Cryptocurrencies are changing the way we think about money. They’ve continued to make headlines since the launch of Bitcoin back in 2008.
Here, we look at seven events that helped to shape the evolution of cryptocurrencies over the last decade.
THE BIRTH OF BITCOIN
Bitcoin, the world’s first cryptocurrency, was established in 2008 by an unknown founder who goes under the pseudonym ‘Satoshi Nakamoto’.
The original Bitcoin whitepaper was released by Nakamoto the following year. The paper presented the argument that the problem with current online transactions is that they rely on the security of a centralised bank. This means that transactions are inevitably prone to fraud and unnecessary transfer charges.
The whitepaper introduced Bitcoin as a form of digital currency that would remove the need for a centralised financial institution. By relying on users within its network to verify transactions through encryption, the currency could be used to make truly direct, trusted and secure payments.
This system of peer-to-peer verification laid the foundations for blockchain technology and all the modern cryptocurrencies that rely on it.
THE FIRST REAL-WORLD TRANSACTION
In early 2010, Florida-based software developer Laszlo Hanyecz made the first Bitcoin transaction when he ordered two pizzas to be delivered to his home at a cost of 10,000 BTC (worth £48 billion today).
That real-world transaction turned Bitcoin’s theory into a reality. Two months later, the value of a Bitcoin grew by 900%. Today, you can buy and sell cryptocurrency in a matter of seconds thanks to the services offered by Skrill.