History of Cryptocurrency.
Cryptocurrency existed theoretically as a construct way before the first digital alternative currencies debuted. Early cryptocurrency proponents shared the goal of applying cutting-edge mathematical and Computer Science principles, theories and alggorithms to solve what they perceived as practical and political shortcomings of “traditional” fiat currencies (what we are currently using).
Cryptocurrency’s technical foundations date back to the early 1980s when an American cryptographer named David Chaum invented a “blinding” algorithm that remains central to modern web-based encryption.
The algorithm allowed for secure, unalterable information exchanges between parties, laying the groundwork for future electronic currency transfers.
About 15 years later, an accomplished software engineer named Wei Dai published a white paper on b-money, a virtual currency architecture that included many of the basic components of modern cryptocurrencies, such as complex anonymity protections and decentralization.
Unfortunately, b-money was never deployed as a means of currency exchange.
The late 1990s and early 2000s saw the rise of more conventional digital finance intermediaries.
Chief among them was PayPal, which made Tesla founder and noted cryptocurrency advocate Elon Musk’s first fortune and proved to be a harbinger of today’s mobile payment technologies that have exploded in popularity over the past 10 years.
But no true cryptocurrency emerged until the late 2000s when Bitcoin came onto the scene.
Bitcoin and the Modern Cryptocurrency Boom
Bitcoin is widely regarded as the first modern cryptocurrency — the first publicly used means of exchange to combine decentralized control (crypto-mining), user anonymity (bitcoin addresses), record-keeping via a blockchain (distributed ledgers), and built-in scarcity.
It was first outlined in a 2008 white paper published by Satoshi Nakamoto, a pseudonymous person or group.
In early 2009, Nakamoto released Bitcoin to the public, and a group of enthusiastic supporters began exchanging and mining the currency.
By late 2010, the first of what would eventually be dozens of similar cryptocurrencies — including popular alternatives like Litecoin — began appearing. The first public Bitcoin exchanges appeared around this time as well.
In late 2012, WordPress became the first major merchant to accept payment in Bitcoin. Others, including online electronics retailer Newegg.com, Expedia, Microsoft, and Tesla followed. Countless merchants now view the world’s most popular cryptocurrency as a legitimate payment method.
And new cryptocurrency applications take root with impressive frequency — Cryptomaniaks has a great look at the fast-growing world of cryptocurrency sports betting sites as just one example.
Although few cryptocurrencies other than Bitcoin are widely accepted for merchant payments, increasingly active exchanges allow holders to exchange them for Bitcoin or fiat currencies — providing critical liquidity and flexibility. Since the late 2010s, big business and institutional investors have closely watched what they call the “crypto space” too.
Facebook’s closely guarded Libra project could be the first true cryptocurrency alternative to fiat currencies, although its growing pains suggest that true parity remains well in the future.
As seen in the trends, it is evident that this means of currency exchange is still available for consumers to transact with businesses and businesses to transact with each other too. Therefore, the technology will have rapid growth and enhancements added to them to cater for the changing times of technology use.
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