The early days of bitcoin

This post is just a collection of some dates, milestones and curiosities in the early days of bitcoin, that I find of interest.

  • 18/08/2008. The bitcoin.org domain was registered.
  • 31/10/2008. Satoshi sent an email to the Cryptography Mailing List announcing the bitcoin white paper. The mail started:

I ‘ve been working on a new electronic cash system that’s fully peer-to-peer, with no trusted third party.

  • 3/01/2009. Satoshi mined the genesis block and started bitcoin. This day is considered to be the birth of bitcoin. In the genesis block, the next message appears, in reference to that headline in The Times newspaper:

The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks.

  • 9/01/2009. Satoshi announced the first release of bitcoin, v01 in sourceforge.net

Announcing the first release of Bitcoin, a new electronic cash system that uses a peer-to-peer network to prevent double spending. It’s completely decentralized, with no server or central authority

  • 11/01/2009. Hal Finney sent the twit saying he was:

Running bitcoin

  • 12/01/2009. Satoshi made the first bitcoin transaction. He sent 10 bitcoin to Hal Finney.
  • 16/12/2009. Satoshi announced version 0.2 of bitcoin, adding a linux version.
  • 30/12/2009. First difficulty adjustment. The difficulty changed from 1 to 1.18
  • 6/06/2010. Satoshi announced version 03 of bitcoin, including a Mac OS X version.
  • 18/5/2010. Laszlo Hanyecz wrote a post on bitcointalk.org saying he would pay 10.000 bitcoin for 2 pizzas
  • 22/05/2010 Bitcoin Pizza day. First bitcoin payment. Another user of the forum, jercos, accepted and delivered 2 pizzas and the transaction was made.
  • 11/06/2010. Gavin Andresen, announced he had created a bitcoin faucet at freebitcoins.appspot.com that was giving away 5 bitcoin per user.
  • 4/08/2010 Gavin Adresen posts a message indicating that he has to shutdown the faucet because there is some spanish jerk draining the faucet.
  • 15/08/2010. An overflow bug was exploited to create billions of bitcoin. Block number 74638 included a transaction spending 0.5 btc to 2 addreses each with 92 billion bitcoin (2 to the power of 63 satoshis, that added to 0, as the variable in the C++ code is a 64 bit unsigned integer, so the sum of the outputs was lower than the sum of the inputs). Very soon Jeff Garzik spotted the strange transaction and In a few hours, Satoshi corrected the bug and made a post in bitcointalk.org with the patch.

Version 0.3.10 patches the block 74638 overflow bug.

  • 16/08/2010 The new release was deployed and a hard fork happened removing that block and extending the chain from the previous one, 74637. We can check the time between those two blocks in any bitcoin explorer and see that it’s 7 hours.
  • 5/12/2010 Satoshi answered a post of a user that wanted to bring Wikileaks to bitcoin given that they had already get our of PayPal and the US government was already trying to make the same with Visa, MasterCard and the most important US banks. Satoshi said:

“No, don’t ‘bring it on.’ The project needs to grow gradually so the software can be strengthened along the way. I make this appeal to WikiLeaks not to try to use bitcoin. Bitcoin is a small beta community in its infancy. You would not stand to get more than pocket change, and the heat you would bring would likely destroy us at this stage.»

  • 10/12/2010 PC World published an article with the title: Could the Wikileaks Scandal Lead to New Virtual Currency?
  • 11/12/2010 Satoshi commented on that:

WikiLeaks has kicked the hornet’s nest, and the swarm is headed towards us.

  • 12/12/2010 Only one day after the WikiLeaks post, Satoshi posted his last message on bitcointalk.org announcing release 0.3.19, and disappeared from public forums.
  • January 2011: Electronic Frontier Foundation started accepting bitcoin.
  • 26/04/2011 Last mail from Satoshi to Gavin Andresen, in which he said:

 I wish you wouldn’t keep talking about me as a mysterious shadowy figure, the press just turns that into a pirate currency angle. Maybe instead make it about the open source project and give more credit to your dev contributors; it helps motivate them.

  • June 2011: Wikileaks started accepting bitcoin donations.
  • 19/03/2013 Hal Finney made his last post on bitcointalk.org, titled «Bitcoin and me». Long and emotional post talking about his life, his work with Satoshi in the early days and about how was his life after having been diagnosed with ALS in 2009.
  • 7/03/2014 Satoshi made his last communication, as an answer to a magazine’s publication that suggested that Satoshi was a man living in California with the name of Dorian Satoshi Nakamoto. He posted on p2pfoundation:

I am not Dorian Nakamoto

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