Jan 17, 2020
Date: Wednesday, 15th January
Project: Tales from the Crypt & Rabbit Hole Recap
Welcome to the Beginner's Guide to Bitcoin.
Bitcoin can be intimidating for beginners. The protocol is complicated, the community can be aggressive and unforgiving, silly mistakes can lose you money, and it is easy to succumb to altcoin marketing.
Bitcoin does though, offer you the opportunity to hold a new type of monetary asset, one which can't be seized by the government and is censorship resistance and It has the potential to change the way the world.
The goal of What Bitcoin Did has always been about making things simple; there are no stupid questions, and the show is here to help beginners navigate this new world. To kick off 2020, we are launching a special series to help beginners understand Bitcoin. We will be looking at the basics from breaking down the protocol to explaining the economics and discussing the potential societal shift.
Beginners Guide Part 5 - The History of Bitcoin with Marty Bent
On October 31st 2008 Satoshi published the Bitcoin Whitepaper on a little known cryptography mailing list. There had previously been many attempts at digital cash, so when the whitepaper was released, it was met with a healthy amount of scepticism.
A few months later on January 3rd 2009 Satoshi Nakamoto mined the genesis block and included the message “Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks”. The message was important and indicated Satoshi’s plan for a new financial system.
In the 11 years that have passed Bitcoin has gone from a niche experiment to a network worth over $160 billion, but the history has been rollercoaster.
Anyone new coming into Bitcoin is likely to hear about critical points in history, and these events helped define Bitcoin and at times teach valuable lessons.
January 12th 2009 - The first Bitcoin transaction between Satoshi Nakamoto and Hal Finney
March 2010 - bitcoinmarket.com started operating as the first Bitcoin exchange
May 22nd 2010 - Lazlo Hanyecz pays 10,000BTC for 2 pizzas
November 27th 2010 - SlushPool becomes the first Bitcoin mining pool
February 2011 - The Silk Road opens, utilising Bitcoin as its currency
April 26th 2011 - Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto leaves Bitcoin in the hands of Gavin Andreson
June 14th 2011 - Wikileaks starts accepting donations in Bitcoin. Visa and Mastercard & ban payments and PayPal freeze their accounts
April 24th 2012 - Erik Voorhees launches Satoshi Dice a Bitcoin betting game
June 20th 2012 - Coinbase founded
November 27th 2013 - Bitcoin Reaches $1,000
January 26th 2014 - Charlie Shrem, CEO of BitInstant, is arrested. Charlie eventually pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting the operation of an unlicensed money transmitting business. He was sentenced to two years in prison
February 7th 2014 - Mt. Gox, the largest Bitcoin exchange at the time, halted withdrawals after a security breach. On February 24th 2014 the exchange went offline with 744,408 Bitcoin stolen.
July 2014 - GHash exceeded 51% of the hash rate
July 17th 2014 - The New York BitLicense is proposed to place regulations on any company or person that uses cryptocurrencies residing in New York.
January 14th 2016 - Joseph Poon and Thaddeus Dryja release the Lightning Network Whitepaper
2016 - 2017 - The scaling war. The community were divided between Segregated Witness and/or bigger block sizes as a way of reducing congestion on the blockchain. This culminated on August 1st with the BCash fork.
December 17th 2017 - Bitcoin reaches its all-time high of $20,000
December 18th 2017 - CME launches Bitcoin futures contract
March 15th 2018 - Elizabeth Stark announces the initial release of lnd 0.4-beta for developers
July 12th 2019 - Donald Trump tweets about Bitcoin
In Part 5 of The Beginner’s Guide to Bitcoin, I talk to Marty Bent the host of Tales from the Crypt & Rabbit Hole Recap. We discuss the key events in Bitcoin’s history from the launch of the protocol to the Silk Road and the Scaling Wars.