Bitcoin has seen a phenomenal year in 2017, shooting up over 1,000% in value since the end of 2016. Bitcoin now commands over 60% of the entire cryptocurrency market, or what equates to $100 Billion. Today Bitcoin broke yet another all-time record, reaching over $6,400 per coin. Incidentally, this Halloween also marks the 9th year anniversary of the anonymous Satoshi Nakamoto’s whitepaper publication that was the basis for the birth of Bitcoin.
On October 31, 2008, an Idea is Born
On October 31, 2008, a paper was written and published by a person or group under the pseudonym of Satoshi Nakamoto called “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System.” The document was issued in an email newsletter to subscribers of a cryptography website that explained the blockchain consensus algorithm using the Gossip protocol and how it can be further used to create a true peer-to-peer digital currency backed and secured solely by mathematical proofs. Nakamoto’s whitepaper sums Bitcoin’s main attributes in a few terse sentences that state:
[Bitcoin] a purely peer-to-peer version of electronic cash would allow online payments to be sent directly from one party to another without going through a financial institution. Digital signatures provide part of the solution, but the main benefits are lost if a trusted third party is still required to prevent double-spending. We propose a solution to the double-spending problem using a peer-to-peer network. The network timestamps transactions by hashing them into an ongoing chain of hash-based proof-of-work, forming a record that cannot be changed without redoing the proof-of-work.
Mainstream Adoption is not all About Setting a Record
Bitcoin, not too long ago, was looked upon as some sort of digital gimmick, or worse yet, a flat out ponzi scheme. Bitcoin and blockchain as well as the cryptographic proofs it’s built on top of has its origins in the cypherpunk movement – a collection of enthusiasts, hobbyists and professionals who enjoy math, cryptography, information and security and believe privacy is a right we must fight to keep in an ever evolving digital world. Bitcoin then received yet another negative label when it was found out that underground marketplaces like Silk Road used bitcoin as a means to transfer, launder, and supply funds for various illegal and malicious activities.
Despite these negative connotations toward a true and decentralized peer-to-peer currency, Bitcoin today stands everstrong.
As increasingly more people continue to see the benefits that Bitcoin has over traditional value stores, more and more people will continue to adopt and embrace the idea of peer-to-peer, decentralized networks; with Bitcoin being the pillar of that movement.
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