Bitcoin is a digital currency that was created in January 2009 after the housing market crash. This asset follows the ideas set forth in the whitepaper by a mysterious figure under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto.

The identity of the person or group of people who created this technology is still a mystery to this day. Bitcoin offers the promise of lower transaction fees than traditional online payment mechanisms and is operated by a decentralized authority, unlike government-issued currencies.

There is no physical form of Bitcoin, only a nominal balance stored in a public ledger (Blockchain) that can be accessed transparently by anyone — including all Bitcoin transactions — which is verified by a large amount of computing power (Mining). Bitcoin is not issued or backed by any bank or government, nor is it a valuable commodity. Although not a legal tender, Bitcoin has immense popularity, and has sparked the launch of hundreds of other digital currencies collectively known as Altcoins.

According to the official Bitcoin organization, the word “Bitcoin” is capitalized in context to refer to an entity or concept, and “bitcoin” is written in lower case to refer to the quantity of currency (example: “I bought 20 bitcoins”) or the unit itself. The plural can be referred to as either “bitcoin” or “bitcoins.” Bitcoin is also commonly abbreviated as “BTC.”

The Inventor and Origin of Bitcoin

In 2007 the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto started creating Bitcoin.

On August 18, 2008, the domain was registered by an anonymous entity as a precursor to a body of work that would explain the intricacies of the Bitcoin protocol.

This became apparent with the publication of the Bitcoin white paper on October 31, 2008. Entitled “Bitcoin — A peer-to-peer electronic cash system,” the first 9-page document was distributed on the cypherpunk mailing list in November 2008 daily profit.

On January 3, 2009, Satoshi Nakamoto succeeded in creating the Genesis Block, the block that founded the Bitcoin blockchain. The Genesis block is hardcoded into the Bitcoin software along with 50 BTC, which is generated but cannot be used, due to the way the code is written. The real reason for this is unknown, just another mystery added to Satoshi’s story.

The average time between the creation of a new block is 10 minutes, but it takes 6 full days before the next block enters the Bitcoin blockchain, according to the recorded times of the blocks.

There are a number of speculative theories as to why it took so long, ranging from Nakamoto using the next few days to mine the first block to test the network, while others even suggest that Nakamoto waited 6 days to implement a figurative reenactment of the Bible’s book of Genesis, where God created world in 6 days. However, the first Bitcoin transaction occurred on January 12, 2009, between Nakamoto and the late Hal Finney, who was an early contributor to the project. Nakamoto sends Finney 10 BTC as a test, while the computer scientist himself starts mining the blocks.

Ten months later, on October 5, 2009, the New Liberty Standard set the first Bitcoin exchange rate against the dollar. At that time, $1 was equal to 2300.03 BTC.

The first Bitcoin transaction for physical goods occurred on May 22, 2010. The famous Bitcoin Pizza saw two pizzas purchased for 10,000 BTC by Laszlo Hanyecz. Programmers have offered BTC to users on the forum in exchange for two pizzas. A teenager named Jeremy Sturdivant, nicknamed Jercos, received Bitcoin and sent Hanyecz two pizzas from Papa John’s.

This transaction is a funny milestone for Bitcoin, but surprising given what we can buy with the same amount of BTC today and is often used as a reference point for the cryptocurrency’s preeminent rise in value.

Latest Price USD 10 865.57
ROI (est. since launch) 7924.07%
Market Capitalization USD 200 974 508 380
Market Rank #1
Circulating Supply 18 511 781 BTC
Maximum Supply 21 000 000 BTC
Highest Price of All Time USD 20 089 (Dec 2017)
All-Time Lowest Price USD 65.53 (Jul 2013)
24 Hour Trading Volume USD 64 328 012 039