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Timeline of Bitcoin

This is a timeline of Bitcoin.


Big picture

Time period Development summary More details
1976–2002 Background research The key advances in public-key cryptography, proof-of-work systems, etc., are made during this period.
2003–2007 Lull? (This is the period during which anyone with sufficient knowledge and insight could have invented Bitcoin, but nobody did.)
2008–2010 Early days of Bitcoin Satoshi Nakamoto's white paper is published, the Bitcoin client is released, and some "firsts" take place, like the first trade for fiat money and first trade for a good. Satoshi Nakamoto is still around during this period.
2011–2012 Continued development Satoshi Nakamoto disappears, but Bitcoin growth continues. Silk Road, BitPay, and Coinbase all launch during this period.
2013–??  ??
2017 Mainstream popularity Bitcoin sees a roughly 20-fold rise since the beginning of the year, growing also exponentially in popularity. Throughout 2017, Bitcoin value would grow from US$900 to almost US$20,000.

Full timeline

Year Month and date Event type Details
1976 The first public work on public-key cryptography is published.[1] Public-key cryptography is used in Bitcoin for specifying ownership of coins.[2]
1979 The Merkle tree is patented by Ralph Merkle.[1]
1991 Haber and Stornetta's paper on linked timestamping is published.[3]:15
1992–1993 A proof-of-work system for email spam is presented.[1]
1997 March 28 Adam Back proposes Hashcash on the Cypherpunks mailing list.[1][4]
1998 Wei Dai's b-money paper is published.[1]
1998 Nick Szabo claims to have had the idea of Bitgold as early as this year. He would only blog about the idea in 2005.[3]:17
1999 Sander and Ta-Shma's anonymous electronic cash system is published. "Satoshi could have integrated some anonymity insights of this approach into Bitcoin, but it is unclear whether he was not aware of this work when he released Bitcoin, whether he was familiar with it but decided not to use these features because of their high computational cost, or whether he consciously decided to leave Bitcoin pseudonymous."[5]:165–167
2001 SHA-2 is first published.[1] Of the SHA-2 family of hash functions, SHA-256 would be used in Bitcoin for "integrity, block-chaining, and the hashcash cost-function".[2]
2002 August 1 Adam Back's Hashcash paper is published. This is the paper cited in Satoshi Nakamoto's white paper.[6] The paper also happens to be the most-recently-published reference in Satoshi Nakamoto's white paper.[7]
2002 December 9–10 An entity x posts to the alt.internet.p2p and newsgroups an "idea of a future with virtual peer to peer banking". This entity is speculated to be Satoshi Nakamoto.[8][9]
2007 May Satoshi Nakamoto claims he starts coding Bitcoin around this time.[3]:18
2008 August Satoshi Nakamoto emails Adam Back, the creator of hashcash, "asking him to look at a short paper describing something called Bitcoin".[10]
2008 August 18 The domain name is registered on this day.[1]
2008 August 22 Satoshi Nakamoto emails Wei Dai. In the email, Nakamoto links to a "pre-release draft" of the white paper and asks when Dai's b-money paper was published, claiming that he wants to know this so he can cite the paper correctly in his own.[11]
2008 October 3 A version of Satoshi Nakamoto's white paper exists from this day.[11][12]
2008 November 1 The first public version of Satoshi Nakamoto's white paper, titled "Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System", is published.[1][13] Depending on the time zone, this is October 31.[14]
2008 November 9 The Bitcoin project is registered on SourceForge.[14][15]
2008 November–December Satoshi Nakamoto sends Hal Finney "an early, beta version [of Bitcoin] for testing". "In test runs in November and December they worked out some of the early kinks."[10]
2009 January 3 The Bitcoin genesis block is established.[16][14]
2009 January 9 Software version Bitcoin version 0.1 is released.[17]
2009 January 12 The first Bitcoin transaction takes place, from Satoshi Nakamoto to Hal Finney.[18]
2009 May Martti Malmi emails Satoshi Nakamoto for the first time, expressing willingness to help with Bitcoin development.[10]
2009 August 29 The first revision in the Bitcoin Git repository is made on this day. However this commit is converted from the Subversion revision control system.[1][19]
2009 October 5 BTC–USD exchange rates are first posted by NewLibertyStandard, where $1 is worth 1,309.03 BTC.[14] "During 2009 my exchange rate was calculated by dividing $1.00 by the average amount of electricity required to run a computer with high CPU for a year, 1331.5 kWh, multiplied by […] the average residential cost of electricity in the United States for the previous year, $0.1136, divided by 12 months divided by the number of bitcoins generated by my computer over the past 30 days."[20]
2009 October 9–12 The channel #bitcoin-dev is apparently registered on the Freenode IRC network around this time. The two sources documenting this have conflicting dates, neither provides a source, and it's unclear how to tell when a channel was registered.[14][21] Discussion about chat logs would only come almost a year later.[22]
2009 October 12 The first trade of bitcoin for fiat money takes place. Martti Malmi (Sirius) sells 5,050 BTC to NewLibertyStandard for $5.02.[18][23]
2009 November 22 Bitcoin Talk, a discussion forum about Bitcoin, is created.[24]
2009 December 16 Software version Bitcoin version 0.2 is released.[25] By this point, Martti Malmi has joined Satoshi Nakamoto a developer with full permission to change the codebase. "Starting in August, the log of changes to the software showed that Martti was now the main actor. When the next version of Bitcoin, 0.2, was released, Satoshi gave credit for most of the improvements to Martti."[10]
2009 December 30 The first difficulty increase occurs, from 1 to 1.18.[26][27][14]
2010 February 6 An early version of Bitcoin Market begins operating.[28]
2010 April–May Mining Laszlo Hanecz (also "Hanyecz") begins mining bitcoin with a GPU around this time. "On May 17 he won twenty-eight blocks; these wins gave him fourteen hundred new coins that day."[10]
2010 May 22 Laszlo Hanyecz (laszlo) reports that he has traded 10,000 of his bitcoins for two pizzas ordered by Jeremy Sturdivant (jercos). This transaction is the first documented purchase of a good using bitcoin.[29][30][31]
2010 July Ross Ulbricht begins the development of Silk Road.[10]
2010 July 6 Software version Bitcoin version 0.3 is released.[32]
2010 July 11 Release of Bitcoin version 0.3 is posted to Slashdot. This is the result of a "campaign to get Bitcoin real press coverage". With the increase in traffic from Slashdot, the Bitcoin website temporarily goes down. Despite "the derogatory comments that showed up under the Slashdot item", this brings in a bunch of new Bitcoin users: "The number of downloads would jump from around three thousand in June to over twenty thousand in July. The day after the Slashdot piece appeared, Gavin Andresen's Bitcoin faucet gave away 5,000 Bitcoins and was running empty."[10][33]
2010 July 18 Mt. Gox, a bitcoin exchange founded by Jed McCaleb, is announced.[34][35] McCaleb had heard about Bitcoin from the Slashdot post several days earlier.[10]
2010 July 18 Mining ArtForz generates "his first block after establishing his personal OpenCL GPU hash farm". Apparently ArtForz announces this date on Bitcoin Talk, but neither source links to it, and a quick search didn't turn it up.[14][36]
2010 July (late) Martti Malmi launches the non-English Bitcoin forum, in Russian.[10]
2010 September 9 The main Bitcoin subreddit, r/Bitcoin, is created. As of June 12, 2017 it has 241,000 subscribers.[37]
2010 October 17 The Freenode IRC channel #bitcoin-otc is established. (Citation gives this date but does not provide a source.)[14]
2010 November 6 Bitcoin market capitalization passes $1 million.[14][38]
2010 December 12 The last post from the "satoshi" account on Bitcoin Talk is from this day.[39]
2010 December 19 Gavin Andresen announces that he is stepping in to do "more active project management for bitcoin".[40][41]
2011 Casascius coins are first created.[42]
2011 January 6 First documented payment for work using bitcoin takes place around this time.[18][43]
2011 February Silk Road, the first modern darknet market, launches.[44] Silk Road is the first darknet market to use both Tor and Bitcoin escrow.
2011 April 16 Jerry Brito's "Online Cash Bitcoin Could Challenge Governments, Banks" is published on Time.[45] Nathaniel Popper calls this "the first mainstream news coverage for Bitcoin".[10]
2011 April (late) – May (early) The final emails from Satoshi Nakamoto are from this period.[10]
2011 May BitPay, a bitcoin payment service provider, is founded.[46]
2011 May 9 The launch of Bitbills is announced. Bitbills are the first physical incarnation of bitcoins, coming in plastic cards that contain the cryptographic information.[47][48]
2011 May 20 The subreddit r/btc is created. As of June 12, 2017 it has 40,000 subscribers.[49]
2011 June 1 The Gawker piece on Silk Road is published.[50][51]
2011 June 14 Gavin Andresen gives a talk on Bitcoin at the CIA.[10][52][53]
2011 June 15 Mining The Bitcoin mining subreddit, r/BitcoinMining, is created. As of June 12, 2017 it has 13,000 subscribers.[54]
2011 June 19 Mt. Gox is hacked, causing the price of bitcoin to drop "from $17 to 1 penny in less than an hour".[10]
2011 July 26 The Polish exchange site Bitomat temporarily goes offline.[55] It would later be announced that the private keys belonging to customers' Bitcoin addresses were accidentally deleted.[10]
2011 July 29 The bitcoin wallet service MyBitcoin shuts down. "The founder of the site, a man who called himself Tom Williams, was unresponsive and soon enough all the wallets were frozen."[10][56][57]
2011 August 19 The first Bitcoin Improvement Proposal (BIP) is submitted, explaining what a BIP is.[58][59]
2011 August (late) Conference The Bitcoin Conference & World Expo NYC 2011, organized by Bruce Wagner of The Bitcoin Show, takes place.[10]
2011 September 23 Software version Bitcoin version 0.4.0 is released.[60]
2011 November 21 Software version Bitcoin-Qt version 0.5.0 is released. "The major change for this release is a completely new graphical that uses the Qt user interface toolkit."[61]
2012 March 30 Software version Bitcoin-Qt version 0.6.0 is released.[62]
2012 April 24 Satoshi Dice (now called MegaDice), a betting site, is announced on Bitcoin Talk by Erik Voorhees.[63][64]
2012 May 30 The Bitcoin Magazine subreddit, r/BitcoinMagazine, is created. As of June 12, 2017 it has 788 subscribers.[65]
2012 June Coinbase, a digital asset exchange company that operates exchanges of Bitcoin (among other digital currencies), is founded.[66][67]
2012 September 27 The Bitcoin Foundation is founded.[68][51]
2012 September 17 Software version Bitcoin-Qt version 0.7.0 is released.[69]
2012 November 15 begins accepting bitcoins for the purchase of upgrades.[18][70]
2013 Mining The Bitcoin startup 21 is founded as 21e6. The company produces specialized bitcoin mining chips and also works toward the mass adoption of bitcoin by "building bitcoin products for the general public".[71][10]
2013 January 31 Mining The first application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) designed for Bitcoin mining are shipped.[51]
2013 February 14 The social news aggregation website Reddit begins accepting bitcoins for the purchase of reddit gold (reddit's premium membership).[18][72][73]
2013 February 15 The subreddit r/Jobs4Bitcoins is created. As of June 12, 2017 it has 12,000 subscribers.[74]
2013 February 19 Software version Bitcoin-Qt version 0.8.0 is released. "This is a major release designed to improve performance and handle the increasing volume of transactions on the network."[75]
2013 March 3 Conference A secretive technology conference for "tech-industry power players" takes place. At the conference, Wences Casares introduces or explains Bitcoin to business leaders including Reid Hoffman, Michael Ovitz, and Henry Blodget.[10][76]
2013 March 6 The subreddit r/BitcoinBeginners is created. As of June 12, 2017 it has 14,000 subscribers.[77]
2013 March 12 An unexpected fork of the Bitcoin blockchain occurs due to a newer version of the Bitcoin client accepting a particular block that older versions of the client reject.[78][79][80]
2013 March 18 Regulation The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) releases guidance on using virtual currencies.[81][51]
2013 March 28 Bitcoin market capitalization passes $1 billion.[82][14]
2013 April 11 The subreddit r/BitcoinMarkets is created. As of June 12, 2017 it has 34,000 subscribers.[83]
2013 May 7 Coinbase announces "the largest funding round to date for a Bitcoin startup, a $5 million investment led by Union Square Ventures".[84][51]
2013 May 14 The Dwolla account belonging to Mt. Gox is frozen due to a seizure warrant issued by the Department of Homeland Security.[85][86][51]
2013 May 17 Conference The first official Bitcoin conference takes place in San Jose.[51]
2013 July 23 Trendon T. Shavers is "sued by the Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday and accused of running a fund that collected bitcoins from investors, promising them 7 percent weekly returns".[87]
2013 September 26 SecondMarket begins raising money for the Bitcoin Investment Trust, an investment fund holding only bitcoins.[88]
2013 November 1 The initial version of "Majority is not Enough: Bitcoin Mining is Vulnerable" by Eyal and Sirer is uploaded to the preprint repository arXiv.[89] The paper is announced on the authors' blog on November 4.[90] The paper receives coverage on Vice,[91] Bitcoin Magazine,[92] and Bitcoin Talk.[93][51]
2013 November 18 Regulation "Federal officials indicate at a Senate hearing on Nov. 18 that such digital currency networks offer real benefits for the financial system even as they acknowledge that new forms of digital money have provided avenues for money laundering and illegal activity."[94]
2013 November 20 The University of Nicosia in Cyprus becomes the first university to accept payment for tuition in bitcoin.[51][95][96]
2014 January 9 becomes the first major online retailer to accept payments in bitcoin.[97][51] In December 2013 the company had announced that it was preparing to accept bitcoin.[98]
2014 January 26 Charlie Shrem is arrested. He is accused of using his company, BitInstant, to "knowingly convert money into virtual currency for people interested in buying narcotics on the Silk Road site" and of buying drugs on Silk Road.[99]
2014 February 7 The bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox halts all bitcoin withdrawals.[100]
2014 February 10 The February 10, 2014 flash crash occurs on the BTC-e exchange.[101]
2014 March 19 Software version Bitcoin Core version 0.9.0 is released. This is the first version using the name "Bitcoin Core" rather than "Bitcoin-Qt". The release announcement states: "To reduce confusion between Bitcoin-the-network and Bitcoin-the-software we have renamed the reference client to Bitcoin Core."[102]
2014 March 25 Regulation In its first substantive ruling on cryptocurrencies, the Internal Revenue Service states that Bitcoin will be treated as property for tax purposes.[103][104]
2014 May 15 The DOS Stoned incident occurs.[105]
2014 August 11 The United States Consumer Financial Protection Bureau begins taking complaints about Bitcoin.[106][107]
2014 September 18 Coin Center, a non-profit group focused on cryptocurrency research and advocacy, is established.[108]
2015 February 16 Software version Bitcoin Core version 0.10.0 is released.[109]
2015 June 4 Regulation Coinbase suspends operations in Wyoming due to a regulatory legislation.[110]
2015 July 12 Software version Bitcoin Core version 0.11.0 is released.[111]
2015 August 8 Regulation The BitLicense, a business license for virtual currency activities, comes into effect in New York. The regulation causes numerous bitcoin companies to suspend operations in New York.[112]
2015 October 8 Gemini, the digital currency exchange started by the Winklevoss twins, begins trading.[113]
2015 December 16 A working group under the Financial System Council has compiled a draft proposal on regulations for virtual currencies that are traded on the Internet".[114]
2016 February 23 Software version Bitcoin Core version 0.12.0 is released.[115]
2016 August 2 The Bitfinex hack is first announced.[116]
2016 August 23 Software version Bitcoin Core version 0.13.0 is released.[117]
2016 November 17 Regulation The Internal Revenue Service sends a request (a John Doe summons) to Coinbase "asking for the records of all customers who bought virtual currency from the company from 2013 to 2015".[118]
2016 December The inaugural issue of Ledger, the first peer-reviewed academic journal dedicated to cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies, is published.[119]
2017 January 1 As of the start of 2017, thirteen US states have "clearly defined positions and/or regulations in regards to the blockchain and digital currency industry".[120]
2017 February 27 Coinbase announces that it will stop serving customers in Hawaii due to a regulatory change that requires the company to "hold cash reserves equal to any digital currency-denominated funds held for its customers".[121]
2017 March 8 Software version Bitcoin Core version 0.14.0 is released.[122]
2017 March 10 Regulation The United States Securities and Exchange Commission rejects the Winklevoss twins' application for an exchange-traded fund tied to the price of Bitcoin.[123][124]
2017 April Regulation The cryptocurrency exchange Poloniex announces it is suspending services in Washington State.[125]
2017 April 1 Regulation A Japanese law that brings bitcoin exchanges under anti-money laundering and know your customer rules as well as recognizing bitcoin as a form of prepaid payment instrument comes into effect.[126][127]
2017 June 13 Regulation Gemini, the digital currency exchange started by the Winklevoss twins, begins operating in Washington State after it is granted a license to do so.[128]
2017 July 20 Bitcoin Improvement Proposal 91, to trigger Segregated Witness (SegWit) activation, is locked in.[129]
2017 August 1 A hard fork of bitcoin known as Bitcoin Cash occurs on this day.[130]
2017 August 2 Bitcoin cash is already the third most valuable cryptocurrency –with a market value of US$7.6 billion, after Bitcoin (US$44.4 billion MV) and Ethereum (US$21 billion MV).[131]
2017 dts Valuation Bitcoin reaches record high valuation of US$3,000 per coin.[132]
2017 August 13 Valuation Bitcoin breaks the US$4,000 mark.[133]
2017 August 15 Blockstream, a Bitcoin software company, announces the launch of its Blockstream Satellite network, aimed at broadcasting bitcoin to people just about anywhere in the world irrespective of their internet connection — for free. The launch is expected to make the cryptocurrency more accessible to almost anyone, even in places where data costs are high and living standards and incomes are low.[134][135][136][137][138]
2017 August 17 Australia announces plan to strengthen its anti-money laundering laws and regulate digital currencies such as Bitcoin, following a similar move by Japan.[139][140][141]
2017 September 2 Valuation Bitcoin's price rises above US$5,000 for the first time.[142][143]
2017 September 8 Russia’s Finance Minister Anton Siluanov announces plan to regulate the circulation of bitcoin and other crypto-currencies involving Russian citizens and firms.[144][145][146]
2017 September 29 Japan's Financial Services Agency (FSA) issues operating licenses to 11 bitcoin exchanges.[147][148]
2017 October 11 The Central Bank of Russia announces it would support moves to block websites dealing in bitcoin and other virtual currencies, amidst declarations of President Vladimir Putin denouncing the cryptocurrency as risky and used by criminals.[149][150]
2017 October 16 IBM and a network of banks begin using digital currency and blockchain software to move money across borders throughout the South Pacific.[151]
2017 October 20 Valuation Bitcoin breaks above US$6,000, and around $100 billion in total market value for the first time.[152][153]
2017 November 2 Valuation Bitcoin surpasses the US$7,000 mark for the first time.[154][155][156]
2017 November 29 Valuation Bitcoin value reaches US$10,000 for the first time, a more than 10-fold increase in value over the course of the year.[157][158][159]
2017 December 1 Policy Unites States regulator Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) announces it would let the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and Chicago Board Options Exchange trade in Bitcoin-related financial contracts. The news would render Bitcoin valuation rise further.[160][161][162][163]
2017 December 17 Valuation CoinDesk Bitcoin price index reaches an all-time high of $19,783.21.[164][165][166][167][168]
2017 December 28 Policy South Korea’s government announces imposition of additional measures to regulate speculation in cryptocurrency trading within the country. This would unleash a negative impact on Bitcoin's valuation across the globe.[169][170]
2018 January 17 Valuation Bitcoin price falls to as low as $9,199.59, half its peak price, falling almost 19 percent within 24 hours, after Chinese authorities say they will strengthen a ban put in place late in 2017 to prevent its citizens from using cryptocurrency exchanges.[171][172][173][174][175]
2018 January 31 Mining Within its semiconductor business called Foundry, Samsung starts mass producing bitcoin mining chips in partnership with an unidentified Chinese mining company.[176][177][178][179][180]
2018 January 31 Policy Facebook bans people entirely from advertising bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies amid fears they are used for fraud.[181][182][183][184]
2140 Mining The last bitcoin will be mined around this year due to block reward halving.[185][186]

Mentions on Google Scholar

The following table summarizes per-year mentions on Google Scholar.

Year bitcoin (Lopp)[187] blockchain (Lopp)[188] bitcoin (as of June 12, 2017)[189] blockchain (as of June 12, 2017)[190]
2009 83 97 54
2010 136 213 84 44
2011 218 224 252 55
2012 424 311 476 104
2013 1,390 477 1,480 208
2014 3,190 956 3,620 640
2015 3,670 1,440 3,470 1,140
2016 3,580 2,190 4,900 2,500
2017 1,920 1,760

GitHub repositories

The following table summarizes cumulative repositories on GitHub.[191]

Year Cumulative repositories
2009 0
2010 28
2011 370
2012 638
2013 2,184
2014 4,572
2015 6,884
2016 9,321

Meta information on the timeline

How the timeline was built

Funding information for this timeline is available.

What the timeline is still missing

Timeline update strategy

See also

External links


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