The history of cryptocurrency

Crypto-currency is not a new idea…

In 1995, electronic cash was born in the United States with the invention of Cyber Bucks by David Chaum. This kind of virtual dollar is an electronic currency based on cryptographic protocols.

In 1998, Nick Szabo designed the “Bit gold”, a decentralized digital currency mechanism, it’s considered to be the “precursor to the Bitcoin architecture”.

La crypto-monnaie est une idée apparu en 2008.
Satoshi Nakamo a miné le premier bloc du réseau Bitcoin le 3 janvier 2009.

… it first appeared in 2008

The publication of the white paper “Bitcoin – A Peer to Peer Electronic Cash System” on 18th August 2008 by Satoshi Nakamoto (an anonymous person or group of people), describing the functionality of the Bitcoin blockchain network, marked the beginning of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies.

Satoshi Nakamoto mined the first block of the Bitcoin network on 3rd January 2009 and the first real-world transactions began in 2010 with the “Bitcoin Pizza Day”. On 22nd May 2010, Lazlo did the first Bitcoin transaction by buying 2 pizzas in cryptocurrency.

The advent of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies was already underway… But what is a cryptocurrency?

The principle of the cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrency, a peer-to-peer currency…

This digital, independent and decentralized currency allows exchanges from one person to another without an intermediary. In fact, cryptocurrency does not require the intervention of a trusted third party, i.e. a banking or financial institution. It is not backed by a central bank or a state.

Therefore, there is no legal tender, the cryptocurrency varies according to supply and demand. Each cryptocurrency can define its number of available units. For example, Satoshi Nakamoto defined in his white paper that there will be no more than 21 million BTC in circulation.

La crypto-monnaie permet d'échanger sans intermédiaire.
This 100% virtual currency, consisting of a virtual cryptocurrency wallet, allows transactions to be carried out quickly and at low cost.
La crypto-monnaie fonctionne grâce à la technologie blockchain.

… which works thanks to blockchain technology…

The blockchain is the body that lists all transactions made. This register is a transparent, secure database without a central control body in which transactions are secured by encryption. In this system, all participants have access to the transactions, without knowing who is making them.

Thus, data is shared in real time over a peer-to-peer network and stored cryptographically, which means that no one can alter the data in the database.

This anonymised public database allows the immutable recording of data managed by a group of computers. Thus, one block corresponds to one transaction.

There are thousands of crypto-currencies

According to CoinMarketCap, as of May 31, 2022, there are an estimated 19,650 crypto-currencies, worth €1,264 billion.

The best known are:

Le bitcoin permet d'effectuer des paiements directs.

Bitcoin : the first and most commonly traded cryptocurrency.

Ethereum, la plateforme blockchain avec sa propre crypto-monnaie.
Ethereum : a blockchain platform with its own cryptocurrency.
Litecoin : monnaie similaire au Bitcoin.
Le Litecoin : the most similar currency to bitcoin which has developed new innovations including faster payments and processes that allow for more transactions.
Ripple a été fondé en 2012.
Ripple : founded in 2012, this distributed ledger system can track different types of transactions, not just crypto-currencies.