It has now been 14 years to the day since the first block of the Bitcoin blockchain was mined on January 3, 2009. Despite a difficult year and a fall in its price, the king of cryptocurrencies continues to make its mark in the world of finance. Let’s take a look back at the highlights of the past year regarding Bitcoin (BTC).
Happy Birthday Bitcoin!
The Bitcoin network blows out its 14 candles on January 3, 2023. Fruit of the work of a certain Satoshi Nakamoto, the Bitcoin blockchain was born on January 3, 2009, when the “Genesis” block was mined.
The rest, you certainly know it. Over the past 14 years, bitcoin has gone from a niche technology reserved for cypherpunks to a digital currency used around the world. Bitcoin is quickly becoming the go-to asset for transferring value across the internet thanks to all the technological innovations that come with it.
💡 Consult our explanatory sheet to understand everything about Bitcoin
Beyond the price of Bitcoin, which fell sharply throughout 2022 (from 48,000 to 16,700 dollars), a look back at some of the milestones in bitcoin’s development that took place over the past year.
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Central African adoption
The Central African Republic adopted Bitcoin as legal tender on April 26, 2022. The Central African Republic thus became the 2nd country in the world to take such an initiativeonly 8 months after El Salvador.
The 19 millionth BTC has been mined
The symbolic bar of 19 million mined BTC was crossed on April 1, 2022. Although there are only 2 million BTC left to mine (the limit being set at 21 million BTC), this will occur approximately in the year 2140. In just 14 years, more than 90% of bitcoins have already been mined.
The fact that the production of new BTC slows down over time is the result of halving, a process implemented in the code of Bitcoin which, every 210,000 blocks – or every 4 years – halves the production of BTC. When the network was launched, a mined block allowed the extraction of 50 bitcoins. Today, after 4 halvings, only 6.25 new bitcoins are created when mining a block.
👉 Learn more about bitcoin halving
The first version of Taro
Taro (Taproot Asset Representation Overlay) is a protocol that allows digital assets to be issued on the Bitcoin blockchain. These digital assets can be fungible tokens, like stablecoins, or non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
The first version of Taro was released on September 28, 2022 on the Bitcoin blockchain testnet. This protocol is still in its infancy and more features will be added over the next few months.
The Lightning Network is progressing
Bitcoin’s scalability solution, the Lightning Network, continued to grow throughout 2022. At the beginning of the year, the network accumulated nearly 3,300 BTC, a figure which climbs to 5,130 BTC as of December 31, 2022.
In addition, the Cash App payment application (nearly 45 million monthly active users) has integrated the Lightning Network into its services to facilitate payments made in BTC.
In addition, the giant MicroStrategy, an American company thirsty for bitcoins which continues to accumulate thousands of them, has started the development of a platform dedicated to the Lightning Network. Mainly aimed at businesses, this platform should bring new uses to the Lightning Network for e-commerce.
👉 Understand the role and benefits offered for the Lightning Network
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A payment method in the making
With all due respect to certain central bankers and economists who do not consider Bitcoin as a currency in its own right, the latter is increasingly used for this purpose and continues to conquer companies.
Here is a non-exhaustive list of companies and brands that have been accepting Bitcoin payments since 2022:
- Vueling: Spanish airline;
- Breitling: Swiss watchmaker;
- Gucci: luxury ready-to-wear brand;
- Watches World: purchase-resale platform for luxury watches;
- Tennessee Titans: American football franchise;
- Novelship: Southeast Asia’s largest online sneaker seller;
- and many others.
A trend, which, without a doubt, should continue in 2023.
👉 Find our complete guide to buy Bitcoin in 2023
The conquest of institutional investors intensifies
The fall in the price of Bitcoin did not scare institutional investors. Many have continued to work to bring the asset to their clients in a variety of ways.
For example, the leading provider of retirement savings plans in the United States, Fidelity, has added Bitcoin (BTC) to its investment options. Since then, Americans can put up to 20% of their savings account in cryptocurrency.
Still across the Atlantic, the oldest bank in the United States, BNY Mellon, has been offering some of its customers a custody service for their cryptocurrencies since October 2022, obviously including Bitcoin.
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Bitcoin enters the Guinness Book of Records
The 2023 edition of Guinness World Records welcomed a new category dubbed “Cryptomania”. Unsurprisingly, Bitcoin is listed there as “ First decentralized cryptocurrency “. A text tracing the history of its creation is also associated with it. Although it may seem fairly innocuous, the Guinness Book of Records remains an international reference work.
Bitcoin loses one of its most loyal developers
The main developer and maintainer of Bitcoin, Wladimir van der Laan, has decided to retire from his role after more than 8 years of contributing to the cryptocurrency code. When Bitcoin was created, the role of chief maintainer was held by Satoshi Nakamoto himself. He handed over the torch to Gavin Andresen in February 2011, who held this position for 3 years before appointing Wladimir van der Laan as his successor.
Although not widely known, this developer played a major role in building Bitcoin as we know it today.
👉 What motivated Wladimir van der Laan to leave office?
A colorful year 2023?
What could 2023 hold for Bitcoin? It is obviously impossible to answer such a question, both with regard to the future evolution of its price or the next initiatives that will participate in the adoption of the king of cryptocurrencies.
However, the next halving is inexorably approaching. Since the creation of Bitcoin, its price tends to climb almost a year before the next halving. If this optimistic scenario repeats itself, Bitcoin could therefore regain interest among investors in mid-2023with the next halving expected in mid-2024.
That said, Bitcoin is currently going through its first global economic crisis, which was born in the aftermath of the 2008 crisis. Thus, there is no evidence that such a scenario will repeat itself despite the arrival of the next halvingwhich will halve the number of BTC created when mining a new block, from 6.25 BTC to 3.125 BTC.
👉 Bitcoin (BTC): Vincent Ganne’s scenario until the year 2025
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