Bitcoin’s Early Days

Bitcoin.org was registered on the 18th of August 2008.  Then on the 31st of October 2008 A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System written by Satoshi Nakamoto was posted on a cryptography forum/mailing list.  This system consisting of a peer-to-peer network, a digital ledger, irreversible transactions and no reliance on a central party were main components of Satoshi Nakamoto’s paper.

The bitcoin network started mining the first block named ‘the genesis block’ on the 3rd of January 2009 which was block number 0.  This reward of 50 bitcoins was delivered straight to Satoshi Nakamoto. On January the 9th 2009 the first open source Bitcoin client was release and hosted on SourceForge which is a web-based service allowing software developers a central online location to edit and manage open-source software programs and projects.

One of the first supporters of Bitcoin was Hal Finney.  Hal received the first ever Bitcoin transaction of 10 Bitcoins after downloading the program the day it came out.  This transaction took place on the 12th of January 2009. Other noted supporters of the project were Wei Dai creator of B-money; a Bitcoin predecessor and Nick Szabo also a creator of a Bitcoin predecessor known as Bit Gold.

Nakamoto was said to have mined in excess of 1 million Bitcoin before disappearing; essentially handing the reins over to a developer by the name of Gavin Andresen who then became the lead developer for Bitcoin or at least the only real public face when it came to someone running the movement.

An early transaction worthy of note was negotiated on the Bitcoin forums and resulted indirectly in two Papa John’s Pizzas delivered at a cost to the buyer of 10,000 Bitcoins.

A date which should be mentioned during the early time of Bitcoin is its first major vulnerability, occurring within the Bitcoin protocol.  The date was the 6th of August 2010 and this vulnerability enabled users to bypass Bitcoin’s economic rules and restrictions and create indefinite amounts of Bitcoin.  On the 15th of August 2010 this was exploited and 184 billion Bitcoin were created in a transaction which was then sent to two different addresses on the network. It only took hours for the transaction to be found and erased from the transaction log. The exploit was fixed via ‘Forking’ to an updated version of the Bitcoin protocol.

Next: Satoshi Nakomoto