On this day seven years ago the bitcoin network was brought to life by Satoshi Nakamoto. 3 January 2009 bitcoin’s first block of transactions (“Block #0″) was generated.

The date is worth remembering since this “genesis block” laid a foundation for all subsequent blocks in bitcoin’s blockchain. “Block#0” is a sort of the reference block and its mining reward of 50 BTCs cannot be spent.

At the peak of the 2008-2009 financial crisis, on 31 October 2008 Satoshi published his white paper for bitcoin. The creation of an uncontrollable currency turns out to be his response to the increasing governmental intervention into banking sphere.  

Since the first block’s creation, the bitcoin cryptocurrency once surpassed $1,100 in value and induced the development of the whole domain of related services. In recent years a large number of new virtual currencies as well as start-ups and applications offering new services have appeared. Moreover, the technology behind bitcoin, the distributed ledger, has an extreme (but not yet fully recognised) potential of transforming the way the whole global economy works.

On 25 December 2015 a new milestone has been reached in the bitcoin mining industry. 15 million bitcoins have been mined since 2009 when the cryptocurrency was founded.

Among other bitcoin-related achievements of the past year the following ones are worth mentioning: the world’s largest banks launched a joint R3 blockchain initiative; three top credit card companies started investing in blockchain technology; the Economist newspaper, which sets the pace among business and financial media, featured blockchain on its front cover with the slogan “The trust machine: How the technology behind bitcoin could change the world.”

Anna Lavinskaya