In recent months the bitcoins have taken a big chunk of news broadcast. Ignoring this trend is simply impossible. we decided readers to understand this issue, having studied for the beginning the history of origin, formation, development and the first fall of the most popular crypto currency in the world.October 2008. Start
On the last day of October 2008, a document appeared on the site bitcoin.org , describing the essence of the distributed crypto currency, which was called “bitcoin”. Creator – or a group of people – hiding under the name Satoshi Nakamoto (Satoshi Nakamoto), sent a description of his currency to subscribers of the mailing gmane.comp.encryption.general .
In the letter, Nakamoto said that he was working on a new electronic monetary system, and described its properties: protection from fraudulent transactions, independence from any particular organizations and the possibility of anonymous use.
Satoshi Nakamoto was not the pioneer: in 1999, for example, Neil Stevenson’s novel “Kryptonomicon” was published, which described the advantages of creating an unregulated digital currency as one of the pillars of cryptoanarchism. However, in the bestseller, the digital currency was supposed to be provided with material values - gold.
1998 year. Origins
Ten years before Satoshi Nakamoto, another writer and researcher, Nick Szabo, began to work out the mechanism of the decentralized digital money system. Szabo worked on the currency of Bit gold until 2005. He explained that classical money is subject to a variety of threats, from forgery to theft, but most importantly – inflation. Bit gold, according to the creator, had to get rid of these shortcomings.
Before the launch, Bit gold never lived. But in January 2009, the first version of the bitcoin application appeared, and Satoshi Nakamoto generated the first block in his money system for the sum of 50 bitcoins. A few days later, the first transfer of money from one user to another was made.
The end of 2009. First participants
At first the bitcoins were distributed very slowly: the participants could only generate virtual money on their computers and transfer them directly to each other. An approximate rate of bitcoin was published on the New Liberty Standard website and in October-December 2009 ranged from 700 to 1,600 units for one dollar. It was calculated rather primitively: the average power consumed by the processor was multiplied by the cost of electricity in the US and was divided by the number of bitcoins generated by the computer of the creator of the site.
February 2010. Exchange
By February 2010, the first exchange syvis of Bitcoin Market appeared. When two years later, users of the Bitcointalk forum decided to dig in the history of the currency, they came to the conclusion that the information about the first exchange rates of the exchanger had not been preserved. But the first truly serious transaction, made with the help of bitcoins, is known.
May, 2010 year. The first transaction
May 22, 2010 user of the Bitcointalk forum with the nickname Laszlo said he was ready to buy two pizzas for 10,000 bitcoins. After a couple of weeks he announced an open proposal: “I will give 10 thousand bitcoins for every two of these pizzas until I have the money (usually I have enough). If anyone is interested, please let me know. Exchange is suitable for everyone, because 2 pizzas – it’s about 25 dollars, maybe 30, if you give the courier a good tip. “
Already in early August 10 thousand bitcoins cost 600 dollars. Laszlo then admitted that he did not expect such a rapid increase in the popularity of the currency, thanked everyone who had already bought him a pizza and closed his offer.
A sharp jump in the cost of bitcoins occurred in July, when a new version of the application was written on the website for Slashdot techies – the next day, the unit was given 8 cents for the unit, that is ten times more than five days earlier.
February-March 2011. Birth of the exchange
A few days later, Jed McCaleb, who in 2000 created the legendary file-sharing network eDonkey2000, launched the MtGox exchange, which allowed exchanging bitcoins for “real” money and back. MtGox immediately became a very popular platform and to this day remains one of the main places for both entering and withdrawing virtual money, and for assessing their course. McCaleb, by the way, already in March 2011 sold the stock exchange of Japanese company Tibanne Co., and in September 2013 introduced its own alternative to bitcoins – Ripple.
Initially, the bitcoins cost MtGox 5-6 cents, but in November their rate reached a mark of 50 cents. The total volume of the market at that time reached a million dollars. Enthusiasts began to test different ways of transferring money: in December 2010, the first mobile transaction was made with the help of a bitcoin client, ported to the Nokia N900.
As of February 2011, the next significant jump in the popularity of bitcoins occurred. February 9, one virtual “coin” aligned with MtGox at a cost with the dollar. Because of this information reason the traffic to the site of the stock exchange has sharply increased.
And in the middle of February the Australian user bitcointalk in the first in history put up for sale the car for bitcoins. For an old Celica Supra with a dead battery, he asked for three thousand bitcoins. Judging by the further development of the topic on the forum, the deal never took place.
In late March and early April, bitcoins became possible to exchange for other currencies other than the dollar, and on April 16 an article appeared in Time devoted to currency. The author explains the essence of the bitcoins for a long time, leads the current market volume (5 million dollars at that time in less than two months will grow to 206 million) and assures the readers: the story is just beginning.
2011-2012. Collapse and rebirth
With the popularity of bitcoins, “adult” problems began to appear. The currency rate hikes, not financially secured, became more noticeable than before: for example, on June 9, one bitcoin on MtGox was valued at $ 29.58, and two days later its value fell to $ 17.61. Finally, hackers also directed their eyes to the growing crypto currency: users began to complain about the theft of money from their electronic wallets: one per night was increased by 25 thousand bitcoins.
On June 19, an attacker managed to enter MtGox from under the account of one of the Exchange administrators. Using the “official position”, the hacker pretended to sell thousands of bitcoins at low prices. Because of this, the automatic rate control system for half an hour dropped the cost of one bitcoin from $ 17 to one cent. Then the attacker bought himself about two thousand bitcoins at this, low price, until his actions were stopped by the system of protection.
Transaction schedule on the Mt. Gox June 19
At about the same time, a leak of the MtGox database occurred: first, the hackers, and then the open access to the Internet were logins, email addresses and encrypted passwords of all 60,000 users of the exchange. MtGox owners eventually apologized, admitting that they were not ready for an explosive growth in the popularity of the exchange. The site itself was turned off for a week after the attacks, and all transactions that were made after the illegal knocking down of prices were rolled back.
In August, the digital currency went offline: first in New York, and a few months later, in the European cities, the first conferences devoted to bitcoin were held. Subsequently, such meetings became regular.
These conferences speak not only about the future of the monetary system and the role of the crypto currency in them, but also represent start-ups, one way or another tied to bitcoins and their analogues. The currency itself in 2012 was smoothly conquering the interest of users, but the bitcoin course for a long time could not recover from the losses caused by hacking MtGox.
February-April 2013. The Second Crash
Only on February 28, 2013 the cost of one virtual “coin” exceeded the value of $ 31.91 – for the first time in 601 days. It was at the beginning of 2013 that the mass distribution of bitcoins began: by April 1 of this year they were trading at $ 100 per piece, and on April 10 – already at $ 266.
The media rushed to trumpet about the unprecedented growth of currency, and the twin brothers Winklewossy, who tried to convict Mark Zuckerberg for “stealing” the idea of Facebook, announced that they had about 1 percent of all the bitcoins in their hands. In monetary terms, it was about 11 million dollars, which they invested in the crypto currency, with a total market volume of 1.3 billion dollars.
But in the days that followed, the bitcoins’ rate plummeted, slipping to $ 65 per unit by April 16. The author of Forbes Timothy Lee, telling then the history of the main bitcoin falls, suggested that the currency will return to a record level of $ 266 for a long two years, and possibly will not rise so high ever again.
The end of 2013. Explosive growth
Li was wrong: already in early November bitkoin broke the previous record and by the end of the first week of the month he overcame the $ 300 mark. By that time, everyone seemed to know about the currency, at least a little interested in the news: a month before, the media had thundered about the closure of the main “shadow” online store of drugs Silk Road and the detention of its owner. Silk Road operated through the anonymous Tor network and accepted the bitcoins for payment – precisely thanks to the ability to make anonymous transactions.
In addition, in November, Forbes magazine reported on a site in which users collect these digital money for the murder of politicians, that is why in the minds of the mass consumer the image of “bitcoin – for criminals” was partly fixed. Whatever it was, the hype in the media gave a good impetus to the exchange rate: by the end of November for one bitcoin they gave about $ 1200.
By the winter of the currency, finally, authorities and authorities began to talk. The Central Bank of China recommended its banks and financial organizations not to use bitcoins in their activities. The largest search engine in the country, Baidu and the telecommunications company China Telecom were forced to remove from their sites addresses of bitcoins and purses, and the currency rate fell sharply, falling to $ 600 per unit.
To scare careless users decided and in the European Banking Authority, saying that the rate of crypto currency can fall sharply to zero and no one will receive any compensation. However, their horror stories have not worked yet: the cost of bitcoins is slow, unstable, but confidently creeping up.
In Russia, only German Gref spoke about bitcoins: he did not rule out that Sberbank could issue its own crypto currency on the basis of Yandex.Money.