In 2017 alone, the price of Bitcoin rose from a little under $1,000 at the beginning of the year to close to $19,000, ending the year more than 1,400% higher. More recently, the cryptocurrency has declined in value and more-or-less plateaued, save for a few periods of relatively lower price figures (the early portion of 2019, when prices hovered around $3500) and relatively higher ones (June and July of 2019, when prices briefly peaked at over $13,000). As of October 2019, Bitcoin seems to have found a new price point in the range of $8,000 to $9,000.
Bitcoin’s price is quite dependent on the size of its mining network since the larger the network is, the more difficult — and thus more costly — it is to produce new bitcoins. As a result, the price of bitcoin has to increase as its cost of production also rises. The Bitcoin mining network’s aggregate processing power is known as the “hash rate,” referring to the number of times per second the network can attempt to complete a hashing puzzle necessary before a block can be added to the blockchain. As of October 23, 2019, the network reached a record high of 114 quintillion hashes per second.
9 Key Events in Bitcoin History
Bitcoin turned 10 years old last year. After ups and downs, Bitcoin has finally considered a legitimate asset and large companies across the globe invest in it. So, this is the right moment to look back at the history of Bitcoin. We will point out the most significant moments, which deserve special notice.
1. 18 August 2008 - Bitcoin.org Domain Registration
On this date, the website Anonymoussspeech.com received an application to register the domain name Bitcoin.org. The website specializes in anonymous domain name registration.
Nevertheless, the Bitcoin.org website discloses the names of the founders on the About Us page: Satoshi Nakamoto.
2. 31 October 2008 - Satoshi Nakamoto Publishes His White Paper
31 October is generally recognized as the birth of Bitcoin. On this date, Satoshi Nakamoto published a white paper on an electronic mailing list. In the white paper, he described a peer-to-peer digital currency that does not need traditional financial institutions for transfer.
Satoshi’s white paper consists of 11 sections, detailing: transactions, proof-of-work, simplified payment verification, privacy and calculations among others. A few months later, on 3 January 2009, Satoshi moved from theory to practice. He created the first Bitcoin blockchain block (block 0 or the genesis block), containing 50 BTC.
3. 12 January 2009 - The First Bitcoin Transaction
Three days after Satoshi Nakamoto released the core software for Bitcoin, the first transaction with the cryptocurrency took place. Satoshi sent Hal Finney, an early enthusiast, 100 BTC.
4. 22 May 2010 - Two Pizzas Purchased with 10,000 BTC
On 17 May 2010, a Florida-based programmer, Laszlo Hanyecz, made an offer of 10,000 BTC for two Papa John’s pizzas in an online forum. A few days later, on 22 May, another user, Jeremy Sturdivant, accepted the offer. At that moment, the amount represented the equivalent of about $30. Today, however, those two pizzas would be among the most expensive items in the world — over $62 million!
5. 2 October 2013 - FBI Brings Down Silk Road
Silk Road was a dark web marketplace with an emphasis on user privacy. Accessible through the Tor browser, it sold everything from drugs, to weapons and other illegal items. BTC was the preferred method of payment among Silk Road users. On 2 October 2013, the creator of Silk Road, Ross Ulbricht, was arrested by the FBI in a public library. He was logged on the Silk Road server at that moment.
6. 27 November 2013 - Bitcoin Reaches US$1,000
Bitcoin came out shaken but not stirred from the Silk Road scandal, and on 27 November 2013 hit the first milestone peak. The price of 1 BTC was $1,000. A subsequent increase in value after this peak was brought about artificially by Mt Gox — the first BTC exchange. Allegedly, the platform used a trading bot to inflate Bitcoin prices.
7. 1 August 2017 - The Birth of BCH
Over the years, the Bitcoin community split into two factions. One faction wanted to increase the blockchain block from 1MB to up to 8MB. The other faction opted for a technical solution called Segregated Witness (SegWit). The principle behind SegWit was decreasing the amount of transaction data within each block. Thus, blocks would have space for more transactions.
On 1 August 2017, SegWit supporters applied a user-activated soft fork. At the same time, the other faction (promoters of bigger blocks) forked and created Bitcoin Cash (BCH), currently valued at around $400.
8. 17 December 2017 - Bitcoin Valued at US$20,000
The king of cryptocurrencies hit a record high on 17 December 2017. The price of 1 BTC was US$19,528, according to CoinMarketCap. The steady growth of the value of Bitcoin started in November and continued up to this peak point. However, just days later, prices for most cryptocurrencies, including BTC, suffered a 30% drop.
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