T hough technology has been expanding like the proverbial wild fire over the past few decades, the speed at which Bitcoins have been taken up might make even the most modern person’s head spin.
In 2009 a programmer (or a group of them – no one knows and it is now believed that no one will ever know that part of the story) under the name of Satoshi Nakamoto released a software system for Bitcoins in Japan. From there it has taken off like wildfire. However, a lot feel that who or whatever Satoshi Nakamoto is, it is based in Japan. Not only did the software originate there, but one of the largest exchanges is there too. This leads many to believe that it is a Japanese individual or group that has created Bitcoin, but to date there is not yet any verification of the origins of Bitcoin a creator(s). Very little is known about this person or persons, except that only a year earlier a white paper had been released that outlined the feasibility for the use of digital currency. From the release of that white paper in 2008, the timeline looks like this: 2009 – Nakamoto releases a massive assortment of complex algorithms to be known as “mining”. At this time it also becomes possible to buy Bitcoins from formal exchanges.
NOTE: At this point in the timeline it is indicated that there will always be a finite number of Bitcoins possible – 21 million – and this figure still holds true. 2010 – An online order for a pizza was paid for in Bitcoins. This is only three months after the marketplace was firmly established. It cost a whopping 10k in Bitcoins! 2011 – BitPay, the first official payment processor allowing merchants to accept Bitcoins appears. It is a true exchange in that it allows the users and senders to remain anonymous by transferring their Bitcoins in digital “wallets” that can be created on mobile devices or computers. The program in BitPay actually tracks every Bitcoin to eliminate counterfeiters from corrupting the system. Also in 2011, Media attention from the now famous Silk Road Drug scandal attracts global attention to Bitcoins.
Though barely at $10 each at the opening of the year, by the middle of 2011 the coins are priced at $32. Mid-2012 is when the Bitcoin Foundation is created. It is a trade group that puts an emphasis on creating Bitcoin standards. The only goal of the Foundation is to ensure that Bitcoins become a trusted currency.