This Wednesday, October 31, marks the 10th anniversary of the publication of a document (whitepaper) describing an "electronic cash system" that would eventually give birth to Bitcoin, the Blockchain and the entire cryptocurrency industry.
The document, from the still unknown Satoshi Nakamoto _ who is believed to be only a pseudonym _ led to the creation of Bitcoin, the world's first cryptocurrency. Today there are more than 2,000 digital currencies in circulation and the entire industry is worth more than $200 billion USD, although much less than a year ago, when its capitalization was more than $800 billion.
However, it should be noted that it wasn't until January 2009 when the Bitcoin network was created, and there were no exchanges of the cryptocurrency during its first year of existence, so it didn't have a quoted price back then either.
The first Exchange that ever existed was called BitcoinMarkets.com, which was launched in March 2010; the first Bitcoin transaction was made a few months later, when Laszlo Hanyecz bought two pizzas for 10,000 BTC in Florida. In 2010 the highest price Bitcoin reached was $0.39 USD, meaning that Hanyecz paid $3,900 for those two pizzas, without really understanding what he was doing.
After some ups and downs during the following years, in which it was even linked to drug trafficking through the website Silk Road, Bitcoin finally had a breakthrough and became more popular among the enthusiasts of new technologies.
In 2013, big companies such as Baidu and Overstock began to accept payments with BTC, and that same year the platform Coinbase revealed that for the first time it had sold more than $1 million USD worth of Bitcoins in a one month span. Given the increasing propularity of the cryptocurrency, its price at the end of 2013 had exceeded $1,200 dollars.
More and more companies and institutions began to realize the potential of the digital economy and the Blockchain technology behind it. Between 2015 and 2016, more than $1 billion USD were invested in Bitcoin and Blockchain startups, according to CB Insights.
Finally, in 2017 Bitcoin had its best year ever, easily surpassing the $1,242 all-time high it had reached in 2013, jumping from $800 in January to $19,539 in December.
2018 has been a very different story for Bitcoin _ and the rest of the world's digital currencies. However, its amazing growth over the last decade is undeniable.
Probably the dominance of the digital asset market that BTC has had for the last 10 years will eventually fade out while other cryptocurrencies continue to emerge, but its historical importance in the development of the new digital financial era will last forever.
By Alejandro Cortés