Cryptocurrency - definition
A cryptocurrency (or crypto currency) is a digital asset. The aim of a cryptocurrency is to became a medium of exchange for goods and services, as a real currency (FIAT). The cryptocurrency uses strong cryptography to
- secure financial transactions and assett transfer
- control the creation of additional units
- and verify the transfer of assets.
Blockchain - definition
Cryptocurrencies use decentralized control as opposed to centralized digital currency and central banking systems. The decentralized control of each cryptocurrency works through distributed blockchain, that serves as a public financial transaction database.
Altcoins - definition
At the time of writing this text, more than 6.000 cryptocurrency have been identified. Bitcoin, relased in 2009, is the most important and the oldest cryptocurrency. Cryptocurrencies other than Bitcoin are grouped as altcoins (menaing is alternative to Bitcoin coins).
Brief history of the cryptocurrency
The event that origins the history is placed in october 2008, when appeared an anonymous site bitcoin.com. The first document appeared in the summer and in november the project was registered in SourgeForge. Bitcoin creators operated under the pseudonym of Satoshi Nakamoto (in japanese means source, origin). The main features of the p2p electronic asset were:
- anonymous and public transactions
- decentralized authority and bank-free sstem
The 3 january of 2009 the first block was generated, the first transaction happened the 12 january and the comunication to the public of the asset value was diffused in october 2009. One dollar corresponded to 1,309 BTC (one thousand and 3 hundred BTC).
In 2010 a lot of events occurred:
- birth of the first bitcoin market service. BTC passed from 0.008 $ to 0.08 $ in spring
- birth of MtGox in the summer: fiat to BTC exchange was a reality
- birth of the first minig pool in the summer
- diffusion of transactions through alternative channels, like smartphones
In 2011 BTC rised to 1$ value and:
- articles about bitcoin started to appear on main newspapers and specialized magazines
- BTC network was subjected to steal and a series of Hacker attacks, MtGox was attacked and closed for one week
- Deepweb (or darknet) started to accept BTC payments for illegal activities, as Wikileaks
In the same year we assist to the birth of Ethereum, the second cryptocurrency based on blockchain.
In 2012 we can assist to the birth of the bitcoin foundation. The 2013 is the year of the bitcoin value race: after the 1000 $ breach, China, Norway and many other nations forbade BTC trading. Insitutions tried to stop the cryptocurrency ecosystems but with limited success. In 2014 MtGox was hacked a second time and closed definitively with huge losses for the users. But BTC survived to itself until today, being the first cryptocurrency in terms of age, market cap and diffusion.