The Bitcoin White Paper will be 10! Where do we stand today?
The Bitcoin White Paper celebrates its tenth birthday on October 31st. Ten years after Satoshi Nakamoto turned the world upside down with his idea, it's time to take a measure. What has become of Bitcoin and the blockchain industry?
It all started with the words:
"I've been working on a new form of electronic cash system that does not need a third party as a trust."
A mysterious broadcaster named Satoshi Nakamoto wrote this mail on November 1, 2008 to the Cypherpunks mailing list. The attached, inconspicuous white paper quickly caught the attention of eavesdroppers and less than a year later, theory turned into practice. The rest is history.
Download now: The Bitcoin Whitepaper (german version)
A Crucial Innovation Satoshi: the Bitcoin Blockchain. With his proof-of-work based blockchain, Nakamoto pushed mankind towards the next evolutionary step in the age of the Internet. For the first time it was conceivable to make digital goods scarce. So you could send global values; Users to users – without a trustee. But blockchain technology should have far more applications than just a monetary system.
The gold rush
Send and receive values over the Internet? The dream of a decentralized and digital currency attracted first and foremost supporters of central bank critical thinking. The digging of digital gold attracted many profit-oriented gold diggers. Over the next four years, Bitcoin gathered more and more idealists, pragmatists and opportunists around. The Wild West must have felt the same way back then. Many scoured the cryptocurrency with their own computers and fantasized about the possibilities of innovation. Satoshi left the stage. The Silk Road saw the light of day. Some projects copied the code base of Bitcoin and changed only a few parameters.
In any case, Bitcoin received attention from developers and investors. The technology continued to evolve and become more user-friendly. However, the Bitcoin euphoria finally culminated with the collapse of the Mt.Gox Exchange and then found itself in a deep valley again.
The fool's gold rush
At the end of 2016, the next big wave began for bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. The Bitcoin price climbed back to the previous all-time high of € 1,000 and celebrated new records. The possibility of multiplying one's own fortune by an alternative cryptocurrency, Altcoin for short, attracted many. Ethereum caused a stir. ICOs opened a new paradigm. Suddenly they sprouted like mushrooms. The crypto market fell into renewed gold rush mood. But instead of Bitcoin now the "Shitcoins" boomed. The goal of many investors: to increase their share of Bitcoins with Altcoins. The ICOs served only as a pump and dump: Buy the rumor, sell the news!
Parallel to the fool's gold rush of the ICOs, the narrative established that Blockchain, not Bitcoin, was Satoshi Nakamoto's true innovation. A perspective that has held up to today in many places. Bitcoin was dead, you heard over 300 times during the last ten years.
Wind, chaff and wheat
The upswing in 2017 pumped up many castles in the air. If the breeze blows only strong enough, unnecessary ballast will not be noticeable. The prospect of rich profits obscured investors' ingenuity. Even average citizens, who were already rudimentary with Bitcoin and Ethereum, began to invest money. ICOs who had nothing but an idea and a website raised millions of dollars in funds. The market continued to heat up and Bitcoin climbed to a new all-time high of $ 20,000.
The virtual journey to Jerusalem could not go on forever. So the music ended at the beginning of 2018 suddenly and the courses broke in. The wind had died down. The cash flow did not materialize. To date, this consolidation continues. The projects, which were able to win prospects with great promises in 2017, now come under pressure to deliver as well. On this dry spell, it decides which technology can be durable.
Bitcoin, the rock in the surf
What ICOs dreamed of in 2017, since the Genesis Block, the cryptocurrency leader has been delivering: a unique, revolutionary product. Bitcoin had won not only euphoric speculators, but also curious developers. Over the last ten years, it has changed massively. The initial casino function and OP codes have been canceled. SegWit should get the blockchain ready for the next step in scaling. The Lightning Network provides hope to take the capacity of digital gold to a new level. Even tiny transactions can be shipped instantaneously globally. The scaling plan for Bitcoin is available.
To date, Bitcoin is the undisputed proof of the security of proof-of-work-based blockchains. A success that is second to none. Bitcoin is open and lives in the relentless Internet. The fact that it has not hacked to this day speaks for its safety. The cryptocurrency also survives in the gutter of the Internet. If you compare the current price with that of 365 days ago, Bitcoin has also held its own as a store of value. Then as now, a bitcoin cost just over $ 6,000.
Time is racing. Ten years, the white paper is now old. During this time Bitcoin grew from the daring theory to a daring honey badger. The bigger it gets, the more interested people gather. Progress also seems to accelerate with the number of developers and ailing companies. Every day happens so much that a year feels like ten. This trend is unlikely to reverse.
Where do we stand in 2028?
If you look into the past today and look at the previous development, the question inevitably arises for the future. If we made it from a nine-page white paper to a multi-billion dollar asset in the first ten years, what are we going to do?
Bitcoin is collecting momentum. It is no longer just a courageous concept, but a now battle-tested network. It should be clear that Bitcoin is still not perfect. The recent inflation bug shows that, despite many hundreds of pairs of eyes, gaps can be found in the code. While Lightning is making progress, the mainstream is still coming. The next ten years will tell whether Bitcoin is suitable as a global payment system or not.
During this time, the Ethereums and IOTAs of this world must prove themselves. A good idea alone is not enough, it is also about the implementation in the real world. Probably the fewest crypto projects in 2028 will still exist. However, there is a presumption that those projects that survive will emerge stronger than ever from the hard times.
So we celebrate Bitcoin's intellectual birthday with a thankful smile to Satoshi Nakamoto and all the brilliant people who make this technology possible.
"You change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, you have to build a new model that makes the existing model superfluous, "
- Bitcoin Rock in the surf: Shutterstock
- birthday bitcoin white paper: Shutterstock
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