmed block on the bitcoin blockchain was mined in 2009, becoming a testament to the most important invention of the 21st Century.
The Genesis Block, also called the “Genesis Transaction,” contains the first 50 bitcoins that were created. Satoshi Nakamoto mined the block (which acted as a proof-of-work mechanism) at the date that was January 3, 2009, 12:55 p.m. EST. Bitcoin was originally released in 2009, but the real history of Bitcoin begins with this block.
Nakamoto also mined the first block for three years, until Oct. 31, 2010.
The Genesis Block alone generated about 100,000 bitcoins, which equated to about $100 million in 2009. It was a small enough amount that the currency did not find many takers at first. Within a year, however, Bitcoin had support as a more secure option for sending value to people from the United States to the United Kingdom to Latin America. Some people still claim that the method of mining Bitcoin is susceptible to a 51 percent attack.
An Early, Seedy Marketplace
As much as the genesis of Bitcoin is shrouded in mystery, its early days were much more sordid. It is true that Bitcoin had its first major use on the underground market, but it was still years before it grew in mainstream use.