On April 27th, 2009, the Bitcoin network was launched, Satoshi Nakamoto mined the Genesis Block which contained 50 Bitcoins and 57 transactions.
As time went by, a consensus process among the mining community was used to distribute the remaining BTCs to the miners.
The BTC supply was capped at 21 million in 2009, but it was intended to stay that way for the lifetime of the protocol.
It was not to be changed.
At the start of 2010, Nakamoto quit the project.
Thus, Bitcoin became a non-profit, open-source project. Satoshi Nakamoto left the project, however, Satoshi Nakamoto’s identity remains unknown.
The rest of the team quickly created a Bitcoin forum, weathered the exchange rate crash of May 2010 and Bitcoin soon began to gain traction.
Bitcoins are created by miners who compete with each other using the POW (proof of work) algorithm. Since the start of the 2008-2010 experiment, approximately 21 million Bitcoins have been produced. They are produced in blocks of 1,000 and generally mined every 10 minutes.
The mining process is complex and has been called the most complex computing task ever devised. The creation of the first block uses 50,000 years worth of calculation power. This is the reason that, starting this year, blocks will release 50 Bitcoin less than in years past.
This should increase the block rate to somewhere between two and eight blocks per 10 minutes. Still, it will take a long time for all 21 million Bitcoins to be created.
The emergence of Bitcoin sent ripples of shock and awe around the world.
From the smallest to the largest countries, the financial system in all these countries had been designed with the assumption that all currency would be controlled by a central bank, such as the Federal Reserve in the U.S. (instead of a private company), and that money would be viewed as a commodity (instead of a store of value or a collateral). Bitcoin was a completely different way of doing business.
Bitcoin has become more accepted each year. It is now accepted in more than 100 countries, and that number is growing everyday. The numbers of new bitcoins (the reward for solving cryptographic puzzles for the last block) have been reducing steadily and should ultimately reach zero in 2140 when the last coin will be created.
On November 18th, 2013, Bitcoin celebrated its 10th birthday. Bitcoin growth has soared. There are over 14 million Bitcoins in circulation. This number is expected to grow by more than 3 million more