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Bitcoin and Blockchain: A Decade of Highs and Lows

January 22, 2020

The first Bitcoin exchange was established in 2010, and the word "blockchain" was first used in the same year. In recognition of the ten year anniversary, the Blockchain Council published a look back at the decade (at of the high and low lights:

  • The first organization to accept bitcoins was Wikileaks in 2011. By 2014 more companies were accepting it.
  • The first government to use blockchain technology was Estonia's in 2012.
  • Bitcoin Magazine and the Bitcoin Foundation started in 2012.
  • Bitcoin valuation reached $1 billion in 2013, with almost 11 million bitcoins in circulation.The same year saw the first cryptocurrency market crash and the first significant cryptocurrency theft.A U.S. federal court designated bitcoin a form of currency, but China declared it a non-currency. Japan declared it currency in 2017.
  • In 2014 a DDoS attack bankrupted one of three targeted bitcoin exchanges. 
  • The first US-based cryprtocurrency exchange opened in 2015, and NASDAQ initiated a blockchain trial that year.
  • In 2016 the Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) was hacked and 3.6 million of 11.5 million Ether was stolen. 
  • Bitcoin price surpassed $20,000 in 2017, 435 ICOs raised over $5.6 billion.
  • In 2018 90% of banks in the United States and Europe were exploring blockchain technology. Switzerland, Singapore, South Korea and the EU all were starting or developing bitcoin and blockchain uses. The cryptocurrency market reached $800 billion. On the other side, Google, Facebook and Twitter banned all cryptocurrency related ads.
  • In 2019 bitcoin transactions surpassed 400 million. Over 80 million distinct Ethereum addresses have been created, and over 3,000 DApps developed.

Large chains (Walmart, McDonalds) and countries (Brazil, China) are now using blockchain technology. We can expect more developments in this decade. However, the record of the past decade shows we can also expect setbacks and cyber attacks.