Where it all Began ?
It all began in 1982, when the American cryptographer David Chaum published his groundbreaking research paper ‘Blind Signatures’ which outlined the anonymous digital money (which was then commercially launched in 1989) also known as ‘Digicash’. The concept of Digicash revolved around the concept blind signature technology which warranted both privacy and security of transactions between individuals. In 1989, David Chaum officially launched Digicash. Unfortunately, David Chaum and his company made some missteps, and fell foul of the central bank by making a private compromise that Digicash would only be sold to banks. All of this led to bankruptcy for David Chaum in 1998. Digicash got exciting deals from Microsoft, Deutsche Bank and others, but David Chaum was unable to use them to get to the next level. At one point Microsoft offered Chaum $180 million to put DigiCash on every Windows PC. But Chaum that it was not enough money, and the deal fell through, and Digicash ran out of money.
This also led to the cyperpunk movement in 1980s. Cyberpunks were people who realised the actual potential of it. They were of the belief that corporations and Government wielded excessive power on the lives of the ordinary of the civilians. Eric Hughes, Timothy C May and John Gilmore were the founders of this small group that met on a monthly basis, who used mailing list to privately contact other cyberpunks who joined as subscribers to the mailing list.
In 1998, Wei Dai came up with the idea of B-money which basically used two different methods. In the first method, every participant would maintain their own database of how much money belong to the users and maintain records of specific set of users ( used in bitcoin). In the second method, the users who had custody of transactions are incentivised to remain honest or lose it all if they are dishonest. This also came to be known as ‘proof of stake’ (used in ethereum).
Proof of work:
Later in 1991, researchers Stuart Haber and W. Scott Stornetta introduced a practical, computational solution to timestamp digital documents so they wouldn’t be edited.The system used a string of cryptographically secured blocks to store time-stamped documents, and in 1992, Merkle branches were integrated into the design, making it more efficient by allowing a block to gather some text. However, this technology was not used and the patent expired in 2004, four years before Bitcoin was found.
However in 2004, computer scientist and cryptographer Hal Finney (Harold Thomas Finney II) launched a system called RPoW, Reusable Proof Of Work. The system operates by receiving an immutable or irreplaceable Hashcash based on the proof of work token, and in return creates an RSA signed token that can then be exchanged directly from this person to another person.
RPoW has solved the problem for double consumption by keeping ownership of registered tokens on a trusted server; This server is designed to allow users around the world to verify accuracy and integrity in real-time.
During this time, paypal became very famous. Chaum’s ideas were more or less forgotten.
There was a turn-moil in the global finance of 2008. In October 2008, a paper called – A peer to peer Electronic cash system was posted on the mailing list as a discussion on cryptography by a mysterious figure called Satoshi Nakamoto. Even today the real identity of Satoshi Nakamoto. It also addressed multiple problems that the developers faced including something called double-spending, which is essentially the risk that a single token is utilised multiple times to purchase something.
Bitcoin Pizza Day:
A year later on 22 May 2010, Laszlo Hanyecz decided to sell his Bitcoins for the first time – swapping 10,000 of the coins for two pizzas. Should he only sell those Bitcoins today, they would worth more than 100 million dollars. The event is still celebrated today as Bitcoin Pizza Day.
Later on a lot of coins came into existence.
|2009||Bitcoin||BTC, XBT, ₿||Satoshi Nakamoto|
|2011||Litecoin||LTC, Ł||Charlie Lee|
|2012||Peercoin||PPC||Sunny King (Pseudonym)|
|2013||Dogecoin||DOGE, XDG, Ð||Jackson Palmer|
|2013||Primecoin||XPM||Sunny King (Pseudonym)|
|2013||Ripple||XRP||Chris Larsen & Jed McCaleb|
|2014||Auroracoin||AUR||Baldur Odinsson (Pseudonym)|
|2014||Dash||DASH||Evan Duffield & Kyle Hagan|
|2014||Neo||NEO||Da Hongfei & Erik Zhang|
|2014||MazaCoin||MZC||BTC Oyate Initiative|
|2014||Monero||XMR||Monero Core Team|
|2014||Titocin||TIT||Edward Mansfield & Richard Allen|
|2015||Ether or Ethereum||ETH||Vitalik Buterin|
|2015||Tether||USDT||Jan Ludovicus van der Velde|
|2017||Cordano||EDA, ₳||Charles Hoskinson|
In 2013, there was a decline in bitcoin prices and alot of people suffered losses. In January 2014, the world’s largest Bitcoin exchange platform – Mt. Gox went online and the owners of 850,000 BTC lost them and never able to retreated them back. At that time, value of the lost Bitcoins were at $450 million, which is now worth $4.4 billion. Investigators are still trying to get to the bottom of what exactly happened. However, there is nothing to worry about because market of cryptocurrencies since then have been growing.