Bitcoin celebrates its 12th birthday – One more year, and still not dead!
12 years ago to the day, the first block was mined on the Bitcoin blockchain! On January 3, 2009 at 18:15 GMT, Satoshi Nakamoto, its anonymous creator, laid the first digital foundation stone.
Since then, the death of Bitcoin has been announced nearly 400 times. And yet, the king of cryptomoney is still there, stronger than ever!
Bitcoin, an alternative monetary system
The genesis block is accompanied by a now mythical phrase:
The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks
This is the headline of The Times newspaper. Indeed, that day, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, who is none other than the British Finance Minister, announced the bailout of the Bitcoin Pro banks affected by the so-called „crisis“ from 2008″.
The Times 3 Jan 2009 – Bitcoin genesis blockThe cover of The Times on 3 January 2009.
Who has the right to mint money, and according to what rules? A legitimate question, Satoshi Nakamoto asked himself. For the creator of Bitcoin, the centralised banking system, with its fractional reserve mechanism, has already shown too much of its flaws and dangerousness. Entrusting money creation to private entities that can create money ex-nihilo at will is an unattractive idea in the eyes of dear Satoshi.
He therefore combined several layers of technology to create a digital, peer-to-peer cash system with predictable money issuance.
Bitcoin – supplyThe Bitcoin emission curve.
It is partly this predictability that gives Bitcoin its value. No one can change the maximum amount of Bitcoins: rather reassuring, compared to current monetary policy. In 2020, the US Federal Reserve has turned the digital banknote plate, and the European Central Bank is not to be outdone.
FED – balance sheetThe evolution of the Fed’s balance sheet since 2008.
Duplicating value is in a way destroying it, and Bitcoin is immune to this phenomenon. The decentralised register of its transactions, its famous blockchain, is protected against double spending and counterfeiting!
It was hard to bet on Bitcoin’s success on first reading of the nine pages that make up its white paper. However, some did, and twelve years later, Bitcoin is still not dead!
The Finance Wikipedia
Who would have thought that in 20 years, Wikipedia would become the most comprehensive and widely consulted encyclopaedia in the world? Its authors are not paid, are not necessarily identified, and do not have to give their qualifications before writing content. Anyone can anonymously produce an article, and anyone can check the reliability of what is offered.
Bitcoin works in the same way, but goes much further. Using Bitcoin is free, and accessible to anyone with an Internet connection. It is an inclusive network: anyone can play a role – whether a simple node, a minor, or a developer – without having to identify themselves or be accredited by any authority. Anyone can clone the Bitcoin source code and modify it. However, each modification must be adopted by consensus of the other participants.