- The first Bitcoin
block, also known as the Genesis block, was mined by the mysterious creator Satoshi Nakamoto on January 3, 2009.
- Bitcoin ATMs emerged almost five years after the first block was mined, with historical data confirming that the first ATM became operational in October 2013.
- Fifteen years after the creation of the first block, Bitcoin miners continue to mine blocks in exchange for rewards.
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Bitcoin has turned 15 today: The journey initiated by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2009 has reached massive proportions.
Bitcoin Celebrates Its 15th Birthday
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While many celebrate October 31, 2008, when the technical review of Bitcoin was published, as Bitcoin’s original birthday, others take a more technical approach to determine its true age. January 3 is the actual date when Bitcoin came to life as a store of value and a transferable currency.
The first Bitcoin block, also known as the Genesis block, was mined by the mysterious creator Satoshi Nakamoto on January 3, 2009. Subsequently, despite opposition from critics, mainstream media, politicians, and governments worldwide, a triumphant era unfolded. On the occasion of Bitcoin’s 15th birthday, let’s take an overview of the Bitcoin ecosystem.
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Bitcoin ATMs emerged almost five years after the first block was mined, with historical data confirming that the first ATM became operational in October 2013. The goal was to provide people with another way to exchange their local fiat currencies for Bitcoin. While the Bitcoin ATM network initially experienced irregular growth, thousands of Bitcoin and crypto ATMs continued to be added every year as mass Bitcoin adoption took place globally. At its peak in 2021, nearly 40,000 Bitcoin ATMs were active in the network.
In the period after 2021, geopolitical tensions and negative investor sensitivity in a bear market environment led to an instant but short-lived decline in Bitcoin ATMs. However, as of January 3, 2024, nearly 34,000 Bitcoin ATMs are still operational worldwide.
About 1 million Bitcoin blocks have been mined
Fifteen years after the creation of the first block, Bitcoin miners continue to mine blocks in exchange for rewards. The increasing interest of individuals and companies in Bitcoin mining confirms the process as a valid business model protecting the Bitcoin network from external attacks. Millions of Bitcoin transactions that occurred over 15 years have been permanently recorded in 825,000 blocks, and neither miners nor investors show any intention of stopping.
Widespread adoption of Bitcoin
Despite strong resistance to mainstream adoption, the significance of Bitcoin as the money of the future was first understood by those coming from hyperinflationary economies forced to combat inflation. By leading the way in establishing Bitcoin as a legal means of payment, El Salvador demonstrated Bitcoin’s resilience in the face of global economic turmoil within two years.
El Salvador President Nayib Bukele reassured leaders of other countries to reconsider the offer of Bitcoin. On the other hand, some countries like China and Saudi Arabia continue to restrict the use of Bitcoin due to its ability to provide unwanted freedom without centralization.
Bitcoin becomes priceless
Despite all the adversities, Bitcoin now has an almost $900 billion market capitalization, accumulating this valuation in just 15 years. In 2010, an early Bitcoin user convinced a pizzeria to sell two pizzas for 10,000 BTC. Today, one can start their own pizzeria with just one Bitcoin.
Nearly all industries have started accepting Bitcoin for their services. From real estate and concert tickets to vacations and education, Bitcoin can be used for almost any purchase without involving banks or other central authorities. For more information, check out this article.
As of January 2024, Bitcoin is the ninth most valuable asset in the world solely based on market capitalization. Professional trader and financial writer Oliver Velez mentioned that Bitcoin climbed to the 9th position, surpassing 7,963 assets in 15 years and expects it to be in the top three by 2025.