20 Pivotal Events in Cryptocurrency History
Cryptocurrencies have changed the way we see and use money. From Bitcoin’s first steps to the influence of social media on crypto prices, a lot has happened over the years. Here’s a list of 20 major moments in the crypto world.
January 3, 2009 – Bitcoin Genesis Block
Satoshi Nakamoto mined the first-ever block on the Bitcoin blockchain, commonly referred to as the “genesis block”. Embedded within the coinbase of this block was a message: “The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks,” hinting at Bitcoin’s foundational ethos against the traditional banking system.
October 5, 2009 – First Bitcoin Exchange Rate
The first Bitcoin to fiat exchange rate was established by NewLibertyStandard, a Bitcoin forum user, valuing 1,309.03 BTC to 1 USD. This valuation was based on the electricity consumed to mine the coins.
May 22, 2010 – Bitcoin Pizza Day
Laszlo Hanyecz made history by purchasing two pizzas for 10,000 BTC from another forum user. This transaction is celebrated annually as Bitcoin Pizza Day, highlighting the evolution and potential of cryptocurrency.
February 2011 – Parity with the US Dollar
Bitcoin reached parity with the US dollar for the first time, a major milestone in its acceptance as a store of value.
June 2011 – WikiLeaks Accepts Bitcoin
Facing a blockade from traditional payment systems, WikiLeaks began accepting Bitcoin for donations, showcasing the cryptocurrency’s potential for circumventing traditional financial systems.
August 2011 – Birth of Litecoin
Charlie Lee, a former Google engineer, created Litecoin, a cryptocurrency that claimed faster transaction times and a different hashing algorithm than Bitcoin.
March 2013 – $1 Billion Market Cap:
Bitcoin’s total market capitalization surpassed $1 billion, signifying its growing adoption and belief in its long-term viability.
February 2014 – Mt. Gox Bankruptcy
Mt. Gox, which once handled around 70% of all Bitcoin transactions, filed for bankruptcy following a security breach where they lost around 850,000 BTC. This event raised serious questions about cryptocurrency security.
January 2015 – Coinbase Funding
Coinbase, a major cryptocurrency exchange, raised $75 million, indicating significant institutional interest and confidence in the cryptocurrency ecosystem.
July 30, 2015 – Ethereum’s Launch
Ethereum was launched, introducing the concept of “smart contracts” and a platform where developers could create decentralized applications (DApps).
July 2016 – Ethereum Hard Fork
After a significant amount of Ether was stolen in the DAO attack, the Ethereum community decided to execute a hard fork to return the stolen funds, resulting in two chains: Ethereum (ETH) and Ethereum Classic (ETC).
August 1, 2017 – Bitcoin Cash Creation
Due to scalability issues and differing views on Bitcoin’s future, a contentious hard fork led to the creation of Bitcoin Cash (BCH), aiming for larger block sizes.
December 17, 2017 – Bitcoin’s All-Time High
Riding a wave of mainstream media coverage and growing public interest, Bitcoin reached an all-time high of approximately $20,000.
January 2018 – Crypto Market Cap Peak
The combined market cap of all cryptocurrencies reached an astounding $800 billion, driven by a surge in interest and a proliferation of new coins and tokens.
November 2018 – Bitcoin Cash Fork
Another contentious split in the Bitcoin Cash community resulted in a hard fork, leading to the creation of Bitcoin SV (BSV).
March 13, 2020 – Black Thursday
The COVID-19 pandemic caused a massive selloff across global markets, including cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin and others faced significant drops in value.
December 2020 – Bitcoin Rally
Bitcoin surpassed its previous all-time highs, entering a new phase of price discovery and renewed interest from institutional investors.
February 2021 – $1 Trillion Market Cap
Bitcoin’s market cap reached $1 trillion for the first time, reflecting its growing stature and acceptance in the financial world.
April 2021 – Coinbase Goes Public
Coinbase went public via a direct listing on NASDAQ, marking a significant milestone for the cryptocurrency industry’s integration into mainstream finance.
May 2021 – Musk’s Bitcoin Announcement
Elon Musk announced that Tesla would stop accepting Bitcoin for car purchases due to concerns about its environmental impact. This led to significant market volatility and discussions about the environmental footprint of proof-of-work cryptocurrencies.
Cryptocurrencies are more than just digital money; they represent a new way of thinking about finance. The events listed show the ups and downs of this exciting journey. As time goes on, these moments will be seen as important milestones in the evolution of digital currency.