On January 3, 2009, the Genesis block, or the first block in the Bitcoin blockchain, was created. In the coinbase parameter, there was a simple message: “The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks.” From that one block, Bitcoin was born.
Bitcoin has come a long way from that initial statement by Bitcoin’s pseudonymous founder, Satoshi Nakamoto. The technology is growing up and changing from its early days as a project adopted by impassioned technologists and libertarians to a technology widely researched and used by financial institutions worldwide.
Bitcoin had a rough road ahead of it, as did many early technologies including the Internet. It dealt with newspaper headlines lambasting Bitcoin because of its connection to Silk Road and drugs. Early adopters suffered millions of dollars in losses when early exchange Mt.Gox imploded. “Bitcoin is Dead,” many prophesied.
And yet, as Bitcoin approaches its seventh birthday, we see things changing. It is turning into that curious, wide-eyed technology with ideas as widespread as any normal 7-year-old. Cross-border payments, machine-to-machine transactions, smart contracts, microtransactions, and stock settlements all have been discussed and developed. Nothing is off limits; no question goes unasked.
From the early days of