Bitcoin is the first and most popular cryptocurrency originally proposed in 2008 and subsequently created in 2009 by the pseudonymous Satoshi Nakamoto. A native asset of the Bitcoin blockchain, it is the world’s first currency that is inherently free from the control of central banks. By design, the underlying network is censorship-resistant, permissionless and peer-to-peer with a scarce and programmable native currency (BTC). Bitcoin remains the global cryptocurrency market leader by price and total market value.
Satoshi Nakamoto mined the first Bitcoin block, known as the genesis block, on January 3rd, 2009. Nine days later, the first transaction with bitcoin was completed when Satoshi Nakamoto sent bitcoin to Hal Finney, the creator of the world’s first RPoW (reusable proof-of-work system). The first known instance of bitcoin being used to pay for a good or service happened more than a year later on May 22nd, 2010 when Laszlo Hanyecz paid 10,000 BTC (worth approximately $41 at the time) for two large pizzas.
Ten months after the famous pizza transaction, bitcoin’s usage as a medium of exchange began to skyrocket as it was adopted by dark web users who wished to shield their identity while making purchases on the dark web. After gaining popularity on the dark web, it took six years for bitcoin to eventually reach mainstream popularity when its price surged to $20,000 per coin in December of 2017. Today, it is estimated that roughly 1% of the world’s population either owns or has previously owned bitcoin.