Bitcoin, the most well known cryptocurrency, recently became ten years old. Let’s look at the hard-fought journey of Bitcoin and its state today. Here are some things to know about bitcoins.
Prior to the release of bitcoin there were a number of digital cash technologies which never really stood solid. But On 3 January 2009, ten years ago, the bitcoin network came into existence with an anonymous developer called Satoshi Nakamoto mining the genesis block of bitcoin (block number 0), which had a reward of 50 bitcoins, thereby starting a new peer-to-peer electronic cash system.
Satoshi Nakamoto : Real or Pseudonym
Satoshi Nakamoto, who is credited as the “man” behind the invention of Bitcoin, is a mystery figure. It is not known if the name is a pseudonym or not, though many believe it is because Satoshi’s English on a paper authored by him titled Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System, was impeccable and Bitcoin’s software was not labeled in Japanese.
Whoever they really are though, they designed the original bitcoin protocol in 2008 and launched the network in 2009.
Bitcoin’s First Real World Transaction
After creating Bitcoin, Nakamoto reportedly sent 10 BTC to the developer Hal Finney and several other developers on the same day. However this is largely not recognized, as many believe that the first real-world transaction using Bitcoin occurred when Laszlo Hanyecz traded 10,000 BTC for two large Papa John’s Pizza worth about $30 (₦11,000) at the time. The value of 10,000 BTC would translate to $38 million (₦13 billion) presently.
Price and Value History of Bitcoin
Initially Bitcoin was worth nothing as no exchanges or market made use of it and its users were mainly cryptography fans who were sending bitcoins for hobby purposes representing low or no value. In 2012, Bitcoin Foundation was launched for standardizing the digital currency and boosting its global growth by promoting the open source protocol.
By April 2013, a Bitcoin had become valued at $266 (₦97,000). This value decreased in May and decreased further in June but by November it had risen to an all-time high of $1,242 (₦453.000) and until last year, Bitcoin was a global sensation, and at one point the value of 1 BTC stood at $19,783.06 (₦7 million), achieving an all-time high.
In 2018, tables turned and cryptocurrencies including bitcoins fell more than 80% and analysts have predicted that 2019 could be another “boring year” for Bitcoin.
As at time of writing, bitcoin is valued at $3848 (₦1.4 Million).
How Many Bitcoins Are There?
According to Investopedia, there are only 21 million Bitcoins that can be mined in total.
What Happens When All 21 Million Bitcoins Have Been Mined?
Once miners have unlocked this many Bitcoins, the planet’s supply will essentially be tapped out, unless Bitcoin’s protocol is changed to allow for a larger supply. It is estimated that there are 1800 bitcoins mined per day.
When Will the Last Bitcoin be Mined?
Cryptocoinmastery, predicts that the last Bitcoin would be mined sometime in the year 2140.
Where to Buy Bitcoins
Some of easiest Bitcoin tradings platform I’ve encountered for Nigerians are : Luno, Remittano and NairaEx. My preferred platform is Luno.
Bitcoins are a life saver as they come with relatively lower transaction fees. They have no intermediary institutions or government involvement, unlike standard wire transfers and foreign purchases which typically involve fees and exchange costs. But with the huge drop in the value of bitcoins and the prediction of analysts, is it worth the risk?