Crypto Currencies were brought to life in a White Paper published by an anonymous entity called Satoshi Nakamoto in response to the banking crisis of 2008.
It was the birth of the first Blockchain, and the first crypto-currency: Bitcoin, which happened at the same time as the rise of the Occupy Movement.
The Blockchain is a digital, decentralized, distributed, open source, cryptographic ledger that keeps a record of all transactions that take place across a peer-to-peer network.
The major innovation is that it allows participants to transfer assets across the Internet without the need for a centralized third party (ie, banks).
The blockchain is the technology that makes Bitcoin – or any crypto currency – work. It is an open source database in which every block is cryptographically embedded with information, and assigned a Hash number. This information can be crypto currency transactions, but it can also be a wide range of other information – including contracts, copyrights, records, statements of marriage or divorce, etc.
The original Satoshi blockchain was designed to be – and remains – unhackable.
The first transaction of Bitcoin currency took place between Satoshi and Hal Finney, a developer and cryptographic activist on January 12, 2009. The first Bitcoin exchange came to life on February 6, 2010 and the market cap broke $1 million in November of that same year. It passed $1 billion in March of 2013.
By enabling the digitization of assets, blockchain is driving a shift from the Internet of Information or the Internet of Things, where we can instantly view, exchange and communicate information, to the Internet of Value where we can instantly exchange assets.
In this new paradigm, trust is established not by central intermediaries such as bankers or lawyers, but through consensus and complex computer code. There are four major groups that are a part of a democratic voice in developing the blockchain: The core developers who maintain the Bitcoin Core Code, the Miners who secure the transactions, the Venture-backed Startup businesses and the Users. Each stakeholder has their own agenda.
Bitcoin has experienced an incredible journey, with some fabulous experiences and some non-so-fabulous experiences. Fortunately, with the democratic consensus model, the blockchain is able to learn from each experience to become stronger and more secure.
With the advent of Bitcoin, people were suddenly able to send money anywhere in the world using a smart phone – instantly, with zero fees & with complete anonymity.
The Satoshi Blockchain has served to democratize & expand the global economic system, enabling more people & businesses around the world to trade more efficiently, boosting local, national & international trade.
Although anonymity and zero fees are no longer primary features of the crypto world (although anonymity does still exist for those who wish to use it), Bitcoin has set the stage for incredible local economic revolutions in places like Zimbabwe, Japan and now the US.
There will only ever be 21,000,000 Bitcoin created (mined), and that will be achieved in the year 2040. Every year, half again the number of Bitcoins are mined.
How is Bitcoin valued?
- Scarcity: there will never be more than 21,000,000 bitcoins
- Integrity: impossible to counterfeit
- Bitcoins can be divided infinitely
- Easily transferred, instantly, across the world via the internet.
- Fungible – one bitcoin is exactly the same as every other bitcoin
- Non-centralized – putting the power of money back in the hands of the people
- Easily verified
Because bitcoins are given their value by the community, they don’t need to be accepted by anyone else or backed by any authority to succeed. They are like a local currency except much, much more effective and local to the whole world.
Essentially: the value of Bitcoin arises from the Bitcoin community’s agreement to follow a set protocol, and are backed by everyone who uses them as money.
Having reached the $8,000 mark in the 2nd week of November 2017, Bitcoin is by far the most valuable currency in the world, with the greatest brand recognition and market capitalization (~$120 billion).
At this point in time, there are well over 400,000 vendors around the world accepting Bitcoin. Many jobs in the Crypto Currency arena pay in Bitcoin. Real estate is being transacted in Bitcoin. Many exchanges are now issuing Bitcoin debit cards, and there are thousands upon thousands (soon to be millions) of Bitcoin/Crypto ATMs around the world.
Crypto currencies are created through the process of “mining” by powerful computers around the world which race to accomplish mathematical tasks (essentially, the addition of entries into, and the security of, the Blockchain). Whoever wins the race, gets the Bitcoin.
The very act of creating (mining) a coin strengthens the integrity & security of the Blockchain.
Historically, mining has used extraordinary amounts of electricity to cool the computers, but the industry is forcing the breakthrough of FREE ENERGY into the world. This is an *astounding evolution* which has the capacity to end the petroleum industry in a generation. So, just as Bitcoin has brought the centralized banking world to its knees, mining is also at the forefront of change in the energy sector.
Think: no more petroleum, no more nuclear, no more coal… Not even hydro, which drastically alters river ecosystems, and solar, which uses rare earth and slave labor.
This is the BEST news possible for humans, the environment, and the Earth!
Other Crypto Currencies
There are now over 4,000 different crypto currencies. Ethereum, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash are considered the contenders to Bitcoin.