Bitcoin & Crypto: A Brief Run-Through

By: Adrian Ray Del Campo

Bitcoin has existed for years yet ever since its value reached over $10,000, it’s been headlining. Only a handful of people were into Bitcoin before 2017. Since the dawn of its popularity, a myriad of other cryptocurrencies has also risen. Currencies such as Etherium and Litecoin easily rose to the top of the ranks, and currencies derived from Bitcoin such as Bitcoin Cash soon followed. Soon enough, there had been a whole market for cryptocurrencies, and as of today, there are more than 1500 of them. But when did it all start?

 
Bitcoin was the first ever cryptocurrency created. It’s creator/creators while unknown goes by the name Satoshi Nakamoto. Up to this date, Bitcoin’s creator’s real identity remains a mystery. In 2008, a paper called ‘Bitcoin – A Peer to Peer Electronic Cash System’ was posted by Satoshi on a cryptocurrency discussion group. A year later, a public software was released allowing everyone to mine Bitcoin. At this point, Bitcoin was worth cents, much like penny stocks or less.

 
Years pass by and communities emerged around Bitcoin and more and more people started mining the currency. Bitcoin had no explicit monetary value then until a folklore about a guy who traded two pizzas for 10,000 Bitcoin surfaced. The first Bitcoin trade was undocumented but during 2010, trading the currency begun and slowly, a market quickly followed to cater to it. The concept of cryptocurrencies came with the success of Bitcoin and alternative currencies such as Litecoin and Namecoin were established in 2011.

 
With technological advancements to ease mining and trading made possible, Bitcoin’s value rose to $1000 for the first time in 2013. In the same year however, Bitcoin plummeted to $300. It would take more than two years for it to go back to $1000.
After a few years, Bitcoin’s (along with other cryptocurrencies) growth became more and more evident. With it’s rise, problems also arose. In 2014, one of the biggest scams in crypto occurred. $450,000 million dollars (at that time) disappeared along with a Bitcoin exchange known as Mt. Gox.

 
The blockchain technology used for cryptocurrencies may be good in a way that it cannot be cheated, and every transaction is anonymous, but the anonymity may also be used for malevolent purposes. Pyramid and ponzi schemes also took advantage of people’s interest and benefitted from the growing amount of people willing to invest in crypto. More organized and planned ways of scamming involved pumping and dumping, and ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings).

 
Bitcoin continued to grow through the years along with other cryptocurrencies, the Ether platform, and ICOs. It reached a milestone at $5000 and only grew more and more through the coming months. Investors and bigtime holders quickly took notice. During the early months of 2017, Bitcoin was at around $9000. In November 2017, Bitcoin hit big and reached a whopping $10,000 per unit. Its popularity caused quite a stir and made way for the paving of a new era of cryptocurrencies and the birth of communities willing to support it. Within just weeks, Bitcoin grew steeper and steeper.
On December 17, 2017, Bitcoin hit its all time high of $19,783.06 but was unable to hold on or progress even further. Bitcoin fell back to $11,000 in just days. Since all other cryptocurrencies partly depend on Bitcoin’s success, with the plunge, it took many other cryptocurrencies down with it. As of now, Bitcoin holds at around $8,000. This may seem like the beginning of the end for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, but the cryptocurrency market is very volatile. Every day, currencies battle up and down the market leaderboards.

 

Sources:
https://www.forbes.com/sites/bernardmarr/2017/12/06/a-short-history-of-bitcoin-and-crypto-currency-everyone-should-read/3/#739db26f61c7
Bitcoin just hit $10,000 for the first time
http://fortune.com/2017/12/17/bitcoin-record-high-short-of-20000/
https://www.wired.com/story/cryptocurrency-scams-ico-trolling/
https://coinmarketcap.com/

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