In November 2008, Satoshi Nakamoto published a scientific article in the Cyrptography Mailing List, revealing his invention, Bitcoin, the first Cryptocurrency.
An open source system that allows exchanging virtual currencies without any type of control by governments or entities and with a record of public and irreversible exchange. The latter is very important and distinguishes Bitcoin from Fiat money, where banks can cancel transactions or rectify them. Bitcoin technology prevents a transaction from being modified once it has been made.
We are in front of the birth of a technology that is probably a landmark in history as well as it was the creation of the Internet.
Nobody knows the identity of Satoshi Nakamoto, being a mystery. We don’t know if it is a person or a group, its sex or its age. We know that he published the first version of the client in 2009 and continued to participate in projects until it began to disappear at the end of 2010, at which time the Bitcoin hardly had value and the only exchanges that were made were to test.
The first transaction occurred the 22 of May 2010, when in the BitcoinTalk forum, the user “jercos” bought with his credit card two pizzas to the user “laszlo” in Jacksonville (Florida) in exchange for 10,000 bitcoins, possibly with a exchange rate of 1 Bitcoin = $ 0.003. Later the user “SmokeTooMuch” tried to auction 10,000 Bitcoins for $ 50, but nobody bought them.
Since 2010, the value of Bitcoin began to climb vertiginously and during July of that same year in five days it increase 1000%, reaching a value of $ 0.08. In April 2011 the Bitcoin had reached something that seemed impossible, the parity with the dollar and many users were encouraged to sell their Bitcoins that until now had almost no value and the price continued to climb until the end of 2017 that reached the value of $ 20,000.
At present, there are places called Exchanges where you can exchange your Bitcoins for fiat money (euros or dollars), but how not exist regulation and not exist single or global price, this caused some speculation and there were who bought Bitcoins in an Exchange to sell it in another. This was due that the price in the Exchanges is marked between the law of supply and demand that is produce in that same Exchange. Nowadays the prices are more adjusted between the most important Exchanges.
It is difficult to know how many people use Bitcoins today, because although we know that there are around 24 million Bitcoin Wallets, are anonymous and a person can have more than one Wallet. Coinbase, which is one of the most popular Bitcoin Exchanges, has about 13 million registered users, so the number of users could be between this number of registered users and the number of Wallets that are being used.
As I explained in a previous article, we identify ourselves in the Bitcoin network through a public key and a private one. This information is stored in the Wallet and is protected by another password. If we lose our Wallet, we will lose our Bitcoins. You can have different Wallets and also several public keys (and their corresponding private keys). There is no control, you decide. But that there is no control does not mean that you can lie. Everything, absolutely everything is recorded and is irreversible.
The truth is that nowadays Bitcoin is used more as an asset of speculation, how it was a stock of exchange and less that a courrency, but the important thing is not really the Bitcoin itself, but the most important thing is the Blockchain, the technology in which Bitcoin is operating. This is what will mark a before and after in the way we understand the exchange of goods and services. As on other occasions, time will give us an answer about this.
Soon I will publish an article where I will explain in more detail how the Blockchain works and another about the figure of the miners.