It’s been exactly 13 years to the day since computer scientist Hal Finney became the recipient of the first transaction on the Bitcoin blockchain from creator Satoshi Nakamoto.
On Jan. 12, 2009, with the Bitcoin (BTC) white paper a mere three months old, Satoshi sent Finney 10 BTC — worth next to nothing at the time, but now roughly $440,000. The move, likely a test to determine the viability of the blockchain, was the first in a series of hundreds of millions of transactions in Bitcoin between millions of people across the world.
“When Satoshi announced the first release of the software, I grabbed it right away,” said Finney in a 2013 post on Bitcointalk.org. “I think I was the first person besides Satoshi to run Bitcoin. I mined block 70-something, and I was the recipient of the first bitcoin transaction when Satoshi sent ten coins to me as a test. I carried on an email conversation with Satoshi over the next few days, mostly me reporting bugs and him fixing them.”
— halfin (@halfin) January 11, 2009
Finney was one of the first people to respond to Satoshi’s post on the cypherpunks mailing list, with many in the space still believing he was one of the pseudonymous individuals behind the creation of Bitcoin. Sadly, the legendary crypto pioneer passed away from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis — ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease — in 2014. He would have been 65 years old in 2022.
At the time the first BTC was sent, there wasn’t even a cash value associated with the crypto asset, whose blockchain has accrued more than 701 million transactions as of Jan. 8. One of the most famous early use cases — exchanging 10,000 BTC for two pizzas in 2010 — helped pave the way for the crypto asset to eventually be accepted in many bars, restaurants and even as legal tender in the entire country of El Salvador.
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Thirteen years ago, Bitcoin and crypto were highly experimental, unproven and largely unknown. Today, regulators across the world discuss how to handle the integration of central bank digital currencies, stablecoins and digital assets into their financial systems.
In 2035, thirteen years from now, the BTC blockchain will likely still have plenty of blocks to mine. Some experts are predicting the price of the crypto asset will hit $100,000 in 2022, with the potential for even more growth n the years to come.