If there’s one term that’s taken the financial world by storm over the last decade, it has to be Cryptocurrency. Cryptocurrency over the decade has grown from being dismissed as a mere “fad” to a multibillion-dollar industry, employing thousands worldwide. Created with the path-breaking blockchain technology, Cryptocurrency is democratizing money the world over, and you should pay attention.
If you’re someone still wondering whether to throw your hat in the proverbial crypto ring, we’ve got something to tell you – Cryptocurrency is here to stay. Why? Because governments themselves (India included!) have started taking it seriously, tabling and implementing regulations for its inclusion. With all this chatter around, we’re sure many of you have one question – how did Cryptocurrency originate?
The Beginning: Satoshi Nakamoto – The Pioneer
Cryptocurrencies were first in the news around the year 2008, after the global recession’s infamous debacle. Post that, we can only describe crypto growth as phenomenal. In fact, its growth has been so rapid, countries like El Salvador have allowed it to be used as legal tender to purchase items and essentials.
You can trace the rapid growth of crypto over the last decade to one moment in 2009 when an anonymous group of people called Satoshi Nakamoto introduced Cryptocurrency and its underlying technology – the legendary blockchain. In the course of inventing bitcoin, Nakamoto also created the world’s first blockchain database, which he named “BitcoinDB.”
When creating the ‘genesis block,’ or the first blockchain, Nakamoto permanently placed a brief bit of text into the database to indicate the source of inspiration for the revolutionary technology. Thus, Cryptocurrency was “invented” around the year 2009 and has only soared since.
So, since Nakamoto unleashed his/their revolutionary new technology to the world, it’s taken on a lifeform of its own! From a low of $0 to being valued at a ridiculously high $2 trillion+ cap, many people still say it’s just the beginning.
Cryptocurrency Growth Trends & Industry Performance Over The Last Decade
Over the last decade or so, the evolution of Cryptocurrency has been marked by its increase in value. Here’s a short timeline of the series of events that has seen its growth to become a multi-billion dollar industry:
The Early 2010s:
- In February 2010, the world’s first cryptocurrency exchange known as the Bitcoin market was established, and the first trade happened in April. 1000BTC was traded at $30
- November also saw Bitcoin break the $1000 mark as the US Senate held a hearing on Cryptocurrency
- The month of March 2016 saw Blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies are prominently included in the Chinese government’s five-year plan
- The Bitcoin price surpassed $10,000 for the first time in November 2017, marking a significant milestone
2018 – Present Day:
- The month of January 2018 saw 80% of all Bitcoin being mined.
- The European Union pledged $300 million to the development of blockchain initiatives in April
- Bitcoin celebrates its tenth birthday in October
- December — More than $2 billion has been raised through token sales throughout the year
- April 2019: Bitcoin exceeds 400 million total transactions, a new record
The journey’s been quite an eventful one, and there’s lots more to come! Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other cryptocurrencies are bound to keep surprising and growing with time, and it’s the best place to be in as an investor today.
Bitcoin – A Short Story of Growth
Here’s a short story tracing the evolution of Cryptocurrency over the decade, most particularly Bitcoin. When it started, Bitcoin was worth $0!
The 3rd of January saw the genesis block — the very first block in the bitcoin network – created and made public. A total of 50 BTC are created. The very first bitcoin transaction (block #170) was made on January 1, 2009. On October 5th, 2009, the first Bitcoin course geared at the exchange of the dollar was released: 1 USD is equal to 1,309.03 BTC. The New Liberty Standard stock exchange announces the start of a public offering.
Individuals on the bitcoin forum negotiated the value of the initial bitcoin transactions, with one famous transaction of 10,000 BTC being used to indirectly purchase two pizzas from Papa John’s, which was delivered by a third party.
Growth in Market Capitalization of Bitcoin:
2020 was a great year for digital currency. Investors rushed to crypto coins amid times of economic instability induced by the epidemic, increasing their market value by about 300 percent YoY to $758bn in 2020. A year ago, Bitcoin and other digital currencies were valued at over $1 trillion.
However, in 2021, many major crypto coins hit all-time highs. The largest Cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, controls 45% of the worldwide crypto market cap. According to CoinMarketCap, its price has risen over 100% this year, bringing its market valuation to $1.1 trillion. This implies a 515 percent growth from $178 billion in 2020.
By April 2021, the Bitcoin market cap had risen by over $1 trillion since the summer. Since then, the market capitalization has fallen, hitting 600 billion dollars in June 2021. Total Bitcoins in circulation x Bitcoin price = Market capitalization. Bitcoin’s market capitalization grew from around $1 billion in 2013 to many times that amount in 2017.
For example, the Bitcoin Price Index (the average bitcoin price across major global exchanges) has risen from $367 in January 2016 to over $13,000 at the end of December 2017. 2021 saw it reach a peak of $60k before settling to ~$47,000 today.
Investor Profile in Bitcoin:
Institutions disregarded bitcoin early on as a flashy useless digital asset preferred by criminals. Gradually, the plates of power sentiment moved. Bitcoin, which for a decade seemed to be on a collision course with institutions, has suddenly gained institutional support.
The amazing success of bitcoin relative to every other asset class on the earth has fueled this. The ‘smart money’ is diversifying their portfolios with bitcoin. These days, family offices, hedge funds, and conventional money managers view bitcoin products and services differently.
According to periodic studies, more institutional investors are dedicating a portion of their portfolios to digital assets. According to a recent Fidelity Digital Assets report, seven out of ten institutional investors plan to buy or invest in crypto assets soon.
Here’s how its value has evolved:
|November 2020||$18, 353|
|Current Value (November 2021)||$57,666|
What is the Scope for Growth of Cryptocurrency in India?
As of now, Cryptocurrency is still a hot topic of discussion in the government, but there are talks that India might make Cryptocurrency an asset class.
With close to $6.6 billion invested in Cryptocurrency, India is seeing a steady growth in the number of investors in the space. What started as a tech fad has now seen the country’s citizens wholeheartedly embrace the concept, with multiple crypto exchanges making it easier to access the market too.
India’s cryptocurrency investments grew from $923 million in April 2020 to nearly $6.6 billion in May 2021, a 400% rise.
In the 12-odd years or so after Bitcoin’s genesis block, there have been unimaginable highs and lows, as the advancement of Cryptocurrency and public knowledge of its potential has progressed forward at an exponential rate. While there is no real country that can stake a claim to be the inventor of crypto, it is widely accepted that democratization is something that every nation will benefit from.
Note: The content of the article is for informative purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for investment advice. Should you decide to act upon this information, you shall do it at your own risk. While the information in the article has been verified, it depends on third-party sources too, and CoinSwitch Kuber does not guarantee that there are no mistakes or errors.
Disclaimer : Crypto products and NFTs are unregulated and can be highly risky. There may be no regulatory recourse for any loss from such transactions. The information provided in this post is not to be considered as investment/financial advice from CoinSwitch. Any action taken upon the information shall be at user's own risk.
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