How did Bitcoin come about?
Prior to Bitcoin’s creation, there were several attempts at creating a digital currency or cryptocurrency. Research started in the 1980s with experiments that gave rise to other digital banking innovations, such as debit cards.
The 1990s saw the creation of Digi-Cash and Z-Cash, both aimed to support easy transactions over the internet in the same way users send emails. However, this process of ‘emailing money’ created two digital copies, i.e. a double spend. Emailing a picture to someone creates two copies, one on the sender’s computer and one on the recipient’s.
When Bitcoin was developed, it solved that double-spending problem. It created a unique ability for individuals to transact online in a trusted manner for the first time. The advent of the Bitcoin blockchain meant that transactions were possible in real-time. Transactions are recorded on a secure ledger which cannot be edited.
The financial crash of 2008 spurred the efforts of Bitcoin’s early supporters. There was now a clear requirement for a system that could conduct transactions and allow users to transfer value outside of traditional banking.
Since Bitcoin’s invention, it has inspired thousands of other cryptocurrencies, each with its own unique benefits and features.