At the end of 2013 I received an email, purportedly from the pseudonymous Satoshi Nakamoto, containing an invitation to learn the history of Bitcoin at HistoryOfBitcoin.org. While it’s certainly doubtful that this Satoshi Nakamoto has any relation to the elusive creator(s) of Bitcoin, the approach piqued my interest.
History Of Bitcoin
The site, HistoryOfBitcoin.org, takes you on a sequential tour of some of the most important developments in the history of the five year old cryptocurrency. HistoryOfBitcoin’s journey begins with the murky past of the developer(s) including the filing of a Bitcoin related patent and the registration of Bitcoin.org. Eventually the timeline speeds up, covering everything from early exploits found in the Bitcoin code to the development of pool mining to Bitcoin first reaching parity with the US Dollar. The latest entry, a story covering a Cyprus university accepting Bitcoin for tuition, leaves me wondering what 2014 will look like on the timeline.
While it may not be Forbes or Bloomberg, HistoryOfBitcoin manages to communicate the at times complex history of Bitcoin in an easily digestible manner. Part reference, part entertainment, the beautifully built HistoryOfBitcoin website is an easy to consume outline of history’s largest distributed computing project.
The Attraction Of Bitcoin
The HistoryOfBitcoin.org site helped me realize why I was originally attracted to Bitcoin. Bitcoin stood out in a tech world usually dominated by proprietary software and shiny new gadgets . More of a rough protocol scratched out on cryptography mailing lists and corroborated via IRC channels and old school forums, the original Bitcoin was far from the norm. While Bitcoin has significantly expanded over the last year or so, its roots as an open source and innovative project are likely to reverberate for decades to come.
For an insightful and somewhat tear jerking look into the early development of Bitcoin I’d recommend reading Hal Finney’s post Bitcoin And Me on Bitcointalk.org. For a lighthearted explanation of Bitcoin check out Jon Bringhurst’s fictional depiction of the life of Satoshi Nakamoto.