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By Lucas Nuzzi
Posted December 5, 2019
2010 - Satoshi decentralizes Bitcoin by leaving his leadership role as its creator, and never again commenting on its development.
The Bitcoin community self-organizes, and begins to grow into new type of global institution.
2011 - The Silk Road showcases one of the biggest virtues of Bitcoin; it can’t be censored or confiscated. A drawback? It’s not private.
The Mt. Gox fiasco highlights infrastructural deficiencies; the lack of secure custody standards and the systemic risks imposed by exchanges.
2012 - BIP23 formalizes the concept of mining pools, an emerging structure that further decentralizes the power structures within Bitcoin.
BIP32 introduces HD keys & sets a new standard for Bitcoin custody and user onboarding via safer wallets.
2013 - BIP39 introduces mnemonic keys to Bitcoin.
➡️➡️For the first time in human history, you can store your wealth in your brain by memorizing 12 words. No centralized intermediaries needed. ⬅️⬅️
2014 - BIP42 makes it impossible for Bitcoin’s 21M cap to be infringed upon via continuous mining.
Mining industrializes and hashrate surpasses 100 PH/s for the first time.
Meanwhile, pundits claim Bitcoin is dead and that the future is “blockchain, the miraculous database”
2015 - On-chain volume hits an all time high and tensions are visible. The power structures in Bitcoin are tested with 9 competing block-size-increase BIPs.
We faced the question: Who controls Bitcoin?
Miners?❌ Developers?❌ Personalities? ❌ Users ✅
2016 - “The Bitcoin Lightning Network” is published.
As the risks of on-chain scaling become clear, promising alternatives like Lightning show that a layered, backwards-compatible approach to technological innovation is possible.
BIP114 introduces MAST and minds are blown. 🤯
2017 (a) - The global speculative bubble brings Bitcoin to the masses. Orange Bs can be seen everywhere.
Infrastructure is being pushed on all fronts; custody, markets, wallets, education.
Bitcoin becomes a liquid asset on a global scale. 🌎
2017 (b) - One of the most important events in Bitcoin history also takes place in ‘17: the SegWit2X fork.
There’s an attempt to highjack Bitcoin with plenty of enterprise support: the ultimate stress test of Bitcoin governance
USAF reinforces that users are the ones in charge
2018 - “Enterprise Blockchain” is now a sad meme.
The ecosystem outside of Bitcoin faces a series of hard realizations:
Scaling is hard, on-chain governance is flawed, deployment takes time, and you might have broken the law.
Institutions converge on BTC.
2019 - Bitcoin is now a movement with representatives everywhere; in media, government, traditional finance, tech. It’s like Fight Club, but rule #1 to only talk about it.
Bitcoin started this decade on the fringes.
We now have a bitcoiner in a US state senate.
Bitcoin had everything to die in multiple occasions over the course of this decade… it didn’t.
Its power structures were tested over and over again. Yet, here we are.
Who would’ve thought a leaderless system that converts electricity into money would’ve lasted this long?
As we approach a new decade of social anxieties, geopolitical tension and crazy monetary policy, you can be sure Bitcoin will still be here. There’s no way to put the genie back in the bottle.
I think Hal would’ve been proud. You too should start: