When Was Bitcoin Created? Here's Everything about Its Origins
in Bitcoin (BTC)
When was Bitcoin created?
In this article, we’ll present a brief history of the world’s most famous cryptocurrency, including some notes on the inventor, what the price action of Bitcoin has been like since its inception, and advice on how to buy BTC.
But first, let’s begin with a quick overview of what Bitcoin is (feel free to skip to the next section if you already know what BTC is).
What is Bitcoin? (Bitcoin Definition)
Bitcoin is a digital currency that doesn’t rely on any third party. For example, most financial payment systems require a centralized authority like PayPal, Visa or Wells Fargo. Bitcoin doesn’t. Bitcoin uses some really elegant code and a decentralized computer network to approve transactions.
- Decentralized - There is no single controlling authority. Nobody can shut down Bitcoin or freeze a transaction
- Deflationary - There’s a lot of talk about how central banks are inflating the money supply. Bitcoin’s new supply gets cut in half every four years
- The first cryptocurrency - Bitcoin is the original cryptocurrency and has a decade long record of not getting hacked (a pretty big deal in the cryptocurrency ecosystem)
When was Bitcoin Created?
Bitcoin was invented in 2008 by an unknown person or group of people named Satoshi Nakamoto.
When was the First Bitcoin Created?
Bitcoin didn’t launch until 2009, when the first Bitcoin block, or group of transactions, was mined (confirmed) on January 4th, 2009.
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Satoshi Nakamoto: The Mysterious Creator(s) of Bitcoin
One of the most interesting features of Bitcoin is that to this day we don’t know who created it! We have a pseudonym for the person who invented Bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto, but we don’t know if it was a man, a woman, or a group of people.
That we still don’t know Satoshi’s identity is not for a lack of effort. Tens of thousands of hours have been spent trying to determine who Satoshi is (was - is he still alive?). Publications as high profile as the New Yorker and Wired have both tried to determine who Satoshi is, only to fail.
There are a few things that we do know. First, Satoshi wrote in British English using British spelling for words. He also wrote in perfect English, suggesting that he was a native speaker of the language.
The timing of Satoshi’s forum posts also suggest that he was not living in Japan as the name might suggest (Satoshi Nakamoto is a Japanese name).
Here’s where it gets interesting though. Bitcoin is truly, without exaggeration, revolutionary technology. Its simplicity is beautiful and the fact that Bitcoin has survived for more than a decade speaks to its genius.
Satoshi was obviously a brilliant person, or group of people, so what are the chances that they purposefully wrote in British English and posted at odd times? It’s certainly not zero. Satoshi very clearly didn’t want to be identified and all that effort has clearly paid off.
One brief note, there will always be people claiming to be Satoshi. However, it’s widely accepted that the only way to definitively prove yourself as Satoshi would be to access some of the Bitcoin that’s known to have been mined by Satoshi himself. So far nobody has done this.
Why was Bitcoin Created?
Included in the very first block of the Bitcoin blockchain is the following headline, taken from a British newspaper.
“Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks.”
Bitcoin was released directly after 2008. The whole financial system was in trouble at the time and central banks started to ramp up quantitative easing and issue corporate and bank bailouts and set zero percent interest rates. There’s so much we could talk about but let’s distill it down to a very simple point: hard vs. soft money.
Soft money is fiat money. Dollars, Yen, Euros, take your pick. It’s a currency controlled by a central bank with no limits on printing. History tells us that these currencies inevitably fail. The temptation to print money is strong, eventually there is hyperinflation and the currency is ruined.
Hard money is gold and gold equivalents. Even if gold went up to $1,000,000 an OZ tomorrow we couldn’t just make more! Gold can only be mined so fast, no matter how high the demand. That makes gold a hard money and that’s why gold has been used as money for more than 5,000 years (the average lifespan for a Fiat currency is 27 years).
Bitcoin is also hard money. No matter how high the demand, more Bitcoin cannot be created. Currently, the block reward is 6.25 BTC which means that 6.25 Bitcoin are issued every time a new block is mined (once every ten minutes). In 2024 the block reward will be cut in half to 3.125 BTC.
This supply halving will continue every four years until there is no more issuance. Once that happens, we will have all the Bitcoin that will ever exist. Bitcoin is the opposite of Fiat money and that’s one of the primary reasons Satoshi created it.
Bitcoin Mining (How Does Bitcoin Work)
Bitcoin has one million or more specialized computers securing the network. These specialized computers are called miners and they’re distributed around the globe. Here’s how mining works in two simple steps.
- Bitcoin miners perform very complex math problems. The first computer to correctly solve the problem is given the block reward. As mentioned, the block reward is currently 6.25 BTC.
- In order to “hack” Bitcoin an attacker would need to physically control 51% of all Bitcoin miners. This would require extreme technical expertise, billions of dollars in capital as well as a healthy dose of good luck. So far Bitcoin has not been hacked.
This is a simplified overview of how Bitcoin mining works. If you’d like to learn more about it, you can check out our article: What is Bitcoin Mining?
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How Much was Bitcoin when It First Started?
Most people know about Bitcoin's meteoric price rise over the years. Interestingly enough though, Bitcoin was worth nothing when it first started in January 2009.
It wasn't until Bitcoin first started trading on an exchange (more than a year after its launch in March 2010) that it had value.
How much value? A tiny $0.003!
How to Buy Bitcoin
There are two main ways to buy Bitcoin, you can use a credit card or your banking information. If using a credit card, Binance is one of the best options, as they have a low fee and a reliable service.
Generally, though it’s better to use your banking information to buy Bitcoin, as the fees are lower. There are lots of good exchanges that will let you buy Bitcoin with dollars. Those include Kraken, Coinbase, and even Cash App which is becoming increasingly popular.
By linking your bank account to one of these fiat onramps, you can buy Bitcoin for a lower fee and sell your Bitcoin back into dollars or other fiat currencies at any time.
How to Keep Your Bitcoin Safe
When you own Bitcoin, it’s your responsibility to keep it safe! If your Bitcoin is stolen there is no recourse, the coins are gone for good. Some people choose to keep their BTC on an exchange, which is a really bad idea, as exchanges get hacked all the time.
The best thing to do is to keep your Bitcoin in a reliable, non-custodial wallet (non-custodial meaning nobody else has access to your Bitcoin). The Exodus Bitcoin wallet is a community favorite thanks to:
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- and has 24/7, fast human support if you ever need help
So hopefully now you know the answer to when was Bitcoin created. It’s definitely come a long way from its early days. Here’s to seeing how it develops moving forward!
This content is for informational purposes only and is not investment advice. You should consult a qualified licensed advisor before engaging in any transaction.