Blockchain, cryptocurrency; these words have gained a lot of steam over the years now. Now, cryptocurrency is something known by even people that are not so tech-savvy. This is widely as a result of cryptocurrencies being adopted by huge organizations and industry, as well as the attention it has gained from the media.
A lot of people are beginning to see the future and present impact of cryptocurrencies and the role it plays in the future of the economy. Now, that’s about its present and future; what about its past? How were cryptocurrencies birth?
Back in September 1928, a Scottish researcher by the name Alexander Fleming accidentally discovered Penicillin, the first antibiotic that changed the world of medicine. This is the same way cryptocurrencies were invented; by accident.
Before then, a lot of people have tried to invent their own kind of centralized financial system but failed. However, Satoshi wanted a digital cash system where there were no central entities. This gave birth to bitcoin.
Back in 1989, credit cards, paper money, coins, and other forms of currency relied on a centralized kind of operation. This required third parties that needed to be trusted since they are want to profit by introducing charging fees to their users.
So, in essence, DigiCash was indeed the first cryptocurrency. But just like other attempts before bitcoin, DigiCash failed. This was because of a lack of recognition and some internal conflicts.
Well, it wasn’t long after the introduction of bitcoin that other blockchain technologies based on bitcoin’s design modification started to come to limelight. These technologies came with their own unique functionalities and properties, and were called a general name, “altcoin.”
Some of these altcoins offered more anonymity, some offered faster payments, and some focus on the creation of customizable blockchains. The popular altcoins include Ethereum, Monero, Ripple, and Litecoin.
The most popular altcoin and huge competition for bitcoin, Ethereum was created by a Russian-Canadian programmer, Vitalik Buterin in July 2015. This cryptocurrency introduced a new technology known as smart contracts, which allows the processing of complex contracts without the need for intermediaries.
Ethereum also allowed people to build their own tokens using smart contracts; introducing crowdfunding, which is another new use of cryptocurrencies. With this functionality, enterprises can build custom tokens and sell them to fund projects. This is what is referred to as Initial Coin Offering or ICO.
Now, there are more than 2,000 cryptocurrencies that have been introduced since bitcoin, and the list doesn’t seem to be stopping any time soon. Also, blockchain technology has found numerous use cases in different global industries since it is a secure and immutable ledger. Plus, even though it’s still growing, blockchain has the potential of disrupting more industries.
The disruption has already begun; cryptocurrencies are here to stay.