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Bitcoin History

An interactive Timeline of Events From the Past That Shaped Bitcoin, and Current Events and Technologies Paving the Way to the Future of web3, and Beyond.
1976
November 1, 1976

Diffi-Hellman Day

Whitfeld Diffie and Martin E. Hellman release their proposal for a cryptographic protocol used for secure communication over an insecure channel. Their paper, titled “New Directions in Cryptography,” provided a revolutionary method for secure key exchange without relying on a pre-shared secret. Most notably, it presented an implementation of public and private key pairs for secure communication over public channels.The Diffie-Hellman key exchange would become a foundational component of modern cryptography and serve to raise awareness for the importance of secure communication in the digital age. It would also serve as the foundation for the eventual implementation of public and private key pairs in crypto transactions.
1989
1989

DigiCash is founded

David Chaum, a cryptographer, founded DigiCash and subsequently created one of the first electronic money corporations. It was one of the first attempts to create a completely anonymous, secure digital payment system. DigiCash was based on Blind Signature Technology, an invention of Chaum’s that built upon technological developments for public and private keys. The idea of “binding” involved encrypting a message so that the recipient could not see the contents, but they could still confirm that the message came from the sender. This technique would effectively allow for secure and private transactions without needing a trusted third party (in other words, it would be trustless by nature).Initially, DigiCash was used for small-scale transactions, such as payments between individuals and purchases from online vendors. Unfortunately, it failed to gain widespread adoption due to a number of factors, including the lack of a clear business model and the emergence of other digital payment systems, such as PayPal. In 1998, the company ended up filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and sold for assets in 2002.Despite its limited success, DigiCash was an important precursor to the development of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, which also aim to provide secure, private, and decentralized digital transactions.
2008
August 18, 2008

Registration of Bitcoin.Org Domain Name

The domain name “bitcoin.org” was registered by an unknown individual using a privacy protection service to hide their identity. The identity of the individual is still unknown, but many believe it to be Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous creator(s) of Bitcoin.The domain is currently maintained by an open-source community of developers and volunteers who work on the Bitcoin Core software and related projects. The website serves as a central hub for information about Bitcoin, including guides for beginners, technical documentation, and news and updates about the Bitcoin ecosystem.It also includes information to introduce people to the Bitcoin economy, including a launchpad for them to buy Bitcoin, and resources on how to run Bitcoin nodes.
2008
October 31st, 2008

Bitcoin Whitepaper Released

The Bitcoin whitepaper is released by an unknown individual or group of individuals going by the pseudonym “Satoshi Nakamoto.” The whitepaper, titled “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System” was also published on the Cryptography Mailing List. The whitepaper described a decentralized digital currency system that would allow for peer-to-peer transactions without needing a trusted third party, like a bank. It proposed the use of a blockchain, a public ledger that would record all transactions in a secure and transparent manner. The Bitcoin network would rely on a network of computers to validate transactions and maintain the integrity of the blockchain. The whitepaper also described the use of proof-of-work (PoW), a mechanism used to deter fraudulent activity by requiring users to solve complex mathematical problems in order to add new blocks to the blockchain. This mechanism was meant to incentivize users to participate in the network by rewarding them with newly minted bitcoins. The release of the Bitcoin whitepaper was a pivotal moment in the history of the cryptocurrency, as it introduced the world to the concept of a decentralized digital currency that operates independently of traditional financial institutions. It sparked a global movement that has led to the creation of other cryptocurrencies and has paved the way for new developments in blockchain technology.
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2009
Jan. 3, 2009

The Genesis Block: Bitcoin’s Birthday

The anonymous creator of Bitcoin, known as Satoshi Nakamoto, mines the first block of the Bitcoin blockchain. This genesis block is referred to as Block 0 or the Block 1. Bitcoin’s genesis block contains a message in the coinbase parameter, which is the input of the first transaction in the block. The message reads: “The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks.” This message is believed to be a reference to a headline from The Times newspaper on the same day the block was mined, reporting on the UK government’s plan to bail out failing banks. The message is significant because it highlights one of the key motivations behind the creation of Bitcoin: the creation of an alternative to traditional financial institutions and their centralized control over the economy. The genesis block also contains the first 50 bitcoins ever mined. Their creation and the genesis block represent the beginning of a new era in decentralized, peer-to-peer transactions.
2009
January 12th, 2009

First BTC Genesis Transaction

The first ever Bitcoin transaction between two people occurs just days after the launch of the Bitcoin network. Satoshi Nakamoto sends 10 bitcoins to Hal Finney’s Bitcoin address, a sign of Finney’s early involvement in the Bitcoin project. The transaction is notable for a number of reasons. Firstly, it demonstrates the early adoption of Bitcoin by a small group of enthusiasts who were involved in the development of the cryptocurrency. Secondly, it highlights the use of Bitcoin as a means of exchange, even in its early stages when the value of the cryptocurrency was extremely low. It also highlights Finney’s relationship with Nakamoto that continued throughout the early development of Bitcoin. Finney was an early contributor to the project, and was one of the first people to promote Bitcoin and share his experiences using the cryptocurrency with the broader public.
2009
February 2009

First Bitcoin Wallet

The first Bitcoin wallet was the result of a years-long collective effort by a mysterious individual or group of individuals operating under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto. Nakamoto's whitepaper, published in late 2008, laid out the conceptual framework for Bitcoin and blockchain — a decentralized, immutable ledger and cryptocurrency’s foundation.While the first Bitcoin wallet was rudimentary by today's standards, it would later lead to the widespread adoption of blockchain technology. Known as Bitcoin-Qt, the Bitcoin wallet made Nakamoto's vision come to life. Its user-friendly interface that allowed early Bitcoin adopters to create and manage their digital wallets to send and receive Bitcoin. Bitcoin-Qt also held cryptographic keys — public keys for receiving funds and private keys for authorizing transactions, and gave users an address book and enabled them to digitally sign transactions,One of the most groundbreaking aspects of the first Bitcoin wallet was its decentralized nature. Unlike traditional banks and financial institutions that act as intermediaries in financial transactions, the Bitcoin wallet operated on a peer-to-peer network. This meant that individuals could have direct control over their funds, eliminating the need for a centralized authority to oversee and validate transactions. This decentralization was a core principle of the Bitcoin network and underscored its revolutionary potential.In short, Bitcoin-Qt wasn't just a digital tool designed to securely store, send, and receive Bitcoin. It gave users an easy way to access a virtual repository for the nascent digital currency and laid the groundwork for a shift in the way people perceived and interacted with money. Bitcoin-Qt would later become known as the Bitcoin Core wallet starting from version 0.9.0. That same Bitcoin Core wallet can still be downloaded at Bitcoin.org.In the years that have followed, Bitcoin wallets have evolved significantly to include various types, such as software wallets, hardware wallets, and paper wallets, catering to different security preferences. Many Bitcoin wallets (particularly extension wallets) also allow users to connect to decentralized applications (dApps) in the wider cryptocurrency and Web3 space. This has allowed users to use the bitcoins (BTC) and crypto in their wallets to access a whole range of services, giving millions worldwide the chance to participate in the exciting and transformative world of cryptocurrencies. 
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2010
May 22nd, 2010

Bitcoin Pizza Day Transaction Takes Place

The first known commercial transaction takes place using Bitcoin when Laszlo Hanyecz paid 10,000 bitcoins for two large Papa John’s pizzas, which were delivered to him in Jacksonville, Florida.At the time of the transaction, the value of the 10,000 bitcoins was only a few dollars. However, the transaction has become infamous as an example of just how much the cryptocurrency has appreciated in value. Today, Bitcoin Pizza Day is celebrated by Bitcoin enthusiasts around the world as a reminder of the early days of Bitcoin and the community’s roots in experimentation, innovation, and risk-taking. The day is marked by various events and activities, such as pizza parties, meetups, charity fundraisers, and more all centered around the theme of Bitcoin and its potential to create new opportunities for individuals and businesses alike.In many ways, Bitcoin Pizza Day represents the beginning of the mainstream adoption of Bitcoin and the broader cryptocurrency ecosystem.
Learn More About Bitcoin Pizza Day
2010
July 18th, 2010

Mt. Gox Founded

On July 18, 2010, Mt. Gox was founded by programmer Jed McCaleb. Initially, it got its unlikely start as a platform for trading virtual cards in the game Magic: The Gathering, then evolved into a pioneer Bitcoin exchange. Its history was marred by chaos, hacks, and scandals, ultimately culminating in its downfall and the ongoing legal proceedings involving its ex-owner, Mark Karpelès.Mt. Gox, originally mtgox.com, was a platform that exchanged fiat currency for Bitcoin. It was one of the first Bitcoin exchanges, signaling the growing interest in cryptocurrencies as a form of digital value.McCaleb's involvement in Mt. Gox as a Bitcoin exchange was relatively short-lived. Within a year of its inception, he sold the platform to Mark Karpelès, a French-born developer. Under Karpelès' leadership, Mt. Gox would experience both remarkable success and catastrophic failures.At its peak, Mt. Gox was handling around 70 percent of the world's Bitcoin trades by volume in 2013, making it the leading Bitcoin exchange globally. But challenges and controversies soon followed. The first major crisis occurred in June 2011, when a compromised user account led to a sharp drop in Bitcoin's price, affecting only Mt. Gox and resulting in the disappearance of 25,000 bitcoin.
2010
November 1st, 2010

Current Bitcoin Logo Released

Satoshi Nakamoto, the anonymous creator of Bitcoin, initially offered two earlier versions of the Bitcoin logo – the first at Bitcoin’s inception, and then an updated version the next year. However, the infamous Bitcoin logo that we have come to associate with the cryptocurrency was created by an unknown artist using the handle “Bitboy.” The new logo effectively took Satoshi’s earlier creations and improved upon them to create a distinct look for the Bitcoin blockchain. “Bitboy” rendered a white and slanted “B” on top of a bright orange background in a design that reminded many of payment companies, like Mastercard. In a way, the design effectively communicated Bitcoin’s use as a peer-to-peer payment system, but with a digital asset in a trustless infrastructure. To this day, “Bitboy’s” identity remains unknown, exactly like Bitcoin’s very own pseudonymous creator.
2010
March 17, 2010

First-Ever Recorded Price of Bitcoin

March 17, 2010 was the first-ever recorded price of bitcoin at a value of $0.003 on the now-defunct bitcoinmarket.com. This event’s implications – while seemingly minor at the time – would contribute to the gradual emergence of bitcoin as a recognized and valued asset. Bitcoin was conceived as a decentralized digital currency, designed to operate independently from traditional financial institutions and governmental control. The notion of assigning a monetary value to this innovative concept was a crucial step in its evolution. In the years that followed, Bitcoin’s price experienced considerable volatility and fluctuation. As it rose, it garnered attention from the growing community of early adopters, technologists, and investors. Bitcoin's price was characterized by sharp increases and dramatic declines, a pattern that continues to this day.The first recorded price of Bitcoin on March 17, 2010, while modest by today's standards, was a critical step in the cryptocurrency's maturation process. It paved the way for the development of cryptocurrency exchanges, where Bitcoin could be bought and sold like any other financial asset. These exchanges provided a platform for price discovery and liquidity, enabling a broader audience to participate in the Bitcoin market.As Bitcoin's price continues to fluctuate and attracts more attention, discussions, debates, and analyses arose. Economic theories, speculative bubbles, and adoption trends all play a role in shaping Bitcoin's price dynamics. Over time, the cryptocurrency evolved from a niche interest to a global phenomenon, capturing the imagination of investors and the financial industry at large.
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2011
February 2011

Silk Road Marketplace Goes Live

The Silk Road online black market launches and begins its two-year run. Before being shut down by federal authorities in 2013, it would also become significant to the Bitcoin community as it was one of the first real-world applications of Bitcoin as a medium of exchange. Prior to the Silk Road, Bitcoin was primarily used as a speculative investment and peer-to-peer money exchange. However, Silk Road allowed users to buy and sell goods and services anonymously as an alternative to traditional financial systems. It is important to note that due to its association with illicit activities, the Silk Road did, unfortunately, contribute heavily to a narrative that linked Bitcoin with criminal activity. However, the widespread adoption of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies over the years – as well as education about crypto and blockchain – has reversed much of that narrative as more people become familiar with Bitcoin and the digital asset world.
2011
June 2011

First Bitcoin Bubble

The Bitcoin Bubble of 2011 becomes a major event in the history of Bitcoin. While Bitcoin was created in 2008, it wasn’t until 2011 that its price really began to skyrocket. Leading up to June 2011, Bitcoin had been trading at less than a dollar per coin earlier in the year. But by June 2011, it had risen to over $31 per coin. This rapid rise in value was fueled by a number of factors, including increased media coverage, growing interest among investors, and the fact that Bitcoin was still a relatively unknown, untested technology that garnered the interest of many. Shortly after hitting its peak, Bitcoin quickly fell down to just a few dollars per coin. While it’s unclear what, exactly, caused the price crash, a large-scale hacking incident involving the Mt. Gox exchange saw 25,000 bitcoins stolen, which garnered its fair share of media attention and negative sentiment towards Bitcoin, as a result. By November 2011, the price of Bitcoin had fallen to $2. Bitcoin was able to recover in the months ahead, however, though the First Bitcoin Bubble was among the first examples of market volatility.
2011
June 13, 2011

First Individual Bitcoin Hack Occurs

In June 2011, the world was just beginning to comprehend the transformative potential of Bitcoin, a digital currency that had evolved from a tight-knit community of hobbyists into something more significant. This newfound attention also brought forth the dark side of the cryptocurrency world, as it witnessed its first major hack. This event, known as the first Bitcoin hack, saw a user named allinvain lose a staggering $500,000 worth of bitcoins to malicious hackers, impacting the perception of Bitcoin at the time.In the early days of Bitcoin, the community was relatively small, and mining the cryptocurrency was largely a hobbyist's pursuit. Unlike the sophisticated mining operations of today, one could generate thousands of bitcoins using a conventional home PC. This was precisely what allinvain claimed to have done, accumulating a substantial fortune of 25,000 bitcoins. At the time, the value of bitcoins had risen significantly, reaching around $20 per coin in June 2011, which meant that allinvain's holdings were worth approximately $500,000.In his post on the BitcoinTalk forums, allinvain shared his harrowing experience, revealing that he had awoken to a horrifying sight: a substantial portion of his Bitcoin balance had vanished. His initial disbelief turned to panic as he realized that someone had infiltrated his PC and stolen the bitcoins directly from his hard drive. These ill-gotten gains were subsequently transferred to an account controlled by the hackers, leaving allinvain in utter despair.While the stolen bitcoins were valued at $500,000 at the time, their worth today would be an astounding $250 million. This unfortunate incident highlighted the potential for astronomical gains in the world of cryptocurrencies, but it also underscored the risks associated with holding significant amounts of digital assets without robust security measures.The hack that targeted allinvain demonstrated the urgent need for enhanced security practices within the Bitcoin community. This event played a crucial role in driving the development of more secure wallets, exchanges, and storage solutions, ultimately contributing to the maturation of the cryptocurrency ecosystem we know today.
2011
June 20, 2011

Mt. Gox Hacked

On June 20, 2011, the cryptocurrency world faced a significant milestone when Mt. Gox, the world's largest Bitcoin exchange at the time, experienced its first major hack. This event, although relatively early in Bitcoin's history, foreshadowed the series of challenges, mismanagement, and controversies that would eventually lead to the exchange's catastrophic collapse and the disappearance of hundreds of millions of dollars.Mt. Gox initially started as a project by programmer Jed McCaleb, who purchased the mtgox.com domain in 2007 with the intention of creating a platform for trading virtual cards for the game Magic: The Gathering. However, by late 2010, McCaleb repurposed the domain as a Bitcoin exchange, providing a space for users to buy and sell Bitcoin. Mark Karpeles, a French-born developer and Bitcoin enthusiast, later acquired the exchange in 2011.In June 2011, Mt. Gox experienced its first major crisis when hackers targeted the exchange, exploiting a vulnerability to make the price of Bitcoin on the platform plummet from $17 to mere cents in a matter of minutes. This sharp price crash was exclusive to Mt. Gox and did not affect the underlying Bitcoin protocol. The hack resulted in the disappearance of approximately $8.75 million worth of bitcoins at the time.Despite the severity of the breach, reports indicate that Mark Karpeles and the Mt. Gox team were strangely nonchalant about the situation. However, they ultimately took steps to address the crisis and rectify the damage. This incident marked the beginning of a series of security-related challenges that would continue to plague the exchange.Over the following years, Mt. Gox faced a string of breaches, hacks, lawsuits, and scandals. While it initially maintained its reputation as an honest player in the Bitcoin community, the exchange's challenges began to mount. Federal agents seized $5 million from the company's U.S. bank account due to its failure to register as a money transmitter. It was also embroiled in a $75 million lawsuit with a former business partner, CoinLab.By late 2013, Mt. Gox's position in the Bitcoin world had declined significantly, falling from the top Bitcoin exchange to third place. In February 2014, the exchange suspended Bitcoin withdrawals, citing a flaw in the digital currency. As customers protested and inquired about their funds, the exchange's troubles came to a head.A leaked Mt. Gox document revealed that hackers had been siphoning off bitcoins from the exchange for years, leading to the disappearance of over 850,000 bitcoins, valued at over $460 million at the time. Mt. Gox's fate was sealed when it filed for bankruptcy in Tokyo on February 28, 2014, followed by a bankruptcy filing in the United States.Karpeles, the CEO and majority stakeholder of Mt. Gox, found himself at the center of the scandal. Despite owning 88 percent of the company, Karpeles had a reputation for being more of a computer coder than a chief executive. His management style and distractions, such as the ill-fated Bitcoin Cafe project, have been criticized as contributing factors to the exchange's downfall.The June 20, 2011, hack of Mt. Gox heralded a turbulent period in Bitcoin's history. It highlighted the challenges of managing a major cryptocurrency exchange and the consequences of poor security practices. Mt. Gox's subsequent demise serves as a cautionary tale in the cryptocurrency world, emphasizing the importance of transparency, security, and competent management in the rapidly evolving landscape of digital assets.
2011
April 18, 2011

Namecoin Mines its Genesis Block

The first altcoin, Namecoin, mines its first genesis block. It is a cryptocurrency and decentralized domain name system (DNS) that was created in 2011 as a fork of the Bitcoin protocol, boasting some similarities to Bitcoin (including the use of a proof-of-work mechanism). It is designed to provide a decentralized, censorship-resistant system for registering and managing domain names, as well as for storing and transferring arbitrary data. In the Namecoin system, domain names are registered as transactions on the Namecoin blockchain. This allows for a decentralized system where no central authority has control over domain names, and censorship or domain seizure is much more difficult. While Namecoin still has not gained widespread adoption, it does offer a unique approach to managing online identities and information.
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2012
November 28th, 2012

First BTC Halving Event

The first Bitcoin halving event occurs and sets the stage for subsequent halving events. Bitcoin halving events occur every four years or so and cut the reward for Bitcoin miners in half, reducing the rate of new Bitcoin issuance. During this first halving, the block reward was reduced from 50 bitcoins to 25 bitcoins. Many people also claim that the first halving actually had a significant impact on the price of Bitcoin, as many traders and investors anticipated a reduction in the rate of new supply and increased scarcity. In the months leading up to the halving, the price of Bitcoin rose steadily. However, while many people associate Bitcoin halving events with price changes, it is important to note that many factors come into play in determining the price of any digital asset. The purpose of halving events is to ensure that the total number of Bitcoins in circulation does not exceed 21 million, the maximum supply set by the Bitcoin protocol.
Learn more about Bitcoin Halving
2013
May 2nd, 2013

First Bitcoin ATM

The first Bitcoin ATM is installed in Vancouver, Canada. Since this event in October 2013, Bitcoin ATMs have become more common, with thousands of machines installed worldwide. Bitcoin ATMs allow users to conduct Bitcoin-related transactions – most notably between Bitcoin and cash – making it easier for people to enter and exit the Bitcoin market. They are normally automated machines connected to the Internet that allow users to buy or sell Bitcoin using cash, their debit card, or a cryptocurrency wallet. Bitcoin ATMs were built to ensure that Bitcoin-related transactions with cash could provide a convenient, quick, and familiar way for users to engage with the crypto market. However, it is worth noting that Bitcoin ATMs often charge high fees, so it is important to compare rates before using one.
2013
March 28th, 2013

Bitcoin Market Capitalization Exceeds $1 Billion for the First Time

The market cap of the entire Bitcoin network surpasses $1 billion for the first time.
2013
July 3rd, 2013

First Utility Coin ICO

The Mastercoin Initial Coin Offering (ICO) stands as a significant milestone in the history of cryptocurrencies, heralding the dawn of a new era for blockchain fundraising. This pioneering event took place in July 2013 when the crypto landscape was still in its infancy. Mastercoin, later rebranded as Omni, aimed to push the boundaries of the Bitcoin blockchain by introducing innovative features that laid the groundwork for many subsequent blockchain projects.At its core, the Mastercoin ICO was a groundbreaking fundraising mechanism. It was one of the earliest instances of a project raising capital by issuing tokens on top of an existing blockchain, in this case, Bitcoin. Participants in the ICO sent Bitcoin to a designated address and, in return, received newly created Mastercoin tokens (MSC). This approach showcased the potential of token sales as a means to fund blockchain development, setting a precedent for the countless ICOs that would follow in its wake.Mastercoin's vision was ambitious. It sought to enhance the functionality of the Bitcoin network, enabling the creation of a diverse array of digital assets, smart contracts, and decentralized exchange capabilities. This vision laid the foundation for future projects, contributing to the evolution of decentralized finance (DeFi) and the broader blockchain ecosystem. While Mastercoin itself underwent a rebranding and transformation into the Omni protocol, the legacy of its ICO endures as a testament to the pioneering spirit and innovation that characterizes the cryptocurrency space.In retrospect, the Mastercoin ICO was more than just a fundraising event; it was a catalyst that sparked a revolution in blockchain technology. It demonstrated the power of blockchain-based fundraising, inspiring countless entrepreneurs and developers to explore the potential of tokens, smart contracts, and decentralized applications. While the cryptocurrency landscape has evolved significantly since that time, the Mastercoin ICO remains a crucial chapter in the ongoing story of blockchain innovation.
2013
December 18th, 2013

HODL Day

HODL Day is born after a user on the bitcointalk.org forums made a post titled “I AM HODLING” to explain why, despite falling prices, they still intended to hold onto their Bitcoin.This misspelling of “hold” has since become a popular term that refers to the act of holding onto cryptocurrencies rather than selling them in response to short-term price fluctuations. On HODL Day, people in the cryptocurrency community frequently express their commitment to holding onto their digital assets and encourage others to do the same in a way to show support for the crypto space and their belief in its long-term potential.
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2014
February 25th, 2014

Mt. Gox Files for Bankruptcy Protection

Mt. Gox – a Bitcoin exchange based in Tokyo, Japan, that was one of the largest crypto exchanges in the world –  files for bankruptcy. The exchange claims that it lost 850,000 bitcoins – worth approximately $450 million at the time, due to a hacking attack.The bankruptcy filing was the result of the company’s inability to recover the lost assets and repay its creditors. The process lasted for several years, during which creditors tried to recover their lost assets. In 2018, the trustee of the Mt. Gox bankruptcy estate attorney Nobuaki Kabayashi, announced that he had sold a significant portion of the remaining Bitcoins held by the estate to pay back creditors.Despite the sale of these assets, many creditors are still waiting for compensation to this day.
Learn More about the Mt. Gox Exchange
2015
October 12th, 2015

Liquid Launches

On October 12, 2015, the cryptocurrency landscape witnessed a significant development with the launch of Liquid. Liquid, often referred to as a Bitcoin sidechain and layer, introduced a novel approach to enhancing the functionality and versatility of Bitcoin, addressing some of the limitations inherent in the Bitcoin blockchain.Liquid was designed to operate as a separate blockchain, running in parallel to the Bitcoin network. It was developed by Blockstream, a blockchain technology company, and aimed to provide faster and more confidential transactions compared to the main Bitcoin blockchain. One of its primary objectives was to allow for the efficient transfer of assets, such as Bitcoin and other digital tokens, between exchanges and financial institutions.One of the key innovations of Liquid was its use of the concept of "federated pegs." These federated pegs allowed for the movement of assets between the Bitcoin blockchain and the Liquid sidechain in a way that maintained a level of decentralization and security. This innovation enabled users to lock Bitcoin on the main chain and issue Liquid Bitcoins (L-BTC) on the Liquid sidechain, which could then be quickly and confidentially transferred to other users or platforms within the Liquid network.The launch of Liquid was met with interest and enthusiasm from various stakeholders within the cryptocurrency space. Exchanges, trading firms, and financial institutions saw its potential to improve the efficiency of asset transfers and reduce counterparty risk. Additionally, Liquid's confidential transaction features were appealing to users seeking enhanced privacy in their financial transactions.Over time, Liquid expanded its capabilities to support a wide range of assets beyond Bitcoin, including other cryptocurrencies and tokenized assets. This versatility made it a valuable tool for institutions looking to engage in a variety of digital asset activities while still benefiting from the security and liquidity of the Bitcoin network.Liquid represented an important step in the ongoing evolution of the cryptocurrency ecosystem. It highlighted the potential for innovative sidechains to complement and enhance the capabilities of major blockchain networks like Bitcoin. By providing a solution for faster and more private transactions, Liquid contributed to the maturation of cryptocurrency markets and infrastructure.
Learn More about Bitcoin Liquid
2016
January 14th, 2016

Official Release of the Lightning Network Whitepaper

Joseph Poon and Thaddeus Dryja publish the Lightning Network whitepaper to present a protocol for conducting off-chain transactions on top of the Bitcoin blockchain in a fast and scalable manner.The Lightning Network was intended to speed up transaction times and present a scaling solution to Bitcoin’s L1. As such, it introduced the concept of off-chain transactions to ease congestion on the Bitcoin blockchain, as well as multisignature payment channels.The Lightning Network whitepaper presented a compelling case for the use of off-chain transactions to improve the scalability and speed of the Bitcoin network while maintaining the L1’s high level of security and decentralization.
Learn more about the Lightning Network
2017
May 10th, 2017

First Lightning Payment on LTC

The first Lightning payment occurs when developer ACINQ successfully completes a test transaction on the Lightning Network. The transaction is for 0.0001 LTC (Litecoin) and is sent from Zurich, Switzerland to San Francisco, California. Just a year prior, Joseph Poon and Thaddeus Dryja had published the Lightning Network whitepaper suggesting the use of a scaling solution that would enable faster and cheaper transactions on the Bitcoin network by allowing users to open payment channels for off-chain transactions.  The successful completion of the Lightning payment was a significant milestone for the Lightning Network and marked the beginning of a new era for blockchain-based payments. Since then, the Lightning Network has also grown in popularity and usage, with many developers and businesses building on top of it to create more efficient and scalable payment systems.
2017
August 1st, 2017

Bitcoin Cash Hard Fork

The Bitcoin Cash hard fork occurs as a result of a disagreement among the Bitcoin community over the future direction of the cryptocurrency. While many members of the Bitcoin community welcomed the soft fork that created Segregated Witness (SegWit), a group of miners and developers decided on a hard fork of Bitcoin that created a new cryptocurrency. This new cryptocurrency was called Bitcoin Cash (BCH), and was designed to offer faster transaction times fees than the original BTC.Since this date, Bitcoin Cash has undergone several additional forks and upgrades, with most of these upgrades happening primarily on May 15 or November 15 of any given year. While the network continues to evolve and grow, there is still much debate over the merits and drawbacks of Bitcoin Cash versus Bitcoin, making it a contentious point of discussion within the cryptocurrency community.The main difference between BTC and BCH is their block size limit. Bitcoin technically has a 1MB block size limit (4MB thanks to SegWit upgrade), while Bitcoin Cash has an 32MB block size limit. This larger block size allows for more transactions to be processed per block, which avoids congestion to lead to faster transaction times and lower fees.
2017
August 23rd, 2017

SegWit Activation Day

SegWit is activated on August 24, 2017 at 1:57 UTC at block height 481,824, marking the launch of one of the most significant developments to the Bitcoin network aimed at addressing several long-standing issues, such as transaction malleability and scalability. For many in the Bitcoin ecosystem, SegWit's activation marked the end of the block size wars that divided the Bitcoin community, thereby cementing August 1 as Bitcoin Independence Day.Bitcoin, created by an anonymous entity known as Satoshi Nakamoto in 2009, rapidly gained popularity as a decentralized digital currency. However, as its user base expanded, certain scalability and security issues emerged. One pressing problem was the limited block size of 1MB, which restricted the number of transactions processed within each block. This limitation resulted in higher transaction fees and slower confirmation times during periods of network congestion.Segregated Witness, often abbreviated as SegWit, was proposed as a solution to these problems. It sought to increase the capacity of the Bitcoin blockchain by separating transaction data from the digital signatures. This innovation aimed to reduce the size of transactions, allowing more of them to fit within a single block and thereby increasing the network's throughput. Additionally, SegWit brought on several security improvements, making Bitcoin transactions more resilient to certain types of attacks.SegWit Activation Day’s purpose was to implement this protocol upgrade into the Bitcoin network. This process required miners and nodes to adopt the SegWit rules, which would enable the benefits of the new technology. Importantly, SegWit activation was achieved through a mechanism called BIP91 (Bitcoin Improvement Proposal 91), which gained support from a significant portion of the Bitcoin community. This consensus was vital in avoiding a contentious hard fork, a potentially disruptive event that could have resulted in the creation of a new cryptocurrency.SegWit's activation brought immediate relief to the scalability issue that had plagued Bitcoin for years. By separating the witness data from transactions, it effectively increased the block size limit to 4MB, allowing for more transactions to be included in each block. This alleviated congestion and reduced transaction fees. SegWit also improved the security of Bitcoin transactions by addressing certain vulnerabilities, such as transaction malleability. This made the network more robust against potential attacks, enhancing user trust and confidence in the cryptocurrency.SegWit has had a lasting impact on the Bitcoin network. It laid the foundation for subsequent developments, such as the Lightning Network, an L2 solution that further enhances Bitcoin's scalability and enables fast, low-cost microtransactions. The enduring impact of SegWit is seen in the present day, as Bitcoin continues to adapt, thrive, and maintain its position as a leading digital currency in the global financial landscape.
Learn more about Bitcoin SegWit (Segregated Witnesses)
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2018
January 1, 2018

RSK Launched Its Full-Featured Mainnet Network (IOVlabs)

On January 1, 2018, the launch of IOVlabs brought Bitcoin and smart contracts closer to each other. IOVlabs was created to bring smart contract capabilities to the Bitcoin network through the Rootstock platform. Rootstock, often referred to as "Smart Bitcoin" or "RSK," is a Turing-complete smart contract platform that is merge-mined with Bitcoin. This means that Bitcoin miners can secure both networks simultaneously, enhancing security while enabling smart contract execution on Bitcoin's blockchain. IOVlabs served as the development and operational arm of Rootstock, driving its growth and adoption.IOVlabs’ purpose was to enable smart contracts with Bitcoin, a feature previously unavailable on its blockchain. Smart contracts have numerous applications, including decentralized finance (DeFi), tokenization of assets, supply chain management, and more. By launching IOVlabs and Rootstock, the goal was to tap into the vast potential of smart contracts while leveraging Bitcoin's security and network effects.IOVlabs' launch was significant because it allowed Bitcoin to compete with other smart contract platforms like Ethereum. In fact, one of the key features of RSK was its compatibility with the Ethereum Virtual Machine, enabling developers to use Solidity, a popular programming language for Ethereum smart contracts, and enabling developers to also migrate their dApps to RSK. It also introduced a two-way peg mechanism that enabled users to move their bitcoins from the Bitcoin L1 to RSK, along with a token called “Smart Bitcoin” (RBTC), which is pegged to Bitcoin at a 1:1 ratio.The merge-mining approach ensured that Rootstock's security was closely tied to Bitcoin's, making it less susceptible to attacks. This innovation strengthened the overall blockchain ecosystem by enhancing the security of both networks.IOVlabs played a crucial role in fostering a vibrant ecosystem around Rootstock. Developers could build decentralized applications (dApps) on the platform, while users could interact with these dApps using Bitcoin or RSK tokens. This growth contributed to the broader adoption of Bitcoin-based smart contracts.This development not only expanded Bitcoin's utility but also showcased the adaptability and innovation within the blockchain space. Today, IOVlabs continues to play a pivotal role in bridging the gap between Bitcoin and smart contracts, contributing to the ongoing evolution of blockchain technology and its diverse applications.
Learn more about RSK
2020
May 2020

Bitcoin Halving Event 2020

The third Bitcoin halving event occurs on (Block 630,000). Mining rewards were cut from 12.5 bitcoins to 6.25 bitcoins per block.
Learn more about Bitcoin Halving and Halving Events
2021
January 2021

Stacks Bitcoin Layer Launched

The Stacks Bitcoin layer launches to enable smart contracts, DeFi, NFTs, and other additional use cases for Bitcoin. The Stacks project was originally known as Blockstack and co-created by Trust Machines CEO Muneeb Ali and Ryan Shea. The layer features its own programming language, Clarity, and consensus mechanism known as Proof-of-Transfer (PoX). Together, they allow for the execution of smart contracts on the Bitcoin blockchain.
Learn more about Stacks
2021
February 19th, 2021

Bitcoin Hits $1 Trillion Market Capitalization

The price of Bitcoin hits $54,000, effectively taking the cryptocurrency to a $1 trillion market cap 13 years after its inception.
2021
October 19th, 2021

First Bitcoin ETF, Bitcoin Strategy Fund (BITO) Begins Trading

The first Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) starts trading on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) eight years after the Winklevoss brothers filed an application. The ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF (BITO) tracked bitcoin prices through futures contracts that were traded on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) and inspired future institutional adoption of Bitcoin.
2021
November 14th, 2021

Taproot Upgrade Largest Bitcoin Advance Since 2017

The Taproot upgrade activation is successfully achieved, marking the largest advancement to the Bitcoin core following 2017’s SegWit activation. It was designed to enhance the privacy, security, and flexibility of Bitcoin transactions by introducing several important features. The most notable of these features was the ability to combine multiple transaction scripts into one, enhancing privacy and efficiency for bitcoin transactions. Additionally, Shnorr signatures and smart contract functionality improvements were also introduced.
Learn more about Taproot on Bitcoin
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2023
January 21st, 2023

Ordinals Protocol Launched

Developer Casey Rodarmor launches the Ordinals protocol on Bitcoin, ushering in a new wave of interest in Bitcoin. Rodarmor’s protocol effectively allowed unique numbers to be assigned to each satoshi – the smallest unit in a single bitcoin – which enabled anyone to track individual sats. However, it was the invention of inscriptions using Ordinals that really allowed the protocol to take off. Not only could Bitcoin users assign numbers to each sat, they could also create digital artifacts by ascribing content and data to each satoshi as well. What’s more, all of this content was inscribed directly to the Bitcoin blockchain as the process to inscribe content on to sats took the form of a Bitcoin transaction. In short, users could essentially create their own NFTs (though there are key differences between digital artifacts and NFTs) directly on the Bitcoin blockchain itself.This revelation not only led to an influx of people who were keen on obtaining their own Ordinal inscription NFTs, it also renewed interest in the Bitcoin ecosystem. Many pockets of the Bitcoin community were quick to create projects around Ordinals or expand their applications to include Ordinals support. This, in turn, gave new momentum to conversations about building on the Bitcoin blockchain and attracted even developers outside of the Bitcoin community.
Learn More About The Ordinals Protocol
2023
February 1st, 2023

Taproot Wizards Launched - Largest Item to Use The 4MB of Blockspace

A Taproot Wizards Ordinals inscription becomes the largest block and transaction in Bitcoin history, achieving a BTC block size that was just under the 4MB limit.
Learn More About The Ordinals Protocol
2023
March 8th, 2023

BRC-20 Token Standard Launched

Domo creates and launches the BRC-20 token standard.  It initially began as an experiment to implement Ordinal Theory to facilitate the fungibility of tokens directly on the Bitcoin blockchain. Within weeks, the popularity of BRC-20 sent transaction fees on the Bitcoin blockchain soaring, leading many to advocate for the use and development of Bitcoin L2s.
Learn more about Bitcoin's BRC-20 Token Standard
2023
April 6th, 2023

Bitcoin Stamps Launched

The Bitcoin Stamps protocol launches, allowing users to mint semi-fungible tokens and digital collectibles using the Counterparty protocol. These Stamps are stored directly on Bitcoin’s UTXOs, which differs from Ordinals.  The introduction of Bitcoin Stamps made it the third development in the first half of 2023 that demonstrated the expanding use cases of the Bitcoin blockchain, contributing to much of the excitement that Ordinals brought to the Bitcoin community.
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