It was 2008 and America was rapidly descending into the greatest recession since the stock market crash of 1929. Unemployment was rising at an alarming rate and 7.1 million families were being forced out of their foreclosed homes. More than 8 million jobs were lost and 2.5 million businesses were shuttered.
There was distrust in banks and the government's ability to manage the economy. It was during this time of panic and confusion that to mysterious figures emerged, Satoshi Nakamoto and his new invention: Bitcoin.
Nakamoto invented a new decentralized banking system that puts power back into the hands of the people. Bitcoins, Bitcoins, Bitcoins, Bitcoins, Bitcoins, Bitcoins, Bitcoins, Bitcoins, Bitcoins, Bitcoins, Bitcoins, Bitcoins, Bitcoins, Bitcoins 'the blockchain'-an open ledger that catalogs every financial transaction.
Bitcoin conference in New York City with the iconic Bitcoin logo pictured in the foreground. Bitcoins are an alternative, digital-money currency unregulated by the government and banks
Massive Bitcoin mine in South Korea. The Bitcoin mining process uses high-powered computers to solve complex mathematical problems; upon completing the task – a cache of coins are released to your ownership. In recent years, Asian markets began building giant warehouse facilities to mine Bitcoins in larger quantities. As of now 83% of the 21 million fixed supply have been uncovered
This month marks 10 years since Bitcoin opened its virtual doors for business. While some Bitcoin evangelists praise its revolutionary technology, other like Aswath Damodaran, Professor of Finance at NYU believe it will be just another fad like Beanie Babies. , overnight millionaires, 'crypto- castles,' an eccentric billionaires and an enduring mystery of the true identity of its enigmatic creator who has never even been seen in public.
At first, mining Bitcoins was born as a hobby for a small group of computers. While others believe in 'crypto-currency' as a concept rather than a legitimate form of money. Some of its earliest supporters, of course, were Libertarians, those wary of big government.
Bitcoin software is 'Mining' the process in which it is used. Bitcoin mining is more like a virtual treasure hunt or a very intricate Rubik's Cube puzzle for the tech savvy. Upon completion of the task, a cache of Bitcoins is released to your ownership.
The process is painstaking and often unrewarding. The algorithms are getting more difficult as we go closer to uncovering the finite supply of coins set at 21 million. It was designed to protect the currency from inflation. Presently 83% of the total have been mined.
After a slow start, Bitcoin started to pick up steam. It had its first commercial transaction to buy pizzas in 2010, by 2011 Bitcoin reached dollar parity after being maligned as a black market, although by 2014 it had become a recognized form of payment for large companies. Overstock.com, Tesla, Expedia, Microsoft, Lionsgate Films, and Playboy to name a few. All while its enigmatic creator, Satoshi Nakamoto seemingly dropped off the face of the earth, never to be heard from again.
Computer scientist, Hal Finney (left) was the first person to download Nakamoto's software and mine Bitcoins in 2009. He was rumored to be the real 'Satoshi Nakamoto' by conspiracy theorists after discovering that he coincidentally lived two blocks away from the man Newsweek wrongly identified as Dorian Satoshi Nakamoto. Gavin Andresen (right) took control of Bitcoin's software development after Nakamoto mysteriously stopped responding to emails in 2011
The wrong man: Satoshi Nakamoto completely disappeared from the web in 2011, leaving many to speculate the cryptic man's true identity. A California man named, Dorian S. Nakamoto (above) was wrongly identified by Newsweek as the inventor of Bitcoin in 2014; he has vehemently denied any involvement and the mystery remains unsolved to this day
Hal Finney, an early pioneer in the system recounted his first interaction with Nakamoto: 'I was the recipient of the first bitcoin transaction, when Satoshi sent ten coins to me as a test. I've been on an email with Satoshi over the next few days, mostly me reporting bugs and him fixing them … Today, Satoshi's true identity has become a mystery. But at the time, I thought I was dealing with a young man who was very smart and sincere. '
By December 2010, Satoshi Nakamoto all but disappeared. His dispatches became more irregular and then at 6:22 pm GMT on December 12, he posted his final message to the Bitcoin forum: something trivial about the latest software update.
Gavin Andresen, an early disciple of Nakamoto, took over the role as lead developer. For a short time, Nakamoto maintained exclusive contact with his delegated heir. But on April 26, 2011 Satoshi sent his final goodbye to Andresen as well. His last email read: 'I wish you would not keep talking about a mysterious shadowy figure. Maybe instead make it about the open source project and give more credit to your dev contributors; it helps motivate them. '
The anonymous coder's ambiguous public postings and private emails eventually became gospel to the Bitcoin community. In two years' worth of correspondence, Nakamoto had skillfully managed to ignore personal questions. Bitcoin creator, known as he lived or even if Satoshi Nakamoto was his real name.
Solving the mystery behind the computer has become a fodder for conspiracy theorists that still persists today.
Some speculate that 'Satoshi Nakamoto' was in fact the alias of Finney-Bitcoin's first subscriber, who died in 2014 after being diagnosed with ALS. Others believe it could be Gavin Andresen after a group of truthers employed in the writing, writing into account syntax and how often particular words and phrases were used.
A few thinks Satoshi Nakamoto could be a portmanteau for the tech companies: Samsung, Toshiba, Nakamichi and Motorola, and some feared that Nakamoto was like a NSA, the CIA or Google.
Despite being shrouded in secrecy, Bitcoin continued to prevail.
Dorian Satoshi Nakamoto is approached by the journalists in front of his Temple City, California home after Newsweek identified him the enigmatic Bitcoin creator
Before disappearing, Satoshi Nakamoto sent his last email to Gavin Andresen on April 26, 2011. Nakamoto was concerned that Bitcoin would earn a bad reputation as a 'pirate currency' if Gavin continued to cite him as a 'mysterious shadowy figure'
Las Vegas Hanyecz, who traded 10,000 Bitcoins in 2010 for two pizzas-becoming the first ever commercial transaction to take place. The coins were essentially worthless, valued at a fraction of a cent at the time and no merchandise accepted as a means of official payment so Hanyecz posted his request on a Bitcoin forum:
'I'll pay 10,000 bitcoins for a couple of pizzas … like maybe 2 large ones so I have some left over for the next day. I like having left over pizza to nibble on later. You can make me the pizza yourself and bring it to my house or order it for me, but what I'm aiming for is getting food delivered in exchange for bitcoins kind of like ordering to 'breakfast platter' at a hotel or something, they just bring you something to eat and you're happy! '
By 2011, Bitcoin reached dollar parity. Though the success was marred by the Silk Road, an illegal online marketplace that dealt drugs and offered illicit services. The federally unregulated attributes of Bitcoin made the perfect currency for the dark web which significantly grew the crypto consumer base.
Meanwhile, the Chinese began to invest heavily in Bitcoin mining as well as setting up massive computing centers in warehouses while 'how-to' build your own mining devices started to spread across the web for the laymen.
But not everyone was interested in the complex mining process. People need to be able to access the crypto-currency drove the expansion of exchange platforms. These exchange startups popped up in droves and 'Coinbase' became the most popular for its beginner-friendly interface.
By 2014, the biggest crack-in-the-Nakamoto case happened when Leah Goodman, a reporter for Newsweek tracked down to Japanese man by the name of 'Dorian Satoshi Nakamoto' living in Temple City, California. In every practical sense, the 64-year old man identified as the mystical genius behind the computer.
They noted that Nakamoto is occasionally used in British spellings and phrases in his writings. Libertarian, with deep distrust for the Federal Government, who often complained about bank fees, exchange rates and the difficulty in wiring money abroad for his purchases; expressing the need for a digital currency. He also worked as a computer engineer on the subject of timeframes.
Tech entrepreneurs Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss sued Mark Zuckerberg for $ 65 million after claiming Zuckerberg their idea for Facebook while they were students at Harvard University. The Winklevoss twins were early investors in Bitcoin and eventually banking heir Matthew Mellon to do the same
Larger than life banking heir was a fixture in the society pages for his hard-partying ways and penchant for glamorous women. He originally invested $ 2 million in Bitcoin and was estimated to be worth $ 1 billion at the time of his drug overdose in 2018
California, a personal statement through his lawyer, who is unequivocally denied his involvement and knowledge of Bitcoin.
The Newsweek article put Bitcoin on the map, bringing the unfamiliar coin into conversation. Matthew Mellon, the larger-than-life scion of two prominent The new volatile market of cryptocurrency.
Jimmy Choo founder Tamara Mellon-his strong positioning on cryptocurrency was yet another juicy apple for the papers. The unconventional banker with a penchant for glamorous women. The brothers themselves had invested $ 11 million in Bitcoin and The New York Times reported their holdings were more than $ 1.3 billion by December 2017.
Mellon quickly became the de-facto ambassador for cryptocurrency and his risky investment earned him close to $ 1 billion dollars before he died of an overdose in April 2018.
His business partner David Marshack spoke to The New York Times saying, 'He laughed at it and made it to the end of last year, it was exploded and made him an awful lot of money … . Though, to be fair, the criticisms were completely valid at the time they were made. '
Cryptocurrency had officially captured mainstream attention. Crypto-Castle, The Cructo Castle, The Cructo Castle, The Cructo Castle, The Castle, A 3-Story Party House, Upwardly Mobile, Millennials, That Was Heavily Staked in Crypto start-ups. 20-somethings with loaded bank accounts. Crypto Crackhouse "Another place to visit" Bitcoin Boulevard and Ethereum Alley.
San Francisco was home to the notorious 'Crypto Castle,' a 3-story party house with sprawling views in the exclusive neighborhood of Potrero Heights. Eight millennials with loaded bank accounts and stocked liquor shelves used to live and develop their crypto startup companies
Bitcoin was the zeitgeist to invest in 2017. Having started the year worth less than $ 1000, the value skyrocketed to $ 19.535 by December 2017. Then, as swiftly as it was spiked, the value collapsed through 2018. Currently the price for coin hovers around $ 4000 .
In recent years, Bitcoin mining has become a hot topic for environmentalists. As it becomes more difficult to find the needle in the haystack, stronger computers that require more energy are needed to operate the system. Overhead expenses for electricity often outweigh the value of owning coins.
Coinbase is a beginner friendly platform that allows laymen to trade Dollars into Bitcoins as easy to simple bank transfer
Fad or future? Bitcoins existed under the radar for the first few years, only known by the small group of the tech savvy computer programmers. By 2017, it had become a mainstream sensation: internet memes, bitcoins, and kitsch gear defined the time
Bitcoin, experts to clear the currency from the blockchain technology which underlies it. Kenneth Rogoff, a former chief economist at the IMF and current professor of economics at Harvard University told DailyMail.com: 'For sure blockchain has a huge future as a problem. But the idea that Bitcoins are replacement for money is just nuts. "
Rogoff went to be a nascent blockchain technology to the early stages of the internet, where rudimentary websites and search engines existed before.
Aswath Damodaran, NYU Professor of Finance at the last 10 years of Bitcoin, he said rather succinctly, 'The hype got ahead of the actual substance. Beanie Babies and Pokemon. "But he echoed Rogoff's feelings in the potential for blockchain. Explaining its crowd sourcing abilities might have future in the financial industry if it becomes a cheaper alternative for companies to verify transactions. '
Die hard believers in the little-coin-that- could still hold out hope that the currency will one day regain its financial footing. But most suppose that Satoshi Nakamoto's real legacy will be his masterful blockchain work.