For something that has barely existed for a decade, Bitcoin certainly has created history in more ways than one. Starting its thrilling existence as the brainchild of one or more anonymous people, going by the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto, the concept was first revealed in 2007.
Almost a year after that, in August 2008, three people, Neal Kin, Vladimir Oksman, and Charles Bry, filed an application for an encryption patent, although all three denied any connection to Satoshi Nakamoto. Bitcoin.org is registered in the same month.
A couple of months later, in October 2008, Satoshi Nakamoto published a white paper, called Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System, elaborating on the cryptocurrency and offering solutions to issues such as double spending, to prevent the copying of the currency.
Within about 10 days of this paper being released, the Bitcoin project was registered on SourceForge.net, a site involved in the development and distribution of open source software.
Block 0, also known as the Genesis Block, was established in January 2009, following which Version 0.1 of the cryptocurrency was released. This version included a system to generate bitcoins, while limiting the total to 21 million bitcoins till 2040. Within a few days of this, the first bitcoin transaction took place, between Nakamoto and Hal Finney, a cryptographic activist and developer.
The exchange rate for the digital currency was established only in October 2009, by New Liberty Standard, at US$1 = 1,309.03 BTC. A couple of months after this, Version 0.2 was released, with the currency exchange, Bitcoin Market, being established in February 2010.
The first real-world use of bitcoin was in May 22, 2010, when Laszlo Hanyecz offered 10,000 bitcoins to pay for a pizza on Bitcoin Forum.
Version 0.3 of Bitcoin was released in July 2010, soon after which the cryptocurrency surged tenfold in value, increasing from US$0.008 to US$0.80 per BTC over the five days starting July 12, 2010.
The Mt. Gox bitcoin exchange market was established after these five days, on July 17, 2010. Unfortunately, the vulnerability of the system was exposed when the cryptocurrency was hacked in August 2010, taking the value of the digital currency to rock bottom.
With new vulnerabilities being discovered, blockchain technology and bitcoin itself went through various modifications, to make transactions secure and safe. Today this blockchain is considered one of the most secure transaction options.
Bitcoin reached market value of $1 million in November 2010, reaching parity with the US dollar in February 2011.
The first regulations for bitcoin were issued by the US Financial Crimes Enforcement Network in March 2013, through a guidance report meant for people administering, using and exchanging the digital currency. This was also the month in which the market cap of the cryptocurrency touched $1 billion.
In August 2013, bitcoin receives a nod from Federal Judge Massant, who accepts that the digital currency could be used the same way as money to buy goods and services. The cryptocurrency received further validation when Microsoft started accepting it as payment in December 2014. Today, the New York Stock Exchange, the UK Exchequer and even China, who has denounced the currency earlier, are all major investors.
While the history of bitcoin has been more checkered than there is scope to describe, the one consistent trend has been its rising value. This received a further boost when Bitcoin Cash was launched in August 2017.