Credit image: Andre Francois McKenzie – free to use under Unsplash license
In the past 2 – 3 years, Bitcoin has been making the rounds. Having completely changed the financial industry landscape with its rapid growth in popularity, the original cryptocurrency is becoming more and more famous by the month. Not only that, but the popularity of Bitcoin has also led to quite a few other cryptocurrencies becoming a lot more embedded in the mainstream conscious as well. Among them, the most popular are Ether, Tether, Ripple, Dogecoin, etc.
With such massive growth in popularity in the past few years, many are wondering where the phenomenon came from. Just how did Bitcoin get its start? In this article, we are going to take a look at a brief history of the most successful cryptocurrency today.
It was in 2008 that Bitcoin was first put in the minds of the public. It was that year that the mysterious creator (or creators) of the cryptocurrency published a paper entitled “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Cash System”. This paper was read by quite a few people, who responded rather positively. Only a year later, Satoshi Nakamoto unveiled Bitcoin to the public and mined the first block of the cryptocurrency (called the genesis block).
At the time, Bitcoin was worth barely anything and many did not see the use of it. After all, who could have possibly predicted that in only 10 short years, Bitcoin would be embraced by businesses of all shapes and sizes. Whether it be online bookmakers like Sportsbet io, retail stores, or even the biggest computer company today, Microsoft, Bitcoin, and cryptocurrency, in general, is certainly being embraced by society at an increasing pace.
The Early Years
The early years of Bitcoin were marked by, what could best be described as, tentative excitement. Quite a few people were massive fans of the idea and the concept, and some even believed in the product itself. One such person was programmer, Nakamoto associate, and life-long cypherpunk, Hal Finney, who was the first to be awarded Bitcoin by Nakamoto himself.
At the time, Bitcoin was worth barely anything. In fact, the first transaction using Bitcoin came only a year later, in 2010. Laszlo Hanyecz was a programmer, working late, when he got a hankering for pizza. Using 10,000 Bitcoin units, he purchased two Papa John’s pizzas. While at the time, this sum was worth only two pizzas, today, 10,000 Bitcoins is worth upwards of $200,000,000.
It was in 2019 that Bitcoin truly entered the mainstream. People at the time just seemed to be getting tired of traditional investment methods, and the growing distrust in institutions hit an all-time high. For this reason, exactly, Bitcoin rose in prominence. However, it has been a rather turbulent time for the cryptocurrency.
By hitting incredibly high numbers, many are beginning to look for other, more affordable cryptos, leaving Bitcoin with a value more volatile than ever. In the past year alone, Bitcoin’s value has fluctuated more than ever before, encouraging many to look towards other cryptocurrencies in order to fill the void.
Other Popular Cryptocurrencies
In this last section, we would like to look at a few of the most popular cryptocurrencies today, other than Bitcoin, that have made quite the splash in the scene. Starting the list off, of course, is Ethereum. Next to Bitcoin, the Ethereum blockchain is the most successful, and it is the Ether coin that holds the silver prize for the most valuable cryptocurrency today. The popularity of Ethereum largely came from the fact that it was the first blockchain to fully embrace NFTs, which can still be stored on the blockchain today.
Tether is a stablecoin, valued at $1. Its price does not fluctuate, as long as the U.S. dollar remains stable. For this reason, exactly, the popularity of Tether has grown so much, that at certain periods it has exceeded the trading volume of Bitcoin itself. One thing that discourages people from trading Bitcoin is the volatility, and Tether removes that problem by linking its price to a FIAT currency.
Some other popular cryptocurrencies on the current market include Ripple, Dogecoin, Litecoin, and quite a few Bitcoin hard forks. All of these cryptos have a large base of investors and enjoy quite a sizable popularity in 2022.