LONDON/NEW YORK (Reuters) - Bitcoin, the world’s first and most famous cryptocurrency, celebrates its tenth birthday on Wednesday.
Its emergence has spawned a multitude of other digital currencies, brought blockchain technology to global attention, and vexed regulators worried about its crime misuse and weakness to hacking.
The following are some major milestones in bitcoin’s first decade:
Oct. 31, 2008 The still-unidentified Satoshi Nakamoto releases a nine-page academic paper that sets out how bitcoin would work. “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System” also gives the first description of the blockchain decentralized ledger, the technology that underpins the digital currency.
Jan. 3, 2009 Nakamoto mines the first “block” of bitcoins on the blockchain. Days later, Nakamoto sends bitcoins in its first ever transaction.
Jan. 12, 2009
The first bitcoin transaction takes place between Nakamoto and developer Hal Finney. The transaction is recorded in block 170.
Oct. 12, 2009
Martti Malmi, a software developer from Finland, sends 5,050 bitcoins for $5.02 to NewLibertyStandard, one of the regulars in a bitcoin forum. The transaction is realized using PayPal. The bitcoins are used to seed a new bitcoin exchange site called New Liberty Standard.
The New Liberty Standard establishes the value of bitcoin at 1,309.03 bitcoins to 1 dollar.
The world’s first bitcoin market is established by dwdollar.
May 22, 2010 Software developer Laszlo Hanecz buys two pizzas for 10,000 bitcoins, widely seen as the first time the digital currency is used for its intended purpose - the purchase of goods.
July 7, 2010
Bitcoin’s new software is released by the community of developers and over the next five days, there is a ten-fold increase in its exchange value - from US$0.008 per bitcoin to US$0.08 per bitcoin.
July 17, 2010
Mt. Gox is launched, which eventually becomes the world’s largest bitcoin exchange, prior to going bankrupt in 2014.
Nov. 28, 2013
As media attention intensifies, Bitcoin tops $1,000 for the first time. It falls below that level only days later, and does not reach the landmark again for over three years. Feb. 28, 2014
Tokyo-based Mt. Gox files for bankruptcy protection after hackers steal some 850,00 bitcoins - worth around half a billion U.S. dollars - and $28 million in cash. The theft, the biggest of digital coins ever, underscores security flaws at exchanges and the risks faced by investors in the unregulated sector.
Aug. 1, 2017
Bitcoin’s underlying software code splits to create Bitcoin Cash, a clone of bitcoin. The move is spearheaded by bitcoin miners in China unhappy with scheduled improvements to the currency’s technology meant to increase its capacity to process transactions. Dec. 10, 2017
Chicago exchange operators Cboe Global Markets Inc and CME Group Inc launch bitcoin futures trading, allowing professional mainstream investors to bet on the price of the digital currency. Dec. 18, 2017
Bitcoin hits its record high of $19,666 on cryptocurrency exchange Bitstamp, the high water mark of a frenzied year that sees bitcoin climb by more than 1,300 percent as retail investors scramble to buy. June 29, 2018
Bitcoin slides to its lowest level since its December peak, hurt by tighter regulatory oversight across the world and waning interest from retail investors. Oct. 19, 2018
The global money-laundering watchdog says it will set out by next year rules for how governments should regulate cryptocurrency exchanges in a bid to stamp out the criminal use of bitcoin and other digital coins.
Reporting by Tom Wilson in London and Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss in New York, Editing by Rosalba O'Brien