1998 was a momentous year. The now omnipresent Google, hitherto a glint in the eye of two Stanford students, took its first tentative steps in the real world. The 16th FIFA World Cup played out in France, and the host country actually took the cup. And assembly operations for the International Space Station (ISS) commenced on this very year.
But perhaps the most relevant event to our audience is that the Bitcoin Whitepaper was released 10 years ago today.
Conceived and written by the entity solely known as “Satoshi Nakamoto”, the 9-page long paper spoke of a “purely peer-to-peer version of electronic cash that would allow online payments to be sent directly from one party to another without going through a financial institution.”
Thus the paper introduced the concept of the long-theorized but never realized decentralized payments. The term ‘Bitcoin’ was actually mentioned only twice, in the heading and in the website name.
The rest, as the saying goes, is crypto history.
The dawn of the crypto era
Whoever or whatever Satoshi Nakamoto is or was, or will be, heralded the arrival of a disruptive wave of decentralization and peer-to-peer interaction, prying financial control away from traditional institutions such as banks and lending firms.
The significance of Bitcoin cannot be understimated, both from a technological and a societal point of view, as the proposed Bitcoin protocol turned the establishment on its head. The ideas running through the Whitepaper lines suggested a brand new economic system based on peer-to-peer transactions, thus devoid of the greedy intervention by banks. This resonated with a lot of people, as it could potentially bring about a complete revolution in the way payments were handled. Essentially, removing the middle man. Only in this case the ‘middle man’ happened to be the cornerstones of the financial world as we knew it then.
Many groups would favor this approach, banks, Governments, and large corporation had long since ceased to inspire any trust or confidence among people.
The age of decentralization had begun.
The Bitcoin wild ride: A journey on the crypto roller coaster
Bitcoin, the granddaddy of cryptocurrencies if you will, became the focal point of the crypto generation. The currency has reached astronomical highs in value, crashed down several times, only to rise back into prominence once again.
Looking back, it has been a wild ride from the start. Ten years is but a drop in the bucket of time, and crypto has a lot of time to grow yet.
Written by: Fernando Sanchez