Ten years ago, the first transaction involving bitcoin took place marking a new era for the global monetary system.
The transaction took place between the pseudonymous creator (or creators) behind bitcoin, Satoshi Nakamoto, and Hal Finney, a U.S. software engineer and long-time cryptographer and cypherpunk. Finney is also one person many suspect as being Nakamoto.
Illustrating his enthusiasm for it, Finney tweeted what is considered to be the first post about it 10 years ago:
— halfin (@halfin) January 11, 2009
Since then the cryptocurrency market and the technology behind it, the blockchain, have grown to new levels, with the creation of new altcoins entering the space.
According to Nydia Zhang, co-founder and chair of the Social Alpha Foundation, a not-for-profit grant making platform supporting blockchain for social good, the industry has changed “the manner in which people connect for commerce, governance, finance and industry without the need for a middleman.”
From cryptocurrency which has redefined how we define, quantify and exchange value, to trustless ledgers that bring databases into a realm of interoperability not possible before, bitcoin and its technology has changed everything, she added.
She went on to note that even though 2018 was a severe trial for crypto, it survived extinction and will continue to grow stronger in 2019. The same can be said of the blockchain, which will “continue quietly and powerfully powering the new internet,” she said.
Reflecting back on the past 10 years, the use of the blockchain and cryptocurrencies has grown from a small entity that only a few knew about to something that is now used in a number of ways, helping to solve real-world problems in various sectors. One of the most notable industries affected is considered the finance sector.
“Cryptocurrencies were the first showcase example of blockchain technology at work, opening the door to new payment practices, while addressing many of the long-standing issues plaguing traditional finance, such as high transaction fees and settlement delays,” said Nick Cowan, managing director and founder of the Gibraltar Stock Exchange Group Limited.
Even though 2018 wasn’t the best year for bitcoin compared to its bull run in late 2017, interest within the market continues. That being said, it may be that increased regulation, advances in technology making it easier for the public to use and invest in as well as greater adoption by large institutions will help to push the space toward mass adoption.
For Angel Versetti, CEO and co-founder of Ambrosus, a blockchain-based IoT system that aims to improve the tracking of products through the supply chain, he believes the space is important now as it was 10 years ago.
We are on the brink of another major financial crisis and possibly a bigger geopolitical cataclysm, and thus the core value proposition of bitcoin as a censorship-resistant and truly limited digital asset that is not subject to control is as relevant as ever.
Versetti added that the crypto and blockchain space will continue to deliver on its core values and benefits because no trust has been lost in the technology. The only disappointed people, he says, are those who got into crypto at the wrong time and are counting their losses. In some ways, Versetti views the industry as the Caribbean in the 17th century, one that is full of riches and opportunities, but at the same time complete with pirates trying to take advantage.
“Now, these are being replaced by more organized groups that are perceived as more “legitimate,” he added. “While on one hand, I don’t welcome the fact that many of the newest crypto and blockcain projects are primarily driven by lawyers and investment bankers rather than by the cypherpunks and geeks who originated the technology, on the other hand, this will bring about more public participation in blockchain in the coming 12 months.”