Happy Genesis Day: Today, at 18:15:05 GMT, the Bitcoin Blockchain Turns 9

bitcoin genesis day

Genesis Day is a Bitcoin holiday celebrated on January 3rd, the day that Satoshi Nakamoto mined the first block of Bitcoin – thus creating the world’s first blockchain. These were the words on the Bitcoin blockchain genesis block, the first block on the blockchain:

“The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks.”

It was mined by Satoshi Nakamoto himself at 18:15:05 GMT and  attached the words to prove that no pre-mining had occurred. The first block on the “block chain,” as Mr. Nakamoto called it. Nakamoto then disappeared a few years later, leaving core developer Gavin Anderson in charge. Today is the anniversary of the creation of the bitcoin blockchain, so let’s have a look at Bitcoin’s past since Satoshi left at the end of 2010.

Happy Genesis Day! A brief look at the Origins of Bitcoin and the path it has taken

“Bitcoin” first appeared in our lexicon on 31 October 2008 on a cryptography mailing list as a link to a paper written by Nakamoto about bitcoin itself. The paper detailed how bitcoin would work, and soon after the release of the whitepaper, the genesis block was mined, and the bitcoin network was online.

Fast forward to 2012, the price at the beginning of the year was $2.00, with the price rising to $13.00 in December. Bitcoin picked up some early media coverage in an episode of The Good Wife – specifically in a season 3 episode titled ‘Bitcoin for Dummies’. Later that year, the Bitcoin Foundation was created. In April 2013, The Pirate Bay began accepting donations in bitcoin.

In 2014, the price passed $1000 for a short amount of time, before falling to around $200 later in the year. The network hash rate surpassed 10PH/s, the network would later pass 100PH/s. And in February, Mt. Gox, a large exchange at the time began to refuse withdrawals, It eventually filed bankruptcy. Leaving a large number of its clients out of any bitcoin that they had stored with Mt. Gox at the time. In July, the US-based online computer hardware Newegg announced that it would begin accepting bitcoin. Later in the year, in December, Microsoft started to accept bitcoin for various services.

Three years ago… In 2015, the price hit a low of $200 and a high of $504, the highest bitcoin had ever been valued at. Coinbase reported in January that it had raised over $70 million in funding. While at the same time BitStamp was investigating a hack of their hot wallet, resulting in a loss of 19000 BTC – now worth quite a bit according to the BlockExplorer Market Data. In August,  Barclays announced that charities would be able to convert bitcoin directly to fiat currency in their accounts. In October, the Unicode Consortium received a proposal to add the bitcoin symbol to the Unicode specification.

In 2016, a slow and steady rise in Bitcoin’s price accompanied rises in transaction fees and volume. In 2017, Bitcoin forked a few times. Now that it is Genesis Day 2018: Let’s take this Bitcoin Genesis Day to look back on the path of the past and plan for the future.

Top 5 Best Performing Cryptocurrencies of 2017

While Bitcoin’s meteoric rise of over 1,000 percent in value has made big headlines, it wasn’t one of the top five best performing cryptocurrencies in 2017. Ripple (XRP) was the highest performing, with a 36,018 percent rise in value. The other virtual currencies in the top five were NEM, Ardor, Stellar and Dash. This ranking compares the value of cryptoassets (both cryptocurrencies and tokens issued on the Ethereum blockchain). The Bitcoin price rise was ranked No. 13.

Ripple 2017 year gain: 36,018 percent

Ripple is a payment system that serves financial institutions. Its technology is designed to enable quick payment options, even across international borders. It launched in 2012 and is self-advertised as having a “five-year track record of stable technology and governance.” Public interest in Ripple increased notably at the close of 2017 as news spread about its growing list of partnerships with traditional financial institutions such as American Express.

NEM 2017 year gain: 29,842 percent

NEM (“New Economy Movement”) launched its blockchain technology and cryptocurrency XEM in 2014. The NEM “smart asset system” is designed to offer many services; it can manage financial assets or store transactions and records such as notarizations, supply chains and ownership records. It can also be used to launch new cryptocurrencies or tokens. Notably, in 2017, Hitachi partnered with Tech Bureau to adopt the NEM-based Mijin Blockchain platform to handle merchants’ membership loyalty programs. NEM’s 2017 growth was 29,842 percent.

Ardor 2017 year gain: 16,809 percent

Ardor (ARDR) is a blockchain platform built on technology from Nxt that launched in 2017. It offers a parent and child architecture in which companies can build Ardor-based services and products on the child chain that are secured by the main chain. Child chain data is “pruned to reduce the size of the blockchain,” which allows Ardor to be fast and scalable. Also, it attributes some of it efficiency to running on a proof-of-stake consensus, which eliminates mining competition. Its value rose 16,809 in 2017.

Stellar 2017 year gain: 14,441 percent

Stellar (XLM) is a global financial blockchain network that focuses on offering quick payment processing and low fees. It was founded in 2014. In 2017, Stallar.org joined IBM and a network of banks to launch a blockchain banking initiative in countries including Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Tonga. Stellar focuses on providing innovative banking solutions and financial access, “in particular to the more than 2.5 billion unbanked people in emerging markets across the world.” It also launched the Stellar Partnership Grant Program in 2017, through which it plans to give out millions in USD grants to organizations who will use its technology to “to improve the financial landscape and promote financial inclusion.” Stellar saw a 14,441 percent increase in value in 2017.

Dash 2017 year gain: 9,265 percent

The cryptocurrency and digital money system Dash (“digital cash”) offers private, instant payments with low fees that are based on a global blockchain network. Dash launched in 2014. It’s value rose 9,265 percent in 2017, when it made headlines for launching a blockchain research lab in partnership with Arizona State University. It also partnered up with digital payments provider, Alt Thirty Six, with an aim to serve “cannabis customers, merchants and vendors,” who are often in need of additional financial programs due to a dearth of conventional banking support.

Following these top five performing cryptocurrencies were Ethereum, Golem, Binance Coin, Litecoin and Omise GO.

Coinbase Back Online After Suspending Trading During Bitcoin Price Panic

coinbase

Bitcoin exchange and brokerage service Coinbase is back online following multiple outages that forced the company to suspend trading on Friday as the cryptocurrency markets endured their worst correction in at least a month.

Seemingly out of nowhere, the entire cryptocurrency market entered a severe corrective phase on Thursday, sending nearly every top 100 coin and token into a tailspin and spurring investors with weak hands to scramble toward the exits.

bitcoin price
Source: BitcoinWisdom/Bitfinex

Unfortunately, many traders were greeted with a message that has become all too familiar when they logged into their Coinbase accounts on Friday:

“Due to today’s high traffic, buys and sells may be intermittently offline. We’re working on restoring full availability as soon as possible,” a statement on the Coinbase website read this morning.

According to the company’s status page, the exchange suffered from two trading suspensions during the height of the frenzy, each lasting approximately one hour.

coinbase
Source: Coinbase

This was just the latest public relations headache for Coinbase, which is far and away the most popular cryptocurrency brokerage service in the US but has struggled to scale its operations to match rising consumer demand.

The company has suffered persistent outages throughout the year, including one as recently as yesterday, but the company has also incurred the ire of some bitcoin diehards for its support of the contentious SegWit2x scaling proposal, as well as its seeming reluctance to implement Segregated Witness (SegWit) now that it has been activated on the Bitcoin network.

Just this week, Coinbase garnered significant criticism for its messy rollout of support for bitcoin cash that saw the company suspend trading just minutes after its launch and many community members accuse employees of engaging in insider trading.

As of 4 p.m. ET, Coinbase’s trading platform had been operational for three consecutive hours, likely because traffic congestion tapered as the bitcoin price leveled out.

After dipping as low as $10,700 on Bitfinex, the bitcoin price appeared to recover to a point of relative stability, and at press time it was trading at a global average of $13,744, according to the BlockExplorer Bitcoin Price Index.

Featured Image from Pexels

Mike Novogratz Shelves $500 Million Crypto Hedge Fund as Bitcoin Price Plunges

bitcoin price

Billionaire trader Mike Novogratz said that he had shelved plans to launch a $500 million crypto hedge fund after the cryptocurrency markets entered a $180 billion tailspin on Friday.

Novogratz Shelves $500 Million Crypto Hedge Fund as Bitcoin Price Retraces

Novogratz, a former Fortress principal, had stated on Dec. 12 that he intended to launch Galaxy Investment Partners “by the end of the week,” rapidly moving up a timetable that had originally planned the fund’s launch for the first quarter of next year. With a $500 million target, the crypto hedge fund was expected to be the largest of its kind.

However, on Friday the long-time bitcoin bull revealed that he had not only not launched Galaxy Investment Partners last week as planned but had also shelved the crypto hedge fund indefinitely, according to a Bloomberg report.

“We didn’t like market conditions and we wanted to re-evaluate what we’re doing,” Novogratz said in a phone interview. “I look pretty smart pressing the pause button right now.”

The revelation of the abrupt reversal comes as the cryptocurrency markets have entered a severe correction following a parabolic run-up. After reaching an all-time high of $19,891 on Dec. 17, the bitcoin price plunged to a nearly three-week low of $10,700 on Friday morning, according to data from Bitfinex.

‘When Insiders Sell It Always Is Important’

Novogratz — who recently predicted that the bitcoin price would hit $40,000 in 2018 — said that he now believes the bitcoin price could retrace as far as $8,000 before resuming its bullish rally.

“Looks to me like a short-term top is in,” he wrote on Twitter. “My hunch is we consolidate between 10-16k for a while. Extreme would be 8k. Bull market isn’t over. Just pausing.”

Elsewhere on Twitter, he appeared to lay part of the blame for the correction on Litecoin creator Charlie Lee, who revealed earlier this week that — to avoid a “conflict of interest” — he had sold his entire LTC balance and donated the proceeds to undisclosed organizations.

“When insiders sell it always is important,” Novogratz said.

Featured Image from Bloomberg/YouTube