Today marks the 14th anniversary of the publication of the Bitcoin whitepaper. On this day in 2008, Satoshi Nakamoto released a nine-page document that began a financial revolution and birthed a trillion-dollar industry.
On October 31, 2008, the pseudonymous Satoshi released the Bitcoin whitepaper titled “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System” to a cryptography mailing list.
The Birthing of Bitcoin
The mailing list was hosted by Metzdow and run by a group of cypherpunks who shared ideas on creating a kind of digital currency and payment system. Satoshi shared the whitepaper in a message that read, “Bitcoin P2P e-cash paper,” which outlined the main properties of the system.
The pseudonymous Bitcoin creator disclosed that they had been working on a new electronic cash system that uses a Proof-of-Work (PoW) consensus algorithm that required no trusted third party. Although the document met mixed reactions, it was the beginning of what is known today as blockchain technology.
A couple of months after the release, the Bitcoin network was launched, with the first block mined on January 3, 2009. About eight days later, Hal Finney received the first transaction of 10 BTC from Nakamoto, after which he posted a legendary tweet that read:
— halfin (@halfin) January 11, 2009
Satoshi’s identity is still a mystery, but Finney was well-known for his contribution to the creation of Bitcoin. He worked hand-in-hand with Nakamoto to find and fix bugs in Bitcoin’s underlying infrastructure. Before his death in 2014, Finney shared a detailed story about his journey with Bitcoin.
Bitcoin’s First Real-World Use Case
About a year after the launch of Bitcoin, the cryptocurrency went on to record its first real-world commercial use case when a Florida man spent 10,000 BTC to purchase two large Papa John’s pizzas on May 22, 2010.
Although the coins were worth $41 at prices back then, at today’s price, the transaction is worth more than $200 million. To commemorate the event, the Bitcoin community celebrates Bitcoin Pizza Day every year on May 22.
A Trillion-Dollar Industry
Bitcoin’s creation has undoubtedly sparked a financial revolution, as over 20,000 cryptocurrencies have been created with over 500 exchanges.
The crypto space has a market capitalization of over $1 trillion, with Bitcoin holding nearly 40% of the market share. At the time of writing, the digital asset was trading above $20,000 after peaking at almost $70,000 in November 2021.
Bitcoin has attracted many countries and financial institutions over the past years. The cryptocurrency earned its first legal tender title after it was legalized in El Salvador as a medium of exchange. Bitcoin has also made it to the Guinness World Record as the first decentralized cryptocurrency.
In just 14 years, Bitcoin has achieved much more than anyone imagined. Despite the current bearish market conditions, the next 14 years will likely see more innovations stemming from the creation of Bitcoin.