It was 12 years ago today that the Bitcoin Blockchain was brought to life by its inventor Satoshi Nakamoto. On 3 January 2009, the first transaction was initiated on the Bitcoin Blockchain. Its unknown inventor had thus written a message in the first Bitcoin block, the so-called Genesis Block. What became of it 12 years later, no one could have imagined at the time.
With all the news about the rising Bitcoin price, some might overlook the fact that today the No.1 cryptocurrency is celebrating a birthday of sorts. 12 years ago, or to put it another way: 664,278 blocks ago, Satoshi Nakamoto created the first block of what was then still 50 BTC. This was the beginning for the oldest and most successful blockchain in the world, which today claims a market capitalisation of over 600 billion US dollars.
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The anonymous inventor launched the Bitcoin network just two months after the Bitcoin whitepaper was published. In the whitepaper, which he published on 31 October 2008, he explained Bitcoin Evolution app how the new monetary system worked. About two months later, theory turned into practice.
In Block Zero, i.e. the Genesis Block, a message was also hidden with the first transaction:
The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks
This news refers to the cover story of The London Times newspaper with the same title. For many crypto enthusiasts, the reference is clear. They see hidden in this news a criticism of the current banking and financial system. After all, bank bailouts and major social unrest occurred at the time in the wake of the financial crisis.
The London Times 03.01.2009
With the narrative „Be your own Bank“, the Bitcoin phenomenon has become an antagonist of the existing, centralised banking system. Libertarian circles in particular see Bitcoin as an opportunity for a monetary system that does without the state and banks.
What Bitcoin has become
As successful as Bitcoin is and its price is climbing one all-time high after another, Bitcoin is now more than ever in the hands of traditional financial players. Yet it is now just as much the institutional investors as private individuals who hold Bitcoin as an asset. In the course of this, states and regulatory authorities are creating regulatory guard rails for the former „cypherpunk money“.
Bitcoin has gained acceptance not as a currency, but as a store of value. The fact that digital gold protects purchasing power is now seen as Bitcoin’s primary use case. The payment function in the sense of a currency has long been secondary. The deflationary nature of Bitcoin runs counter to the original goal of creating a currency more than it helps it.
However, this in no way diminishes the added value that Satoshi Nakamoto brought into the world 12 years ago. The countless billions that flow into Bitcoin every day show that there is a demand for a digital safe haven that cannot be manipulated by central banks and states.