Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency, a digital asset designed to operate as an exchange medium that uses cryptography to control its creation and management, rather than relying on central authorities. The creator of this network is called Satoshi Nakamoto. He integrated many existing ideas from the cypherpunk community when creating Bitcoin. Over the course of Bitcoin’s history, it has grown rapidly to become an important currency both online and offline. There is a fixed supply of 21 million bitcoins available, so there will never be any more bitcoins released. This causes scarcity.
Since mid-2010, some companies have accepted Bitcoin in addition to already accepted traditional currencies.
On 18 August 2008, the domain name bitcoin.org was registered. Later that year, on 31 October, a link to a (white) paper written by Satoshi Nakamoto entitled “A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System” was placed on a cryptography mailing list. This article provides detailed methods for using a peer-to-peer network to generate what was described as “a system for electronic transactions without relying on trust”. On 3 January 2009, the bitcoin network was created with Satoshi Nakamoto who won the genesis block or Bitcoin (block number 0), with a reward of 50 bitcoins. The first open source Bitcoin client was released on 9 January 2009, hosted by SourceForge. Hal Finney was one of the first supporters, adopters of Bitcoin. Finney downloaded the Bitcoin software on the day of its release and received 10 bitcoins from Nakamoto in the world’s first Bitcoin transaction on 12 January 2009. Other early supporters were Wei Dai and Nick Szabo, creator of the Bitcoin predecessor: bit gold. In the early days, Nakamoto has an estimated 1 million bitcoins mined. To some extent, Nakamoto handed over the reins to developer Gavin Andresen, who then became the lead developer at the Bitcoin Foundation, the “anarchic” Bitcoin community closest to an official public face.
The first Bitcoin transactions were made by individuals on the Bitcoin forum with one notable 10,000 BTC transaction used to indirectly buy two pizzas delivered by Papa John’s (pizzeria). In 2019, this equates to approximately 65 million euros, which are expensive pizzas!