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A Brief History Of Cryptocurrencies

Taking a quick look at how cryptocurrencies came into being, it is essential to understand the economics behind them. In this section, we will briefly discuss the history of cryptocurrencies.


As we all know, Bitcoin is the most popular cryptocurrency, and the oldest too. It was first introduced in 2008 through a white paper published by Satoshi Nakamoto, a pseudonymous group or a person. In 2009, it was released to the public and was received with much enthusiasm by a group of supporters who soon started mining the currency (Cryptocurrency mining has been explained in Section 6 of this module).


By the end of 2010, dozens of other cryptocurrencies appeared in the market, the most popular among them being Litecoin. Bitcoin started to be exchanged publicly around this time as well.


Soon, companies such as WordPress, Expedia and Microsoft started accepting payment in Bitcoins. This medium of exchange slowly started gaining popularity with more and more companies accepting payment through it.


Thus, the value of bitcoins started to rise. However, a turning point came in 2017 when the prices of Bitcoins shot up radically, attracting the world’s attention to Cryptocurrencies.


The figure below shows the historical price movement of Bitcoins from 2013 till Dec 2021. The sharp rise in prices in 2017 and 2020 can be visibly noticed here. This price rise has turned multiple Bitcoin holders into millionaires.


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