Updated: May 24
A lot has happened since 2008. This blog is going to provide a brief overview of the rollercoaster ride that is Bitcoin's adoption.
However, before we look at the events since Bitcoin’s inception, it’s important to reflect on why it was created in the first place.
What was going on in 2007/2008?
We don’t know for sure that Bitcoin was created off the back of the 2008 Global Financial Crisis. That is mainly because the creator of Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto, is unknown. But, Bitcoin is everything the current system is not:
It can not be manipulated
The supply is fixed
It is open, transparent and predictable
It has rules and no rulers
That’s why one may suggest it did have something to do with the Global Financial Crisis.
On top of that, technology was accelerating at considerable rates. You had the emergence of the iPhone, which was a huge step forward in digital technology and communication.
Cryptography had also been in development for a few decades by this point. There were previous versions including:
Therefore, it seems fair to say that a combination of events led to the creation of Bitcoin. Let’s now go through the journey so far.
Cryptography was largely unheard of back in 2008. Only a small group of people, known as Cypherpunks, led the movement for a decentralised form of money. A lot of the latest information and updates were shared on online forums.
Moreover, as Cryptography revolved around security and privacy, it was common for a lot of Cypherpunks to use pseudonyms (fake names). Then, the most famous of them all, Satoshi Nakamoto, appeared.
Satoshi came up with a new decentralised Cryptocurrency called Bitcoin. It shared some elements from the work of previous Cypherpunks but crucially had a few differences.
As Cypherpunks digested the Bitcoin Whitepaper (the inner details), it received mixed feedback. Little did they know it would blow up to the size it is today!
2009 - BTC = $0.01 (highest price)
The Bitcoin network was created at the beginning of 2009. The first Block block mined was called the Genesis Block.
Hal Finney was a fellow Cypherpunk that received the first Bitcoin transaction. He received 10 Bitcoin!
2010 - BTC = $0.39
Bitcoin was recognised as an actual currency in 2010 when someone bought two pizzas for 10,000 Bitcoin.
Those two pizzas are now worth $180,000,000!
2011 - BTC = $29.60
By this point, Bitcoin had only been around for two years yet it already reached parity with the US Dollar (1 Bitcoin = 1 US Dollar). Adoption was growing and the price accelerated up to over $29. But not necessarily for all the right reasons.
The knowledge of Bitcoin was somewhat small at the time. However, those involved at the time understood that it was a global form of money that couldn’t be controlled by a central authority such as a government.
In addition, you could take self-custody of your Bitcoin as well as send it to anyone in the world without any censorship or permission necessary. Despite its fantastic technology, it was also abused. Silk Road was a website that used Bitcoin as a way to make illegal purchases.
Moreover, Mt Gox was an exchange that got hacked and lost thousands of Bitcoin. Consequently, Bitcoin was labelled as being for criminals only.
2012 - BTC = $13.50
Bitcoin was recovering from the mess that occurred in the previous year. That said, Bitcoin halved for the first time in November. This occurs after every 210,000 blocks (approximately 4 years) have been mined.
Additionally, the block reward was reduced from 50 Bitcoin to 25. Around the time of the halving, 50% of all Bitcoin had been mined (10.5 Million). The first halving was an important moment as it signified the Bitcoin code was functioning perfectly and accurately.
2013 - BTC = $1,151
Bitcoin made a name for itself and 2013 became known as the “year of Bitcoin”. Only 5 years old yet Bitcoin skyrocketed in both popularity and price. Moreover, its meteoric rise saw the price climb from $12 to over $1000!
2014-2016 - BTC = $933-$975
Bitcoin had a significant retracement after its mammoth year in 2013. However, the adoption continued to grow and businesses started to understand the value proposition Bitcoin proposed.
For instance, PayPal allowed online vendors to accept Bitcoin payments in 2014. This was a huge step forward for Bitcoin and showed the first signs of real adoption.
In 2016, Bitcoin had its second halving and the block reward was reduced from 25 to 12.5.
2017 - BTC = $19,500
All the building and development in the background paid off in 2017 as Bitcoin had its second proper bull run. For the first time, retail adoption was present in Bitcoin and Crypto, causing a huge rise in the price. Bitcoin rose as high as $19,500!
2018-2019 - BTC = $17-429-$12,959
Once again, Bitcoin saw a large retracement of over 80% from its all-time high. Additionally, Bitcoin and Crypto received a lot of criticism for it’s volatile nature.
2020-2021 - BTC = $28,900-$69,000
Bitcoin entered its third bull run shortly after it halved for the third time. The block reward was cut in half again from 12.5 to 6.25.
This time, it wasn’t just retail investors that got involved in the bull run. Businesses, institutions and even countries joined in on the party!
For example, Elon Musk and Tesla announced that they had bought over $1.5 Billion worth of Bitcoin. On top of that, El Salvador became the first nation-state to make Bitcoin an official legal tender alongside the US Dollar.
As a result, Bitcoin rose from the low of $3,500 a coin all the way to $69,000!
2022 - BTC = $47,700
Like clockwork, Bitcoin’s ascendency was followed by a sharp descent. The drawdown in the Bitcoin price was exacerbated due to the post-pandemic high inflation and the global cost of living crisis.
Moreover, the downfall of Crypto platforms such as Terra Luna, Celsius, Three Arrows, and FTX highlighted just how damaged the Crypto space was. Calls for stronger regulation and more knowledge on self-custody were raised.
Bitcoin remains resilient despite all the issues and is currently priced at approximately $17,000.
It was short and sweet, but you are now up to date with Bitcoin’s short yet explosive history. Share your thoughts over on the community page!