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Bitcoin was born from a crisis

Bitcoin was born from a crisis

In the middle of the 2008 banking crisis, a group of anarchists, libertarians, and other tech-savvy true believers created digital cash.

In August 2008, bitcoin dot org was registered as a domain. On Halloween the same year, Satoshi Nakamoto put up a whitepaper describing a decentralised system of electronic transactions that did not involve a financial institution.

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In order to make your investment in bitcoin worthwhile, you have to convince others that the investment is valuable too.

  • Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer money network. You don't have to pay a fee to a bank when you send money to another party.
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Magic: The Gathering Online eXchange (Mt.Gox) launched a bitcoin exchange in 2010. It let people buy bitcoin and sell using bank transfers.

On January 3rd, 2009, a few months after the publication of the original whitepaper, the first lines of code were committed to the bitcoin blockchain by Satoshi Nakamoto. But Nakamoto vanished. No one has discovered who Satoshi was or is, though many have tried.

Despite Mt.Gox and the Silk Road, bitcoin continued to enter the mainstream. At the end of 2014, Microsoft began accepting bitcoin payments. In 2015, other cryptocurrencies such as Ethereum - also based on the blockchain - began to emerge.

Bitcoin highlights how fundamentally bizarre money is. Money is a value token that makes exchange easier. It isn't real in a tangible way. But it's real enough that people fight and die for it.

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