2020 marks a decade since cryptocurrency became a part of a daily routine. Mass adoption of crypto started with Bitcoin’s appearance in 2009. A lot has happened in the Crypto World since then. Now let’s take a look at the most significant events over the last crypto decade.
- In 2009 the first block of Bitcoins was mined for a 50 Bitcoins reward. The same year there was the first Bitcoin hard fork which gave us Namecoin.
- The first exchange appeared in 2010. It was bitcoinmarket.com which doesn’t exist anymore. The same year it was hacked for the first time. This unpleasant event showed the most obvious flaws in the system though. It was rather important to understand all the possible drawbacks, and right up to this moment a lot of efforts are taken to prevent accidents like these.
- 2010 was also a year when investors appeared. A lot of people are looking for an opportunity to invest in crypto now, but it has taken some time to learn that crypto can actually be an investment.
- 2011 was a year of cryptocurrencies’ debuts. Swiftcoin appeared, and as a result of the second Bitcoin hard fork Litecoin came to the Crypto World.
- In 2011, a physicist by training, 29-year-old Ross William Ulbricht, registered the Internet community called Silk Road on the anonymous Tor network. It has become one of the largest drug trafficking sites in the world. While the site was working, it managed to serve about a million customers, and the turnover of illicit substances exceeded $200 million. Almost all the payments were made in Bitcoins. In October 2013, the FBI closed the Silk Road and arrested 144,000 bitcoins, which at that time was about $100 million.
- In 2012 people started talking about Bitcoin. It was even mentioned in some TV shows.
- 2012 was marked by the birth of XRP.
- By 2013 there were around 10 cryptocurrency assets.
- In 2013 arguments about cryptocurrency regulation started. Countries had to find a way to deal with new technologies. Germany, Thailand, and China prohibited the use of cryptocurrencies. At the same time Canada launched the very first Bitcoin ATM.
- 2014 is famous for the biggest cryptocurrency exchange hack. 850 000 BTC was stolen when the Mt.Gox exchange was hacked.
- In 2015 several new cryptocurrencies appeared. The Ethereum ecosystem was introduced. Thanks to Ethereum we use smart contracts now.
- In 2015 the number of Bitcoin ATMs increased, and Argentina started to accept crypto as a payment for taxi rides.
- In 2015 all the ICOs started. Augur was the first to do this.
- Starting from 2015 more and more cryptocurrencies appeared. As a result we have 200 000 tokens running on smart contracts now.
- In 2017 Japan decided to legalize Bitcoin as a payment method. In Norway Bitcoin became an authorized investment and payment.
- 2017 is famous for the appearance of the most adorable blockchain project, CryptoKitties. It is not a currency, but an asset. The main thing that distinguishes CryptoKitties from all the other tokens is the uniqueness. Usually tokens are interchangeable. The value of your assets is expressed primarily in the number of tokens you have. The value of each CryptoKitty is different. What kinds of CryptoKitties you have is important. So, your only CryptoKitty may cost more than three CryptoKitties of another user. Nonetheless, CryptoKitties are in fact ERC-721 tokens built on the Ethereum blockchain. Everything is administered by smart contracts, and ETH is used for all transactions. CryptoKitties became very famous. Since December 2, new kitties appeared every 15 minutes. They became a powerful tool in showing people how to use blockchain technologies in a fun way. CryptoKitties were so attractive that at a certain moment in 2017 they congested the Ethereum network.
- 15 November 2018 was the time when BCH hard fork happened. It was a result of the inner conflict between two camps: Roger Ver and Jihan Wu on the one side, and Craig Steven Wright and Calvin Ayre on the other side. This discord was caused by different versions of software. The whole thing culminated in creating BCH with 32 MB block size limit and BSV (Bitcoin Satoshi’s Vision) with 128 MB block size limit.
- 2018 was time for European countries to come together and discuss cryptocurrency regulation.
- 2019 was not a good year for XRP. In June wallets that were hosted on Gatehub were hacked and 23 200 000 XRP was stolen. Upbit exchange did not have a great year either. It was hacked and lost 10 000 ETH.
There were a lot of attempts to create a digital currency. Not all of them were successful. Finally, Bitcoin appeared and changed the world’s perception of the concept. It came a long way and became a whole industry. It is developing constantly involving more and more people on the way. The list of new cryptocurrencies is expanding rapidly. For the next decade there are still some problems to solve, but nonetheless the future of cryptocurrency seems to be extremely exciting.