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14 Years Since Its First Block, Bitcoin Remains the Largest Cryptocurrency

The Genesis block, the first Bitcoin block ever mined, was mined by the pseudonymous developer of the cryptocurrency known as Satoshi Nakamoto on the 3rd of January 2009, or 14 years ago. Since then, Bitcoin has remained the largest and most popular cryptocurrency in the world as the cryptocurrency industry rose to new heights and forayed into the mainstream.

The Inception of Bitcoin

The 2008 financial crisis sent the world into a deep turmoil, reminiscent of the Great Depression. At its core, the crisis was caused by the greed of top banking executives, who walked away from the incident with little to no criminal prosecution.

All of this likely convinced Satoshi Nakamoto, the name used by the pseudonymous person(s) who developed Bitcoin, to work on a project that would take the middleman out of finance and banking. That was made possible with decentralized ledger technology, which allows transactions to be verified by distributed nodes with no centralized authority.

Since Bitcoin uses a proof-of-work consensus mechanism to secure the network, BTC needs to be mined to be made available for circulation. This mining happens in the form of blocks, which are data structures within the blockchain database comparable to pages of a ledger.

The first Bitcoin block was mined on the 3rd of January 2009 by Satoshi and is now known as the Genesis block. Today marks exactly 14 years from that event.

How Bitcoin Found Increasing Adoption

Since its inception, Bitcoin has been on a roller coaster ride. The flagship cryptocurrency, once trading at a fraction of a cent, reached an all-time high of around $69,500 in 2021. The cryptocurrency also led to a modern financial revolution characterized by decentralization and transparency.

From the creation of the first Bitcoin trading currency exchange to Microsoft becoming the first tech company to accept BTC as a form of payment, the leading cryptocurrency has had many impressive achievements—particularly in 2021, which can be considered Bitcoin’s best year in terms of adoption. El Salvador also became the first country to accept Bitcoin as a legal tender that year, further boosting the credibility of the underlying technology and ethos of the cryptocurrency.

In 2021, bitcoin witnessed an influx of high-profile and institutional investors who poured billions of dollars into the coin. Among the more prominent examples, major electric carmaker Tesla purchased $1.5 billion worth of Bitcoin, while MicroStrategy’s Michael Saylor resumed its acquisition of more BTC.

Bitcoin Remains the Largest Cryptocurrency

Bitcoin was the first cryptocurrency ever created back in 2009. The coin found some traction among tech savvies in its first few years. However, the cryptocurrency has become an attractive investment option courtesy of its eye-popping gains.

As of now, Bitcoin is the largest cryptocurrency in the world, with a market cap of over $322 billion. The coin alone accounts for more than 38% of the entire crypto market cap, surpassing the second-largest cryptocurrency by a wide margin.

Over the past couple of years, Ethereum has emerged as a notable rival to the first cryptocurrency. With its premise of a “programmable blockchain” that allows developers to create more blockchain programs and grow the decentralized finance ecosystem, Ethereum has found massive support in the crypto community.

However, the network has shown worrying signs of centralization and censorship since the merge, as more than half of the network’s activity is now subject to new U.S. government sanctions. This has convinced some in the crypto community that Bitcoin is the only actual decentralized cryptocurrency.

Bitcoin Price Forecasts for 2023

Bitcoin bull Tim Draper is optimistic about bitcoin in 2023. He has predicted the token would be worth $250,000 by the end of the year. Even after the collapse of FTX, he’s convinced it will hit the quarter-of-a-million milestone.

However, not all investors believe the worst is behind us. Veteran investor Mark Mobius, who forecasted bitcoin would drop to $20,000 when it was trading above $28,000 back in May, expects the flagship cryptocurrency to drop to as low as $10,000 in 2023.

As reported, Standard Chartered has predicted that Bitcoin could lose another 70% and plunge to as low as $5,000 this year. However, for this possible outcome to become a reality, there should come more crypto “bankruptcies and a collapse in investor confidence in digital assets,” as well as a reversal in interest-rate hikes as economies struggle.

This article originally appeared on The Tokenist

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