12 years ago Satoshi Nakamoto started mining the first bitcoins. Here's what happened since then.
August 18, 2008 The domain bitcoin.org was registered at anonymousspeech.com, a site that allows users to anonymously register domain names.
Satoshi left the Bitcoin project on April 23, 2011 by sending the now-legendary-farewell email to developer Mike Hearn explaining "I've moved on to other things. It's in good hands with Gavin and everyone."
When Satoshi left the project, he gave ownership of the domain to additional people, separate from the Bitcoin developers, to spread responsibility and prevent any one person or group from easily gaining control over the Bitcoin project. Bitcoin.org’s code is open source. Final publication authority is held by the co-owners, but all regular activity is organized through the public pull request process and managed by the site maintainer.
To date on GitHub, there have been over 4,400 commits from 245 contributors from all over the world. In addition to this, over 1000 translators have helped to make the site display natively to visitors by default in their own languages — now 27 different languages and growing.
October 31, 2008 At 2:10 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, a link to a paper authored by Satoshi Nakamoto titled Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System was published to the Cryptography Mailing List through a pipermail message service hosted on metzdowd.com run by a group of cypherpunks.
Comments from 260 forum threads, 63 emails, and the original source code can be viewed thanks to the Satoshi Nakamoto Institute’s archives.
January 3, 2009 Block 0, better known as the genesis block is the starting block of the chain. Embedded in this block was the text "The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks". This note references a headline published by The Times and has been interpreted as both a timestamp and a comment on the instability caused by fractional-reserve banking.
January 12, 2009 The first transaction of Bitcoin occurred in block 170 and took place between Satoshi and Hal Finney, an early bitcoin contributor and fellow cypherpunk.
May 22, 2010 Laszlo Hanyecz is known as the first person to use bitcoin in a real-world commercial transaction, successfully trading 10,000 BTC for two Papa John's pizzas. Laszlo famously declared his triumph by posting on a bitcointalk forum page. At the time, the exchange rate put the purchase price of the pizza at ~$25. To commemorate the transaction, May 22 is dubbed Bitcoin Pizza Day.
February 2011 The Silk Road launches. Recognized as an illicit online Bitcoin marketplace best known for selling illegal drugs, the Silk Road handled over $1.2 billion worth of illegal goods and services before it was shut down in 2013.
February 2014 Mt. Gox, the largest bitcoin intermediary and the world's leading bitcoin exchange, announced that almost 750,000 of its customers' bitcoins, as well as 100,000 of its own bitcoins, had been stolen. The total loss represented around 7% percent of all bitcoins available, and worth around $473 million at the time. Mt. Gox suspended trading, closed its website and exchange service, and filed for bankruptcy protection from creditors.
January 20, 2015 Coinbase, a popular Bitcoin wallet and online payment platform, raised $75 million as part of a Series C funding round, making it the largest funding round to date for a Bitcoin-focused company.
December 17, 2017 Bitcoin’s price hit a record all-time high of $20,000 per coin growing by 1950% in 2017.
September 22, 2019 Bakkt, a subsidiary of the Intercontinental Exchange, launches opening the door for institutional investors to take positions on Bitcoin in a federally regulated venue. As of 2020, trading volume in physically delivered Bitcoin futures listed on Bakkt's platform surged to record highs of $200 million.