Bitcoin seems indestructible but another cryptocurrency might be about to take its place

Bitcoin was born out of the global financial crisis of 2018, but on the eve of its 10th anniversary the world’s first cryptocurrency may be facing a crisis of its own. Uncertain regulation, technological failings and infighting within its developer community mean another cryptocurrency could be on the verge of taking its place as the world’s leading digital currency.

With a market cap of over $100 billion, Bitcoin has established itself over the last decade as the world’s leading cryptocurrency, yet since its inception more than 3,000 other cryptocurrencies have since come into existence – each attempting to offer something that Bitcoin can’t. After a decade of dominance, experts tell The Independent that one of them may soon succeed.

“A number of clouds now hang over Bitcoin‘s original vision – chiefly the speculation around whether it can make it as a general service for payments,” said Shiv Malik, head of strategy and communications at the blockchain firm Streamr. “But Bitcoin now has many children — cryptocurrencies and digital tokens of all sorts – and they will eventually serve as the basis not just for money, and money transfer but for accessing all sorts of vital digital services in the future.”

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1/8 Satoshi Nakamoto creates the first Bitcoin block in 2009

On 3 January, 2009, the genesis block of Bitcoin appeared. It came less than a year after the pseudonymous creator Satoshi Nakamoto detailed the cryptocurrency in a paper titled ‘Bitcoin: A peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System’

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2/8 Bitcoin is used as a currency for the first time

On 22 May, 2010, the first ever real-world Bitcoin transaction took place. Lazlo Hanyecz bought two pizzas for 10,000 Bitcoins – the equivalent of $90 million at today’s prices

Lazlo Hanyecz

3/8 Silk Road opens for business

Bitcoin soon gained notoriety for its use on the dark web. The Silk Road marketplace, established in 2011, was the first of hundreds of sites to offer illegal drugs and services in exchange for Bitcoin

4/8 The first Bitcoin ATM appears

On 29 October, 2013, the first ever Bitcoin ATM was installed in a coffee shop in Vancouver, Canada. The machine allowed people to exchange Bitcoins for cash

REUTERS/Dimitris Michalakis

5/8 The fall of MtGox

The world’s biggest Bitcoin exchange, MtGox, filed for bankruptcy in February 2014 after losing almost 750,000 of its customers Bitcoins. At the time, this was around 7 per cent of all Bitcoins and the market inevitably crashed

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6/8 Would the real Satoshi Nakamoto please stand up

In 2015, Australian police raided the home of Craig Wright after the entrepreneur claimed he was Satoshi Nakamoto. He later rescinded the claim

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7/8 Bitcoin’s big split

On 1 August, 2017, an unresolvable dispute within the Bitcoin community saw the network split. The fork of Bitcoin‘s underlying blockchain technology spawned a new cryptocurrency: Bitcoin cash

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8/8 Bitcoin’s price sky rockets

Towards the end of 2017, the price of Bitcoin surged to…

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