Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto published the cryptocurrency white paper on October 31, 2008. In just eight-pages, Nakamoto describes how Byzantine agreement problem could be solved.
The First Ever Bitcoin Transaction
The first ever Bitcoin transaction was sent from Bitcoin inventor to Hal Finney nine days after the genesis block was mined.
Hal Finney, a creator of a proof of work system lived in the Los Angeles, not too far from alleged Bitcoin inventor Dorian Nakamoto, though this Bitcoin creator theory has been disproved.
Laszlo Hanyecz, a developer of the bitcoin’s source code, made the first documented purchase with bitcoin. He has paid for two Domino’s pizzas in BTC.
Laszlo posted his request to purchase bitcoin on May 17, 2010. It was on May 22 when he reported successfully trading 10,000 BTC for two pizzas.The bitcoins were quoted at $41 at the time.
“I just want to report that I successfully traded 10,000 bitcoins for pizza.”
To commemorate the transaction, May 22 is dubbed Bitcoin Pizza Day. Pizza providers worldwide offer discounts to bitcoin users to commemorate Laszlo’s purchase.
The First ASIC Miner Ships
Then Bitcoin developer Jeff Garzik, who now runs Bloq, received the first ASIC Bitcoin miner. ASIC stands for “application-specific integrated chips.” These chips are designed specifically for mining GPU coins. A Bitcoin ASIC miner specializes in hashing the SHA-256, Bitcoin’s cryptographic hash algorithm.
Garzik reported his Avalon A3256 had paid for itself by February 9, 2013. “Including electricity costs, the Avalon ASIC #bitcoin miner has now paid for itself,” he tweeted.
Wikileaks Accepts Bitcoin
In 2011, WikiLeaks announced accepting donations in BTC. After WikiLeaks green light to Bitcoin, Nakamoto posted on BitcoinTalk.org: “It would have been nice to get this attention in any other context. WikiLeaks has kicked the hornet’s nest, and the swarm is headed towards us.”
Silk Road Darknet Market
In 2013, Bitcoin and blockchain attracted significant media coverage as a currency of the Silk Road, the first darknet market, best known as a platform for selling illegal drugs.
Founded in February 2011 by Ross Ulbricht, Silk Road operated as a Tor hidden service. On the Silk Road, users enjoyed enhanced privacy, sometimes to the point of anonymity, where they shopped for mostly cannabis, but, also, mushrooms, acid, and more. Weapons, pedophilia, and stolen info were prohibited for selling on the store.
Ross Ulbricht was arrested in 2015 on charges of money laundering, conspiracy, drug and hacking-related charges. He was sentenced to double life sentences without parole, plus another 40 years without parole.
Mt. Gox Collapse
Mt. Gox filed for bankruptcy protection under Japanese law in early 2014. Before it shuttered, the exchange handled 70% of all Bitcoin transactions.
Initially, while Mark Karpeles was the only developer, things were going well — the exchange became the world’s largest BTC-exchanger. Alas, when the hacker managed to penetrate the audit system of the exchange and reduce the cost of Bitcoin to a couple of cents, the situation changed dramatically for worse, and this incident affected the cost of Bitcoin for several more months. In the same year, the exchange closed, but even before that it turned out that another mysterious hacker quietly withdrew $ 340 million in Bitcoins from the platform — it looks like he had been doing this for many years.
Even worse, the exchange system interpreted the intruder’s actions as depositing money, that is, it started giving free cryptocurrency to users (one of the wallets thus received 40 thousand BTC). In total, during these incidents, the exchange lost 850 thousand BTC, which led to its bankruptcy.
2013 Unintended Bitcoin Fork
In March 2013, a bug in version 0.8 of the bitcoin software caused the blockchain temporarily split into two independent chains with different rules.
Miners and users ran a new version of bitcoin. The old version of bitcoin and the new version were not compatible. Mining pools running the new version 0.8.0 were asked to rollback to version 0.7 to create a single blockchain compatible with all bitcoin software. Merchants did not have to do anything.
The core developers released a 0.8.1 version that avoids creating blocks that are incompatible with older versions.