It might surprise you to find that the blockchain, at least the concept of it, dates back to the early 90s. Around that time, when the internet first began to emerge, so did the idea of a system in which computer networks could be used to conduct financial transactions. And so, the concept of the blockchain was born.
Since then, numerous attempts were made to bring this process to life. But it wasn’t until computing power caught up to this idea that it became practical. That’s why around 2008, Satoshi Nakamoto (pseudonym for the creator of Bitcoin) was able to make the blockchain operational. With the emergence of Bitcoin, literally, thousands of cryptos have come into existence. As such, we now have a myriad of coins to choose from.
But we need to go all the way back to 1991 to find that Stuart Haber and W Scott Stornetta first described the concept of what would become the blockchain. Their work revolutionized the information world though it was nothing more than a pipedream them.
In 1998, the first decentralized digital currency emerged as Nick Szabo began work on what was then known as “bit gold.” The idea was to create the world’s first digital currency, that is, a currency that wasn’t controlled by a government or central bank.
A couple of years later, in 2000, Stefan Konst developed his theory on “cryptographic secured chains.” These led to a set of guidelines on how they could be implemented for the purpose of ensuring that the idea of a decentralized currency could become a reality.
However, it wasn’t until 2008 that developer(s) working under the guise of Satoshi Nakamoto published a white paper for the eventual model of what would become the blockchain as we know it today. It is unclear whether it was a single developer, or most likely a group of developers who published this paper.
By 2009, the first public ledger was made available for transactions by means of Bitcoin. This is the birth of the blockchain. It also led to the creation of the first lot of Bitcoins. It should be noted that they were practically worthless as the public was yet to catch on to its usefulness.
The blockchain 2.0 was developed in 2014. This enabled digital ledger technology to be implemented for transactions that went beyond financial dealings. For instance, it could be used for personal identification purposes or virtually any other type of purpose that users could consider useful.
Following the emergence of the second generation blockchain, other cryptos began to emerge. This is the case of Ethereum, Litecoin, and Ripple, among many others. In the case of Ripple, it resembles Bitcoin quite a bit though its technology makes it a lot easier to authenticate than Bitcoin. This is due to the fact that Ripple was created for the sole purpose of settling accounts, meaning facilitating transactions. It’s based on a public ledger. As such, operations can be easily verified so that full transparency is ensured.
As for Ethereum, this is a separate blockchain that produces a coin called “ether.” This technology allows for the creation of what are known as “smart contracts.” In other words, contracts among individuals can be authenticated and enforced by means of this technology. Additionally, the Ethereum network can issue as many coins as needed without having to go through the creation process that Bitcoin has.