5 most important crypto milestones
5 Historic crypto milestones, despite its relative youth, the crypto-industry, has had its fair share of historic milestones, let’s take a look at them.
I) Creation of Bitcoin - Everything began with a single White Paper.
On October 31st, 2008 Satoshi Nakamoto released a white paper describing the first cryptocurrency— Bitcoin. The white paper was merely a theory. The Genesis block is where Satoshi, really put his cryptocurrency where his mouth is. On Jan. 3, 2009 Satoshi created the Bitcoin blockchain Genesis Block or Block 0 containing the first 50 Bitcoins. Satoshi left a message in the code of the first block, “The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks”.
The message referenced an article from the Times in London dated Jan. 3, 2009, which detailed banks receiving a massive bail out from the British government. Nakamoto’s purpose was clear, to make banks obsolete. Now, to put it to use.
II) First Bitcoin transaction - For a long time you couldn’t buy goods with cryptocurrency. On May 22nd, 2010 Laszlo Hanyecz made the first real world purchase using Bitcoin.
He bought two Papa John’s pizzas for 10 000 Bitcoins or $25 at the time. Now these pizzas are worth around $100 million. May 22nd is now celebrated as Bitcoin Pizza Day! People soon realized that you could buy more than pepperoni pizza with Bitcoin.
III) Silk Road - The first online store to accept Bitcoin as payment was launched In February 2011. It was Silk Road - also the first darknet market where users could buy illegal stuff, like drugs and weapons.
All the transactions were anonymous and made in Bitcoin. Silk Road was a very popular site. In total 9.5 million Bitcoins changed hands on the Silk Road. In October 2013 the FBI arrested its owner William Ross Ulbricht, shut down the website and confiscated all the Bitcoins. FBI later sold them for almost $50 million, enjoying healthy returns from the sale. After the big drugs bust came an even Bigger hack.
IV) Mt. Gox hack In February 2014. Mt. Gox, the largest crypto exchange in the world at that time was hacked. 850,000 Bitcoins worth half a billion USD were stolen. A Subsequent investigation discovered, that the exchange had been hacked several years before. Mark Karpeles, former CEO of Mt. Gox was arrested and charged with fraud and financial manipulations.
After this incident, new KYC and client identification measures were developed, allowing more security. Enough with the closures already! There was positive news too!
V) Ethereum, smart contracts and ICO. In 2011 a 17 year old started to see a common problem in the crypto world. So many exciting projects but they all needed their own blockchain to build applications, the existing Bitcoin Blockchain simply couldn’t do. The young man realised that since there was one internet for everyone, why not one Blockchain for everyone to build applications on? The young man was Vitalik Buterin, and in 2015 Ethereum went live to the world.
Ethereum, like Bitcoin, is a blockchain. Its cryptocurrency is called Ether. But Ethereum is different from Bitcoin as it features smart contracts. Smart contracts allow for the creation of new cryptocurrencies and digital assets like tokens. Actually, thanks to Ethereum, there is now the ICO - or initial coin offering. It is a crowdfunding mechanism that is used by blockchain startups. It quickly became a very popular way to raise funds due to its simplicity. How important is Ethereum to the ICO? Very. Its ERC20 tokens became the industry standard, allowing for the much needed integration of different tokens. Now almost all of the ICOs are done using ERC20 on Ethereum blockchain. Crypto and Blockchain are emerging technologies so we expect many more new and exciting milestones to come.
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