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The invention of Bitcoin was probably one of the biggest catalysts to the cypherpunk revolution, and with good reason. The world's first widely-used, decentralized, Internet-based coin, the first in a great family of what would come to be known "cryptocurrency".
Though many people still consider Bitcoin and cryptocurrency in general to be a "bubble", soon to pop and rudely awaken the truehearted investors from their cryptographic slumber, there is no denying that, for the time being at least, Bitcoin is a great tool. But how did it become the commercial powerhouse that it is today?
Invented in 2008 by the pseudonymous Satoshi Nakamoto, Bitcoin was mainly considered a novel curio; an oddity, meant to be collected and stared at by hobbyists but without much real-world use. After the launch of Silk Road in 2011, however, and the first widespread usage of Bitcoin as a currency to buy things other than a pizza, Bitcoin began to boom.
At first, the hardcore BTC purists were angry at the perceived "appropriation" of the coin by illegal cryptomarkets, but soon, attitudes began to change. Bitcoin skyrocketed up in price, hitting the hundreds per coin, then the thousands. At the time of writing, each coin hovers at approximately €55k. Fortunes have been made and lost by miners and investors worldwide. And while the illegal cryptomarkets that intertwined themselves with Bitcoin are starting the slow march to other cryptocurrencies such as Monero, Bitcoin still holds itself as the world's most popular crypto, so much so that any coins other than it are labeled "altcoins".
Personally, I don't imagine that "Bitcoin fever" will abate any time soon, and years from now it'll still be going strong besides the newer currencies, even if only just for retro charm.
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