Blockchain has been around for nearly a decade. And over a short span, it has undergone massive changes and constant innovation. Today, blockchain is a multi-dimensional technology whose usage far exceeds cryptocurrency. As impressive as recent developments are, understanding the history of blockchain is crucial to understanding how it can be used in the future. And it all began with Satoshi Nakamoto in 2009.
Blockchain is a decentralized ledger of transactions. It’s a database that keeps records of all digital assets and allows for sharing among various individuals. Nakamoto created the blockchain to trade Bitcoin securely. Since then, many developers have improved blockchain to develop new types of cryptocurrencies.
From 2009 to now, both blockchain and bitcoin have undergone massive changes. Blockchain, in particular, has transcended horizons and is now an integral structure for cryptocurrencies in general. However, the usefulness of blockchain technology doesn’t stop there. In the last few years, researchers have studied the effectiveness of blockchain technology in several fields, and things look promising.
Satoshi Nakamoto created bitcoin and developed the blockchain technology for the secure transaction of bitcoin. The same year, the first bitcoin transaction occurred between the computer engineer Hal Finney and Satoshi Nakamoto.
Two years later, Laszlo Hanycez, a computer programmer from Florida, completed the first purchase of Bitcoin through blockchain. He bought two Papa John’s Pizzas using bitcoin. Hanycez transferred 10,000 bitcoins, which were valued at $60 at the time. Today, the same amount of bitcoin is valued at $80 million. The very same year, the market cap of Bitcoin exceeded $1 million.
Following the market cap, Bitcoin finally caught up with the US Dollar, 1BTC = 1USD. Recognizing the growing market value of bitcoin, organizations like Electronic Frontier Foundation, Wikileaks, and a couple of others started accepting Bitcoins as a form of payment.
This year proved to be crucial for the integration of bitcoin into pop culture. The coin and its growing influence were mentioned in the popular TV show The Good Wife. The same year, early bitcoin developer Vitalik Buterin launched the bitcoin Magazine to spread knowledge about Bitcoin and the Blockchain.
Blockchain technology was used to create the first decentralized cryptocurrency exchange, Bitsquare. This year also saw a massive rise in Bitcoin’s price, which reached more than $100. The total market cap surpassed USD 1 Billion. The same year, Buterin published the paper Ethereum Project. This opened the possibility of using blockchain technology for cryptocurrencies other than Bitcoin.
Starting from 2014, Bitcoin was accepted as a form of payment in several companies, including the Gaming company Zynga, The D Las Vegas Hotel, and Overstock.com. The Ethereum project also gained traction, and the Initial Coin Offering raised USD 18 million, all in Bitcoin. The same year, the R3 group was formed, which studied the application of blockchain in other forms of technology.
This year, merchants accepting Bitcoin as a form of payment exceeded 100,000. Late in the year, NASDAQ and San-Francisco blockchain companies paired up to study the application of blockchain technology in trading.
The Ethereum project was announced to use blockchain for other technologies instead of currencies like Litecoin or Dogecoin. It focused on allowing users to develop apps and programs without any downtime. IBM became the first company to adopt blockchain technology and announced a strategy for using blockchain for their cloud-based services. The Government of Japan also gave legitimacy to Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies, opening doors for mining Bitcoin in Japan.
Cryptocurrencies underwent rapid growth in 2017. Earlier in the year, the market cap of all cryptocurrencies combined passed USD 50 billion. Several other cryptos also broke new records daily, including Ripple overtaking Ether as the second most valuable coin after bitcoin at its peak valuation! Dubai also announced that its government would start using blockchain technology and complete a full transition by 2020. Blockchain as a Service (BaaS) also became popular this year. Several big companies like Microsoft, IBM, and Amazon announced their BaaS platforms which startups could leverage to develop blockchain apps for different purposes.
IBM developed a blockchain-powered banking platform, and all major banks, including Citi and Barclays, signed up for the platform.
Despite increasing rumors about Bitcoin being banned in China, Chinese President Ji Xinping embraced Bitcoin and announced China’s objective of creating its own cryptocurrency.
By 2020, Bitcoin was accepted as a form of payment worldwide. Blockchain technology was also used to securely store medical research data and patent information during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Blockchain technology will continue growing at an exponential rate throughout 2021 and beyond! The possibilities of blockchain technology are limitless. This makes it one of the most significant technological advancements in history since the invention of the internet itself. We expect increased usage from banks, governments & large corporations who have started exploring ways to implement blockchain in everyday operations.