13 years ago today, the time had come: The Bitcoin blockchain was brought to life by its inventor Satoshi Nakamoto. The first transaction on the Bitcoin blockchain was initiated on January 3, 2009. Its unknown inventor had written a message in the first Bitcoin block, the so-called Genesis block. Back then, nobody could have imagined what would become of it 13 years later.
Happy Birthday Bitcoin! 13 years ago today, or to put it another way, 716,921 blocks ago, Satoshi Nakamoto created the first block with 50 BTC back then. That was the beginning for the oldest and most successful blockchain in the world, which today claims a market capitalization of almost 900 billion US dollars.
Genesis Block and Bank Rescue
The anonymous inventor launched the Bitcoin network just two months after the Bitcoin whitepaper was published. In the white paper that he published on October 31, 2008, he explained how the new monetary system works. Around two months later, the theory turned into practice.
In block zero, i.e. the Genesis block , a message was also hidden with the first transaction:
The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banksSatoshi Nakamoto
This news relates to the cover story of The London Times newspaper of the same name. For many crypto enthusiasts, the reference is clear. You see in this message a criticism of the current banking and financial system hidden. After all, in the wake of the financial crisis, there were bank bailouts and major social unrest.
With the narrative “Be your own bank”, the Bitcoin phenomenon has become an antagonist of the existing, centralized banking system. Libertarian circles in particular see Bitcoin as an opportunity for a monetary system that does without the state and banks.
What happened to Bitcoin
As successful as Bitcoin is currently (excluding the current sideways phase), the cryptocurrency is now more than ever in the hands of traditional financial players. In the meantime, it is just as much institutional investors as private individuals who hold Bitcoin as an asset. In the course of this, states and regulatory authorities are creating regulatory guard rails for the former “Cypherpunk money”.
Bitcoin has established itself not as a currency, but as a store of value. The fact that digital gold protects purchasing power is now seen as the primary use case of Bitcoin. The payment function in the sense of a currency has long been secondary.
However, this in no way diminishes the added value that Satoshi Nakamoto brought to the world 13 years ago. The countless millions pouring into Bitcoin every day show that there is a demand for a digital safe haven that cannot be manipulated by central banks and states.
And although the price cannot currently serve as a birthday present, the hashrate has at least set itself an all-time high: a proud 203.5 EH / s.