Blockchain was launched ten years ago by Satoshi Nakamoto. However, it was first introduced to the world in 2008 as a distributed ledger behind the bitcoin transaction.
Let us look at the history of blockchain from its early years in 1979 to date.
History showed us that many of the technologies on which they created Bitcoin seemed to exist before it appeared.
The Merkle tree (a Merkle tree is known to be a hash tree in which every “leaf” or node is known or labelled as a cryptographic hash of a data block).
Merkle Tree, further described as Hash Tree, is an important data structure containing a hash of different data blocks and summarizes all transactions in another block. First cited in the 80s by Ralph C Merkle, who it was named after, He released a paper on Protocols for Public Key Cryptosystems.
Structure of a Merkle Tree
Merkle Tree is used to easily contents of large datasets and ensure they are consistent and are made up of a few components like every other tree;
- Nodes: These are independent members of a tree that control how a tree functions.
- Edge: The point of contact between two nodes.
- Root: All activities in the tree are traced back to this same node.
- Parents and Child nodes: Node are usually binary, each node consists of two child ones, and they continue in a pyramid. The Lower Nodes are the child node, and the upper ones are the parent node.
- Leaf nodes: The Leaf nodes are the opposite of the Root. They are at the edge of the truth.
The Merkle Root is important in a tree and can be used to ensure the credibility and integrity of that tree. It ensures that transactions are not altered and that the system is whole. The Merkle Root of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin is why they are still running.
A white paper was produced by Satoshi Nakamoto introducing the concept that was behind Bitcoin and blockchain technology. As a result, a peer-to-peer system was built in 2008 which supports secured transactions without needing the help of a third party. Satoshi’s design was also seen to have birthed the concept of “chains of blocks” this design made it possible for people to add blocks without needing a signature from a third party.
In 2009, Bitcoin went from being a concept to becoming a reality. On January 23rd in 2009, Satoshi mined the first ever block in history, which helped in validating the idea of “Bitcoin”. This block contained 50 bitcoins and was named the Genesis block, nicknamed “Block 0”.
Bitcoin is now on GitHub.
On January 8th, 2009, Satoshi released the first version of Source Forge as open-source software.
The first ever transaction was when Satoshi sent the Hal Finney 10 bitcoin in block 170.
On October 12th, 2009, it was recorded in the history of blockchain that the #Bitcoin-dev channel was created. This channel was made on the internet relay chat for blockchain or bitcoin developers.
Satoshi launched the first Bitcoin talk on November 22nd, 2009, where he shared Bitcoin-related information.
On May 22nd, 2010, Bitcoin made history when Laszlo Hanycez paid 10,000 bitcoin for two papa john pizzas. In the history of blockchain, this was recorded as the first real-time transaction using crypto.
This pizza was valued at around $25, more than $350 million.
Later in 2011, WikiLeaks started accepting Bitcoin donations; however, it was recorded to have been hacked, and bitcoin was stolen, which caused an artificial drop in value and trading suspension.
In October 2011, Litecoin was released, representing one of the earliest bitcoin spinoffs.
In 2012, blockchain and cryptocurrency were mentioned in popular television shows like The Good Wife, injecting blockchain into pop culture. Also, Coinbase raised more than $600,00 in its crowdfunding seed round, which made them one of the top Bitcoin exchanges.
Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin launched Bitcoin Magazine.
In 2013, The Bitcoin market cap surpassed $1 billion.
Coinbase also reported selling over $1 million worth of Bitcoin in a single month at more than $22 each, which resulted in 11 million bitcoin values in circulation by the end of March, and the total currency exceeded $I billion.
It was also noted that, in 2013, A project paper suggesting that blockchain had other possibilities besides Bitcoin (e.g., smart contracts) was published by Bulletin.
2014 was a turning point in the history of Bitcoin, and financial and other industries began to recognize the shift from digital currency to the development and growth of bitcoin. For example, Bitcoin became a means of payment as Gaming company Zynga, The D Las Vegas Hotel, and Overstock.com started collecting payments through it.
Buterin’s Ethereum project was crowdfunded through an Initial Coin Offering (ICO), which raised more than $18 million in Bitcoin and opened up new blockchain possibilities.
A group of over 200 blockchain firms, R3, were formed to discover new ways blockchain can be implemented in technology.
The Ethereum blockchain system introduces computer programs into the blocks, representing financial instruments such as bonds. These become known as smart contracts.
The number of merchants accepting BTC exceeded 100,000.
IBM announced a blockchain strategy for cloud-based business solutions in 2016.
The Japanese government recognized the legitimacy of blockchain and cryptocurrency. As a result, the word blockchain gained acceptance as a single word rather than treated like a two-word concept, as in Satoshi’s original paper.
A bitcoin exchange was hacked, and 120,000 bitcoins were stolen, which was approximately $66 million.
Bitcoin hit a record of $20,000, and the market cap in cryptocurrency reached $150 billion.
JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon stated in the year that they believed in blockchain as a future technology, indicating that Wall Street believed in the ledger system.
It was also recorded that Bitcoin reached its all-time high at $19,783.21/BTC. In addition, Dubai also announced its government will be blockchain-powered by 2020.
It was seen that Facebook has committed to forming its blockchain organization and hinted it might create its cryptocurrency.
IBM developed a blockchain-based banking platform with large banks like Citi and Barclays signing on.
Bitcoin turned 10 that year, and the price began dropping, which ended at $3,800.
Google, Twitter, and Facebook banned cryptocurrency and advertising; also, the European Commission launched the blockchain observatory forum.
This year, China’s central bank announced it is working on its cryptocurrency, and its president Ji Xinping publicly embraced blockchain.
The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) has announced the launch of Bakkt, a digital wallet and cryptocurrency trading platform.
Twitter & Square CEO Jack Dorsey announced that Square would hire blockchain engineers to work on the company’s future crypto plans.
Amazon announced in 2019 the availability of its Amazon-managed blockchain service on AWS.
By the end of 2020, blockchain had almost reached $30,000.
PayPal announced its newest integration, allowing users to buy, sell, and hold cryptocurrency.
Blockchain became a crucial player in the fight against COVID-19 for securely storing medical research data and patient information.
Bitcoin’s price reached an all-time high, exceeding over USD 60,000 in November 2021.
The price rise was connected to the launch of a Bitcoin ETF in the United States, Tesla’s announcement in March that it acquired USD 1.5 billion worth of bitcoin, and the Initial Public Offering (IPO) of Coinbase, the biggest crypto exchange in the United States.