From Ecash to Ethereum—Where crypto was and where it’s heading today
Although Bitcoin has taken the world by storm in the last few years, the technology has its roots all the way back to 1983. The past decade has witnessed some enormous shifts in the rapidly evolving cryptocurrency landscape. To grasp a full understanding of the technology and its potential, we’re taking you through a tour of the history of crypto.
1983: The emergence of ECash
Bitcoin wasn’t born overnight. Before the most commonly known cryptocurrency was invented, there was eCash, a cryptographic technology developed in 1983 by American computer scientist David Chaum that allowed users to maintain privacy across documents through the use of blind signatures. Ecash paved the way for cryptocurrency to exist, putting the “crypto” into cryptocurrency. It goes without saying that the technology wouldn’t be what it is today without the advent of Ecash.
Following his previous developments, in 1995, Chaum created the Digicash platform, an early cryptographic electronic payment concept that was based on the Ecash concept. Shortly after its emergence, Digicash quickly started to gain momentum, with financial institutions like Mark Twain Bank and the Deutsche Bank signing on.
However, issues with scaling, securing contracts with larger banks, and market adoption ultimately led to the project never experiencing widespread adoption. While the foundations were laid, the market didn’t seem ready to adopt it, with most of its user base consisting of libertarians or a small number of those seeking digital currency not confined by controlling governments.
1998: All hail cryptocurrency
In 1998 Digicash went bankrupt and in the same year, the term cryptocurrency was officially coined. Wei Dai, a computer engineer known for his significant contributions to the cryptocurrency world, was at the time advocating for b-money, an anonymous distributed electronic cash system.
Although the term cryptocurrency outlived b-money, Wei pioneered the concept of using a decentralized payment system using cryptography, and the smallest unit of Ether, Wei, is now named after him.
2009-2017: The Bitcoin boom
In 2009, Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonym of the mysterious famous creator of Bitcoin, finally released the cryptocurrency into the world. Although Bitcoin was in its nascent stages, with many people never having heard of the concept, it slowly but surely started to gain notoriety.
In the same year, the New Liberty Standard was established, the first cryptocurrency exchange that allowed users to buy and sell Bitcoin, a platform that would set the standard for platforms like Binance and Coinbase.
On May 22, 2010, a man named Laszlo Hanyecz agreed to pay 10,000 BTCs for two delivered Papa John's pizzas—Bitcoin’s very first sale. If Hanyecz was still lucky enough to be holding that BTC, he would now have over $300 million—a testament to just how far Bitcoin has exploded onto the mainstream in the past decade.
2017-2022: Mainstream adoption
Fast forward to 2022, and, with its total market cap of over $1.56 trillion USD, cryptocurrency has come a long way since being exchanged for a Papa John’s pizza. Even Fortune 500 companies are all climbing on the blockchain bandwagon to cater to the rapidly sought-after technology, with tech giant Microsoft launching a blockchain service for users to create Ethereum-encrypted contracts.
2022: The future of crypto
New advents in the cryptocurrency landscape are constantly changing what is possible for users, so far that they can now use cryptocurrency to buy groceries. A platform launched in 2022 named @Pay was created as a DeFi protocol that houses the first Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) platform built on the Solana and Algorand blockchains.
Using its smart contract technology, @Pay allows users to pay for their shopping with fiat currency or any approved cryptocurrency that they hold in their @Pay wallet. Not only can they easily use cryptocurrency to pay for online shopping, they can also get rewards through its reward program.
Over the last few decades, what once started as an experiment has proven itself to become a mainstay of mainstream technology. For many, especially those living under controlling governments, living with cryptocurrency is not only cutting-edge technology, it’s crucial to their financial freedom. What will come next for cryptocurrency, no one can know for sure, but one thing for certain is that the space is constantly finding new ways to disrupt the traditional world of finance. For more information please visit @Pays Linktree
Disclaimer: This is a company press release. No HT journalist is involved in creation of this content