Cryptocurrency is a relatively new monetary form that has only truly been applicable since the arrival of smartphones, high-speed Internet, and various other bits of technology that are reshaping our world. However, it is already influencing the way people are doing business and could be a true game-changer over the next decade and beyond for every purchase we make.
So, even though it doesn’t have a very long history, there have been many important dates in the overall cryptocurrency timeline, from the earliest inventions to where we are today. Let’s take a look at the 13 most important dates in the history of cryptocurrency!
Ron Rivest invents public key cryptography, which allows algorithms to be privately and publicly protected by keys. This is the basis on which cryptocurrency will be built.
2. 1990 – 1993.
David Chaum invents eCash and Digicash, which allow payments to be made electronically using cryptographic algorithms and for those who receive the payments to spend their digital money in any way they want, without it being traced; in other words, anonymously.
eGold is created by Douglas Jackson, who comes up with a way to make gold value digital so that electronic units have the same value as actual gold. This form of electronic money can be exchanged for ounces of gold on demand.
Adam Back invents hashcash, which verifies that communications like email are not spam or denial of service attacks. This will be slightly modified and used extensively in cryptocurrency years later.
Shawn Fanning destroys the music business by inventing Napster, which is also the first popularization of widespread peer-to-peer file sharing. Crossing this threshold will prove to be critical to cryptocurrency in the future.
Roger Dingledine creates Tor, which is an anonymity network allowing people to send files back and forth anonymously. This will come into play heavily with cryptocurrency and their decentralization.
Philip Rosedale launches Second Life, a virtual economy with its own virtual currency. The system becomes incredibly tight-knit and proves that cryptocurrency can work within a controlled environment.
Hal Finney creates RPOW, which is proof-of-work token money, building on hashcash and more efficiently verifying what is spam or denial of service attack, which will allow cryptocurrency to be even more efficient in the future.
The legend goes that Satoshi Nakamoto started its/their work on the Bitcoin concept this year. We know nothing of this person or group, except the fact that they lived in Japan at the time.
Bitcoin’s ‘genesis’ block 0 is mined on January 3rd at 18:15:05 GMT. Six days later, Satoshi Nakamoto releases the Version 0.1 of Bitcoin software. The first ever transaction takes place in January as well, between Hal Finney and Satoshi
A whole host of new cryptocurrencies is launched, many of which won’t “survive” or have value in the years to come. The infamous Bitcoin marketplace, Silk Road, is launched.
Over 40 new cryptocurrencies are created, showing the diversity of this new form of currency. Mainstream services begin accepting Bitcoin as a form of payment. Bitcoin’s value soars to over $900 after the US Senate committee hearing where the committee is informed that cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are a legitimate financial service. The Central Bank of China bans Bitcoin transactions.
BitInstant CEO Charlie Shrem is charged with money laundering and leaves the Bitcoin Foundation. HMRC classifies Bitcoin as an asset (private money), ensuring no VAT can be charged on Bitcoin mining or exchange. Microsoft starts accepting Bitcoin payments and the new legislation in New York slowly edges toward reality.