Twelve years ago today the time had come: The Bitcoin Blockchain was brought to life by its inventor Satoshi Nakamoto. The first transaction on the Bitcoin blockchain was initiated on January 3, 2009. Its unknown inventor had written a message in the first Bitcoin block, the so-called Genesis block.
At the time, nobody could have imagined what became of it 12 years later
With all the reports about the rising Bitcoin price, some might overlook the fact that the number 1 crypto currency is celebrating a kind of birthday today. 12 years ago or to put it another way: 664,278 blocks ago Satoshi Nakamoto created the first block with 50 BTC at the time. That was the beginning for the oldest and most successful blockchain in the world, which today claims a market capitalization of over 600 billion US dollars.
The anonymous inventor launched the Bitcoin network just two months after the Bitcoin whitepaper was published. In the whitepaper, which he published on October 31, 2008, he explained how the new monetary system works. Around two months later, the theory turned into practice.
In block zero, i.e. the Genesis block, a message was also hidden with the first transaction:
The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks
This news relates to the cover story of The London Times newspaper of the same name. For many crypto enthusiasts, the reference is clear. You see in this message a criticism of the current banking and financial system hidden. After all, in the wake of the financial crisis, there were bank bailouts and major social unrest.
The London Times, January 3, 2009
With the narrative “Be your own bank”, the Bitcoin phenomenon has become an antagonist of the existing, centralized banking system. Libertarian circles in particular see Bitcoin as an opportunity for a monetary system that does without the state and banks.
What happened to Bitcoin
As successful as Bitcoin is and its price is climbing one all-time high after another, Bitcoin is now more than ever in the hands of traditional financial players. It is now just as much institutional investors as private individuals who hold Bitcoin as an asset. In the course of this, states and regulatory authorities are creating regulatory guard rails for the former “Cypherpunk money”.
Bitcoin has established itself not as a currency, but as a store of value. The fact that digital gold protects purchasing power is now seen as the primary use case of Bitcoin. The payment function in the sense of a currency has long been secondary. The deflationary nature of Bitcoin goes against the original goal of creating a currency more than it serves it.
However, this in no way diminishes the added value that Satoshi Nakamoto brought into the world 12 years ago. The countless billions pouring into Bitcoin every day show that there is a demand for a digital safe haven that cannot be manipulated by central banks and states.