It has now been 14 years since the first block of the Bitcoin blockchain was mined on January 3, 2009. Despite a difficult year and a drop in its price, the king of cryptocurrencies continues to make its mark on the world of finance. Let’s take a look back at the past year’s highlights regarding Bitcoin (BTC).
Happy Birthday Bitcoins!
The Bitcoin network blows out its 14 candles on January 3, 2023. The result 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. In the past 14 years, bitcoin has gone from a niche technology reserved for cypherpunks to a digital currency used worldwide. Bitcoin is fast becoming the go-to asset for value transfer on the internet thanks to all the technological innovations that come with it.
💡 Check out our cheat sheet to understand everything about Bitcoin
Beyond the price of Bitcoin, which has fallen sharply throughout 2022 (from $48,000 to $16,700), a look back at some of the milestones in bitcoin development that have taken place over the past year.
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Central African adoption
The Central African Republic adopted Bitcoin as its 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 BTC mined was exceeded on April 1, 2022. Although there are only 2 million BTC left to mine (the limit is set at 21 million BTC), this will happen 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 the halving, a process implemented in the Bitcoin code which, every 210,000 blocks – or every 4 years – halves the production of BTC. When the network launched, one mined block allowed 50 bitcoins to be mined. 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 either fungible tokens, such as stablecoins, or non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
The first version of Taro was released on September 28, 2022 on the Bitcoin testnet blockchain. This protocol is still in its infancy and more features will be added in the coming months.
The Lightning Network is progressing
Bitcoin’s scalability solution, Lightning Network, has continued to grow throughout 2022. At the beginning of the year, the network has accumulated nearly 3,300 BTC, a figure that rises to 5,130 BTC as of December 31, 2022.
In addition, the payment application Cash App (nearly 45 million monthly active users) has integrated the Lightning Network into its services to facilitate payments made in BTC.
Furthermore, the giant MicroStrategy, an American company thirsty for bitcoins that continues to accumulate thousands, has started the development of a platform dedicated to the Lightning Network. Aimed primarily at businesses, this platform is expected to bring new uses to the Lightning Network for e-commerce.
👉 Understand the role and benefits offered for Lightning Network
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A payment method in the making
With all due respect to some central bankers and economists who don’t consider Bitcoin 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 accepting Bitcoin payments as of 2022:
- Vueling: Spanish airline;
- Breitling: Swiss watchmaker;
- Gucci: luxury prêt-à-porter 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 that, without a doubt, should continue in 2023.
👉 Find our complete guide to buying Bitcoin in 2023
The conquest of institutional investors intensifies
The decline in the price of Bitcoin has not frightened institutional investors. Many have continued to work to bring the resource to their clients in various ways.
For example, the leading provider of retirement savings plans in the US, Fidelity, has added Bitcoin (BTC) to its investment options. Since then, Americans can invest up to 20% of their savings account in cryptocurrency.
Also 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, obviously including Bitcoin, since October 2022.
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Bitcoin enters the Guinness Book of Records
The 2023 Guinness World Records has welcomed a new category called “Cryptomania”. Unsurprisingly, Bitcoin is listed there as ” First decentralized cryptocurrency “. Also associated with it is a text that traces the history of its creation. Although it may seem harmless enough, 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 the torch to Gavin Andresen in February 2011, who held this post for 3 years before naming Wladimir van der Laan as his successor.
Although little known, this developer played a major role in creating Bitcoin as we know it today.
👉 What prompted 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 as regards the future evolution of its price and the upcoming 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 rise 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 planned for mid-2024.
That said, Bitcoin is currently experiencing its first global economic crisis, which arose in the aftermath of the 2008 crisis. Therefore, there is no evidence that this scenario repeats 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 up to the year 2025
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