January 12th is a historic day in the Bitcoin history books. On this day in 2009, Satoshi Nakamoto sent the first ever non-mined Bitcoin transaction over the network to Hal Finney. Ever since that time, the Bitcoin network has significantly grown and evolved into a massive peer-to-peer payment system. It is an important time to remember how this cryptocurrency came to be.
January 12th Is An Unofficial Bitcoin Holiday
The first non-mined Bitcoin transaction recorded on the blockchain was between Hal Finney and Satoshi Nakamoto. Although some people have speculated how Hal Finney is in fact Satoshi Nakamoto, that has never been proven. What has been proven however, is how both entities were involved in the first transaction on the Bitcoin network that did not come from a block reward.
Do not confuse this date with the official birthday of Bitcoin, which takes place on January 3rd of every year. It only took nine days to see the first peer-to-peer transaction take place on the network, which is quite amazing. Looking back at things in hindsight, it is this transaction that shaped Bitcoin into how we know it today. A joyous moment, even though Hal Finney is no longer with us to celebrate this milestone.
Hal Finney has always been passionate about cryptography and digital currencies. During his life span, he met some of the brightest minds in these sectors, including Nick Szabo and Wei Dai. Considering how both of these individuals created “earlier digital currencies which served as the building blocks for Bitcoin, it is only normal Finney got interested in the cryptocurrency itself. He even grabbed the software as soon as it became available for download.
Finney started mining alongside Satoshi Nakamoto in 2009, to test the Bitcoin client and strengthen the network. He was the first recipient of a non-mined Bitcoin transfer when Satoshi sent him 10 BTC as a test. It was an exhilarating moment and one that has been recorded in the history books for all time. Once the transaction completed, it allowed Finney and Satoshi to further improve the Bitcoin client and protocol.
Sadly, Hal Finney was diagnosed with ALS not too long after he received the world’s first non-mined Bitcoin transaction. Despite the disease paralyzing him, he seemed to be very confident about the future of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency. In fact, he stashed away some BTC in a safe deposit box before his death, which indicates he felt there was a bright future ahead for this currency.
Fast forward to January 12, 2017 and the Bitcoin protocol has grown into something that borderlines a ‘mainstream’ trend right now. More importantly, the number of daily Bitcoin transactions continues to go up. Earlier this month, over 340,000 transactions were sent in one day. The Bitcoin network continues to expand, which is a positive trend. It is good to remember how things began, and compare it to where we are now. Without people like Hal Finney, Bitcoin would never have become the success it is today.
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