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The Bitcoin Origins (1) - The beginning to 2009

Other parts of series:
The Bitcoin Origins (0) - Pre-bitcoin
The Bitcoin Origins (1) - The beginning to 2009
The Bitcoin Origins (2) - 2010
The Bitcoin Origins (3) - 2011
The Bitcoin Origins (4) - 2012
The Bitcoin Origins (5) - 2013
The Bitcoin Origins (6) - 2014
The Bitcoin Origins (7) - 2015
The Bitcoin Origins (8) - 2016
The Bitcoin Origins (9) - 2017
The Bitcoin Origins (10) - 2018
The Bitcoin Origins (11) - 2019
The Bitcoin Origins (12) - 2020


Neo and Morfeus

"It might make sense just to get some in case it catches on. If enough people think the same way, that becomes a self fulfilling prophecy." --Satoshi Nakamoto

Satoshi Nakamoto registered domain name at

Bitcoin white paper
Bitcoin white paper
Satoshi Nakamoto published bitcoin white paper.

Bitcoin on SourceForge
Bitcoin project has been registered at

2009-01-03 18:15:05 GMT
The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks
Genesis block
First bitcoin block mined.
Coinbase contain following text: "The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks"
(Image via

Bitcoin v0.1
Bitcoin v0.1 was released.

Tweet - Hal Finney
Tweet - Hal Finney (@halfin)
"Running bitcoin"

Bitcoin v0.1 Alpha release notes
Satoshi introduced bitcoin on mailing list

Release notes for Bitcoin v0.1 Alpha

Bitcoin is 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.

You can find screenshots and the download link at:

Windows only for now. Open source C++ code is included.

- Unpack the files into a directory
- It automatically connects to other nodes

If you can keep a node running that accepts incoming connections,
you'll really be helping the network a lot. Port 8333 on your
firewall needs to be open to receive incoming connections.

The software is still alpha and experimental. There's no guarantee
the system's state won't have to be restarted at some point if it
becomes necessary, although I've done everything I can to build in
extensibility and versioning.

You can get coins by getting someone to send you some, or turn on
Options->Generate Coins to run a node and generate blocks. I made
the proof-of-work difficulty ridiculously easy to start with, so
for a little while in the beginning a typical PC will be able to
generate coins in just a few hours. It'll get a lot harder when
competition makes the automatic adjustment drive up the difficulty.
Generated coins must wait 120 blocks to mature before they can be

There are two ways to send money. If the recipient is online, you
can enter their IP address and it will connect, get a new public
key and send the transaction with comments. If the recipient is
not online, it is possible to send to their Bitcoin address, which
is a hash of their public key that they give you. They'll receive
the transaction the next time they connect and get the block it's
in. This method has the disadvantage that no comment information
is sent, and a bit of privacy may be lost if the address is used
multiple times, but it is a useful alternative if both users can't
be online at the same time or the recipient can't receive incoming

Total circulation will be 21,000,000 coins. It'll be distributed
to network nodes when they make blocks, with the amount cut in half
every 4 years.

first 4 years: 10,500,000 coins
next 4 years: 5,250,000 coins
next 4 years: 2,625,000 coins
next 4 years: 1,312,500 coins

When that runs out, the system can support transaction fees if
needed. It's based on open market competition, and there will
probably always be nodes willing to process transactions for free.

Satoshi Nakamoto

Response of Hal Finney:


Congratulations to Satoshi on this first alpha release. I am looking
forward to trying it out.


It's interesting that the system can be configured to only allow a
certain maximum number of coins ever to be generated. I guess the
idea is that the amount of work needed to generate a new coin will
become more difficult as time goes on.

One immediate problem with any new currency is how to value it. Even
ignoring the practical problem that virtually no one will accept it
at first, there is still a difficulty in coming up with a reasonable
argument in favor of a particular non-zero value for the coins.

As an amusing thought experiment, imagine that Bitcoin is successful and
becomes the dominant payment system in use throughout the world. Then the
total value of the currency should be equal to the total value of all
the wealth in the world. Current estimates of total worldwide household
wealth that I have found range from $100 trillion to $300 trillion. With
20 million coins, that gives each coin a value of about $10 million.

So the possibility of generating coins today with a few cents of compute
time may be quite a good bet, with a payoff of something like 100 million
to 1! Even if the odds of Bitcoin succeeding to this degree are slim,
are they really 100 million to one against? Something to think about...


First transaction
Satoshi Nakamoto sent 10 BTC to Hal Finney (block 170). Transaction fee was 0 BTC.
Hal Finney’s address:

Tweet - Hal Finney (@halfin)
"Looking at ways to add more anonymity to bitcoin"

Tweet - Hal Finney (@halfin)
"Thinking about how to reduce CO2 emissions from a widespread Bitcoin implementation"

P2PFoundation Forum
Bitcoin open source implementation of P2P currency
(Image via p2pfoundation)

New Liberty Standard - Exchange Rate
New Liberty Standard
Bitcoin first exchange rate: 1 USD = 1,309.03 BTC
(Image via

First bitcoin to fiat sale (5,050 BTC for $5.02)
Finnish developer Martti Malmi sold 5,050 BTC for $5.02 to New Liberty Standard. This was probably first bitcoin to fiat sale.
Tweet: "Found the first known bitcoin to USD transaction from my email backups. I sold 5,050 BTC for $5,02 on 2009-10-12."

Welcome to the new Bitcoin forum!
Satoshi Nakamoto introduced new Bitcoin forum -

Bitcoin v0.2
Bitcoin v0.2 was released.

Bitcoin mining difficulty increased
Bitcoin mining difficulty was increased for the first time (block 32,256).

Previous part: The Bitcoin Origins (0) - Pre-bitcoin
Next part: The Bitcoin Origins (2) - 2010

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