BITCOIN PRICE CHART WITH HISTORIC EVENTS
The chart below display’s Bitcoin’s price throughout any given timeframe. The numbers on the graph represent historical events that seemingly affected Bitcoin’s price at that time. The list of events is detailed below. Click on a number on the chart and you will be transferred to the corresponding event.
Bitcoin Video Crash Course (FREE)
Know more than 99% of the population about Bitcoin. One email a day for 7 days, short and educational, guaranteed.
Historic Bitcoin Price & Events
Bitcoin "splits" into Bitcoin (BTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) - August 1, 2017
After years of debating about how Bitcoin should scale the controversy turned into action. The Bitcoin code split in two different directions. One direction supporting the optimization of Bitcoin blocks through Segwit, while the other direction supports bigger blocks of up to 8mb.
The bigger block group called their currency Bitcoin Cash and effectively doubled the holdings of anyone who owned Bitcoin before August 1st. For example, if you have 10 Bitcoins before August 1st, you would now have 10 Bitcoins and 10 Bitcoin Cash.
Japan Declares Bitcoin as Legel Tender - April 1, 2017
Japan recognizes bitcoin as a legal method of payment.
The country's legislature passed a law, following months of debate, that brought bitcoin exchanges under anti-money laundering/know-your-customer rules, while also categorizing bitcoin as a kind of prepaid payment instrument.
SEC denies second Bitcoin ETF application - March 28, 2017
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday denied for the second time in a month a request to bring to market a first-of-its-kind product tracking bitcoin, the digital currency.
The SEC announced in a filing its decision denying Intercontinental Exchange Inc's NYSE Arca exchange the ability to list and trade the SolidX Bitcoin Trust, an exchange-traded product (ETP) that would trade like a stock and track the digital asset's price.
SEC denies Winkelvos ETF - March 10, 2017
the US government denied the application of Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss — the brothers who once claimed to be co-inventors of Facebook — to operate an exchange-traded fund (ETF) to make it easier for investors to buy Bitcoin.
Bitcoin price breaks $1000 for the first time in 3 years - January 3, 2017
After rallying for most of the second half of 2016 Bitcoin breaches the $1000 mark for the first time in 3 years. Mass media coverage brings in an influx of new users that supposedly will raise the price even higher.
Donald Trump Elected as President, Market Plummet - November 9, 2016
In a shocking turn of events Donald Trump defeats Hillary Clinton and become the 45th president of the United States. The US market drops by over 1% and the Mexican Peso has plumbed record lows, and is now down 10% today at 20.22 peso to the dollar.
Japan's Nikkei 225 plunged 5.4% while Hong Kong's Hang Seng index lost 2.2%. The Shanghai Composite index lost 0.6%.. Dow futures were down 2.1%, S&P 500 futures were 2.3% lower and Nasdaq futures lost 2.7% at around 6.30 a.m. ET.
European markets opened sharply lower before paring its losses. Germany’s DAX index was off around 1% after opening down nearly 3%. France's CAC 40 was in positive territory by 0.4% after an earlier decline of 1.5% and Britain's FTSE 100 dropped 0.3%.
Investors rushed into perceived havens, such as gold, which is up $26.90 an ounce, or 2.1%, to $1,301.40.
Bitcoin has seen a sharp increase in value during this night going up 5% in just 24 hours, however later throughout the day the price stabilized on a total increase of 2.5%.
Bitfinex Hacked - August 2, 2016
Bitfinex, the largest Bitcoin exchange by volume, announced that 119,756 bitcoins of customer funds had been stolen via a security breach, a value roughly equivalent to $72 million USD. Bitfinex was holding the customer funds in multi-signature addresses in conjunction with its security partner BitGo. It is presumed that the attacker obtained access to the private keys for nearly all Bitfinex customer accounts, as well as access to the BitGo API for the Bitfinex account.
It remains unclear if the customer funds were insured by BitGo and if customers will be fully reimbursed.
The price of Bitcoin plunged nearly 20% to $480 USD that day before beginning a gradual recovery.
Others in the Bitcoin community suggested that prior knowledge of the upcoming hack was used by unknown entities for insider trading as the price had begun to drop significantly before Bitfinex's announcement.
Second Halving Day - July 9, 2016
The block reward was decreased for the second time in Bitcoin's history, resulting in a new reward of 12.5 bitcoins per mined block. The automatic 50% drop continued Bitcoin's original design to gradually decrease the number of newly created bitcoins until the block reward ends completely, which is estimated to occur in the year 2140.
The block reward halving occurs every 210,000 blocks and the next "Halving Day" is expected to occur in July 2020.
Craig Wright Claims to be Bitcoin's Creator - May 2, 2016
Following a five month absence from the public eye, Craig Wright publicly announced he was Satoshi Nakamoto by means of a blog post. The blog post featured a disjointed demonstration of a private key signing, which seemed to be an attempt to verify Wright was in possession of Nakamoto's private Bitcoin keys. This verification was later debunked by the Bitcoin community.
Wright's claim was backed up by Bitcoin developer Gavin Andresen in his own blog post earlier the same day. Andresen stated that he met with Wright in-person in London, and privately witnessed Wright sign an arbitrary message using one of Nakamoto's private Bitcoin keys.
Andresen later stated that he may have been tricked by Wright.
Steam Accepts Bitcoin - April 27, 2016
The popular gaming platform Steam began accepting Bitcoin as payment for video games and other online media. Valve, the company that owns Steam, enlisted Bitpay as the payment processor to facilitate Bitcoin payments and help target international customers where credit card payments weren't as ubiquitous.
OpenBazaar Launched - April 4, 2016
The initial production version of the first decentralized marketplace software, OpenBazaar, was released to the general public. The goal of the project was to facilitate peer-to-peer trade without a middleman, fees, or restrictions on trade. The software allows users to create virtual stores where buyers can purchase goods using Bitcoin.
The OpenBazaar project would later announce it received $1 million in funding from venture capital firms Union Square Ventures, Andreessen-Horowitz, and angel investor William Mougayar .
Bitcoin Roundtable Consensus - February 21, 2016
Influential members of the Bitcoin community met in Hong Kong to discuss a development plan and timeline for scaling Bitcoin. The closed-door meeting included over 30 miners, service providers, and Bitcoin Core developers and was meant to address solutions to the block size debate.
The meeting concluded with a public statement proposing the group's support for the new Segregated Witness functionality, and making a hard fork in the Bitcoin protocol available that would increase the block size limit between 2MB and 4MB by July 2016.
Others in the Bitcoin community denounced the meeting as being inconsequential as the parties involved represented a small handful of Bitcoin companies and special interest groups.
Mike Hearn Quits Bitcoin (a.k.a The Hearnia) - January 14, 2016
In a public blog post, Mike Hearn declared that Bitcoin had failed and that he will "no longer be taking part in Bitcoin development". Hearn was an ex-Google developer who had been heavily involved in the Bitcoin community and related projects since the early days of the cryptocurrency. His most popular project was bitcoinj, a Java implementation of the Bitcoin protocol.
Hearn's post blamed Bitcoin's alleged failure on a number of reasons: censorship in the Bitcoin community, the centralization of mining to a handful of Chinese miners, and the unwillingness of Bitcoin Core developers to increase the limit on Bitcoin's block size. Within 24 hours of the post being published, Bitcoin's price dropped over $50 USD.
Others in the Bitcoin community accused Hearn of purposely attacking Bitcoin in order to promote his new employer, R3 CEV, a startup focused on using blockchain technology to improve the operations of the global banking industry.
Gwern and WIRED Claim Craig Wright is Probably Satoshi Nakamoto - December 8, 2015
Security researcher and writer, Gwern Branwen, published an article in WIRED magazine claiming that an Australian man named Dr. Craig S. Wright was either Satoshi Nakamoto or a "brilliant hoaxer". Gwern cited a number of Wright's deleted blog posts, leaked emails, and transcripts that seemed to suggest Wright is Bitcoin's creator. In one leaked transcript Wright himself claims "I did my best to try and hide the fact that I’ve been running bitcoin since 2009". Another document detailed that Wright had access to a Bitcoin trust worth 1.1 million bitcoins.
However, none of the leaked documents Gwern claimed to possess were published.
Wright did not provide WIRED with any confirmation that he was indeed Satoshi Nakamoto. Within hours of the article being published, Wright's existing online presence was mostly removed from the web.
Bitcoin Sign Accepted into Unicode - November 3, 2015
The Unicode committee accepted the Bitcoin currency symbol (uppercase B with 2 vertical bars going through it, but only visible at the top and bottom) to be in a future version of the Unicode standard. The glyph will be given the slot "U+20BF BITCOIN SIGN" and eventually will render with standard system fonts.
Bitcoin Featured on Front Page of The Economist - October 31, 2015
The Economist, a globally popular British publication focused on economic liberalism, made it's article "The Trust Machine" the featured cover story of it's weekly print edition. The article focused mainly on the utility of blockchain technology, promoting the idea that banks and government institutions may implement their own blockchains to create "cheap, tamper-proof public databases".
EU Declares No VAT on Bitcoin Trades - October 22, 2015
The European Court of Justice ruled that the exchange of Bitcoin and "virtual currencies" is not subject to value-added-tax (VAT) in the European Union. The ruling acts to classify Bitcoin and related alt-coins as currency, instead of goods or property.
This ruling is in contrast to the United States' classification of Bitcoin as both a currency (according to FINCEN) and commodity (according to CFTC/IRS).
Gemini Exchange Launched - October 8, 2015
Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss released their own US based Bitcoin exchange dubbed "Gemini". Upon launch, the exchange was licensed to operate in 26 states and was able to "service both individual and institutional customers" due to its LLTC corporate structure. Gemini was also able to offer FDIC insurance on customer deposits thanks to a partnership with a New York based bank.
The exchange aims to be fully compliant with US law with a policy to first "ask for permission, not forgiveness".
Bitcoin declared as a commodity by the US regulator - September 18, 2015
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), announced it had filed and settled charges against a Bitcoin exchange for facilitating the trading of option contracts on its platform. They state: "In this order, the CFTC for the first time finds that Bitcoin and other virtual currencies are properly defined as commodities,".
Bitcoin XT Fork Released - August 15, 2015
Bitcoin Core developers Mike Hearn and Gavin Andresen released a separate version of the Bitcoin client software, called Bitcoin XT. The release illustrates an ongoing controversy in the Bitcoin development community: what limit should be placed on the size of Bitcoin's blocks? Bitcoin XT implements BIP 101, which proposes "replacing the fixed one megabyte maximum block size with a maximum size that grows over time at a predictable rate".
The release of Bitcoin XT culminated fears that the Bitcoin community may not be able to reach a consensus on the issue, and the blockchain may hard fork, resulting in two separate versions of Bitcoin's global ledger.
Mark Karpeles Arrested - August 1, 2015
Mark Karpeles, the CEO of the failed Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox, was arrested in Japan on charges of fraud and embezzlement in relation to collapse of the exchange. Karpeles faces allegations of illegally manipulating trade volume and the personal use of client deposits, of which may have led to the exchange's insolvency. Mt. Gox is thought to have ultimately lost 744,400 Bitcoins of customer deposits.
2 Federal Agents Plead Guilty to Silk Road Theft - July 1, 2015
Former Federal agents Carl Force IV (DEA) and Shaun Bridges (Secret Service) pleaded guilty to stealing Bitcoins for their personal gain during their active investigation of the Silk Road marketplace.
Force was charged with "extorting Ulbricht, as well as wire fraud, theft of government property, money laundering, and conflict of interest" in his role in siphoning off $50,000 worth of Bitcoin from the Silk Road into his own personal accounts. Bridges is charged with money laundering and obstruction of justice for stealing $820,000 worth of Bitcoin in a similar manner.
Force agreed to pay $500,000 in restitution and was later sentenced to 6 years in prison in October 2015. Bridges is awaiting sentencing in December 2015.
New York State Releases the BitLicense - June 3, 2015
Superintendent of New York State Department of Financial Services, Benjamin Lawsky, released a set of customized rules meant to regulate Bitcoin and digital currency businesses that serve customers located in New York state. These regulations are the first ever directly targeted at digital currency businesses.
According to the regulations, digital currency companies that serve NY customers must apply for a "BitLicense" within 45 days or be considered in "breach of the law". A BitLicense application costs $5,000 and the regulations include a number business requirements, such as fingerprinting employees for the FBI, obtaining written approval of all new business activities, and retained "earnings and profits of the company can only be invested in US dollars".
In response, New York based customers were banned and expunged by a number of Bitcoin companies, including Bitfinex, Kraken, Bitquick.co, and ShapeShift.
Ross Ulbricht Sentenced to Life in Prison - May 19, 2015
After a month-long jury trial that ended in Ulbricht's conviction, Judge Katherine Forrest sentenced Ulbricht to life in prison without parole. Ulbricht had been found guilty on 7 charges of money laundering, computer hacking, and conspiracy to traffic narcotics in February due to his role as the operator of the Silk Road marketplace (a.k.a "Dread Pirate Roberts"). In a letter to Judge Katherine Forrest prior to his sentencing, Ulbricht admitted to running the Silk Road and made a plea for leniency. The judge's sentencing statement hinted that the harshness of the sentence was to make an example of Ulbricht: members of the public considering following in his footsteps should know "that if you break the law this way, there will be very serious consequences."
Ross Ulbricht would later appeal the ruling on June 5, 2015.
Coinbase Launches US Licensed Exchange - January 26, 2015
The VC backed startup Coinbase Inc., a popular Bitcoin outlet and payment processor, announced the release of its own Bitcoin trading platform. The company founders stated they had worked for months to obtain various licenses from state financial regulators, allowing them to legally accept customers from 25 different US states.
The new platform will operate like a traditional exchange: customers can deposit funds, place asks and bids on an order book, and will be charged a small percentage fee on executed trades. The exchange platform is to remain separate from their Bitcoin outlet operation, which in contrast, allows customers to buy and sell Bitcoins directly from Coinbase.
Bitstamp Hacked - January 4, 2015
Unknown hackers were able to steal 18,866 bitcoins from Bitstamp's operational hot wallet, worth roughly $5.2 million dollars. The attackers used social engineering against Bitstamp system administrator Luka Kodric to gain access to 2 of Bitstamp's servers and subsequently the hot wallet's private keys. The wallet was completely drained of all bitcoins shortly thereafter.
Upon discovery of the breach, Bitstamp immediately shutdown the exchange's operations for 8 days as it audited its systems and rebuilt its trading platform.
The theft represented "a small fraction of Bitstamp's total bitcoin reserves" as the majority of the company's Bitcoin funds remained untouched in offline "cold" storage. No customer account balances were affected. However, according to a leaked internal Bitstamp report on the incident, the damage to the company's reputation and customer confidence far exceeded its monetary Bitcoin loss.
Charlie Shrem Sentenced to 2 Years in Prison - December 19, 2014
Labeled Bitcoin's "First Felon", Charlie Shrem, the CEO of bitcoin exchange BitInstant, was sentenced to 2 years in prison for his role in laundering money for users of the Silk Road, an online marketplace that catered to illicit goods and services.
Shrem had entered a plea bargain which involved surrendering $950,000 to the US government and pleading guilty to aiding and abetting the operation of an unlicensed money transmitting business.
Microsoft Accepts Bitcoin - December 11, 2014
Microsoft revealed it will accept Bitcoin from US customers for "apps, games and other digital content" offered on the Windows and Xbox online stores. The announcement was made via a post on the tech giant's blog and stated that Microsoft had partnered with Bitpay for Bitcoin payment processing.
The Slaying of BearWhale - October 6, 2014
An unknown trader places nearly 30,000 BTC for sale on the Bitstamp exchange at a limit price of $300 per bitcoin, worth roughly $9 million USD. The order was dubbed the "BearWhale" by the Bitcoin community due to its unprecedented size.
Over the next 24 hours, the entire BearWhale order is fulfilled on the exchange via buy orders.
Paypal Subsidiary Braintree to Accept Bitcoin - September 8, 2014
Braintree, a subsidiary of Paypal, announces that it is partnering with Coinbase to accept Bitcoin payments on their platform. Over the next three months, the two companies will work on integrating Bitcoin payment processing for Braintree merchants. The Bitcoin payment option will be seamlessly enabled for all merchants on the platform. Braintree merchants need only sign up for a Coinbase account and link it to their Braintree account.
The news adds to speculation that Paypal is becoming more favorable towards Bitcoin, and may eventually integrate it into their own payment processing system.
Dell Accepts Bitcoin - July 18, 2014
Founder Michael Dell announces on Twitter that dell.com now accepts Bitcoin. Customers in the United States (only) can purchase any product listed on Dell's online marketplace using Bitcoin. All Bitcoin transactions are to be handled by Coinbase, a Bitcoin payment processor. At a yearly revenue of $56 billion, Dell becomes the largest company to accept Bitcoin.
This announcement follows a number of other major online retailers' acceptance of Bitcoin payments in 2014 (Overstock on 2014-01-09 via processor Coinbase, Tiger Direct on 2014-01-23, and Newegg on 2014-07-01 via processor Bitpay).
New York DFS Releases Proposed “BitLicense” - July 17, 2014
Benjamin M. Lawsky, Superintendent of New York's Department of Financial Services, announces a proposed set of regulations for businesses that interact with Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. The goal of the new regulations, according to Lawsky, are to help "protect consumers and root out illegal activity – without stifling beneficial innovation". The regulations would require entities that deal in Bitcoin to run background checks/fingerprints for all employees, get written approval for new business activities by the state, and to immediately convert any Bitcoin profit to US dollars. Affected entities would be exchanges, mining pools, bulk Bitcoin sellers, and altcoin software creators based in New York state, or that have customers in New York state. News of these regulations are generally rebuked by the cryptocurrency community.
US Marshals Service Auctions 29,656 Seized Bitcoins - June 27, 2014
Nearly 30,000 government seized Bitcoins, obtained by the US Marshals Service during the October 2013 bust of the Silk Road website, are auctioned off in chunks of 3,000 bitcoins. Bidders are required to deposit $200,000 USD via bank wire in order to qualify for the auction. A single bidder (venture capitalist Tim Draper) won every auction, indicating that his winning bid prices were far higher than the current market price.
Mining Pool GHash.io Reaches 51% - June 13, 2014
Due to GHash.io's popularity and partnership with CEX.io to sell mining shares of their own mining hardware, the mining pool giant gains a sole majority of the Bitcoin network hashing power, and the ability to launch a successful 51% attack on the Bitcoin network. With a majority of the Bitcoin network hashing power, GHash.io could temporarily reverse transactions that they send (double spending) and prevent other transactions from being confirmed.
GHash.io responds by stating they "have and never will participate in any 51% attack". The pool also issues a press statement declaring that it will attempt to limit its hashing power to 39.99% by "actively asking miners to take their hardware away from GHash.IO and mine on other pools", as well as form a committee to assist Bitcoin core developers in solving the 51% attack problem.
Chinese Exchanges' Bank Accounts Closed - April 10, 2014
The People's Bank of China's frequently updated restrictions against Bitcoin finally pressure some Chinese banks to issue a deadline against several bitcoin exchanges, requiring them to close their accounts by April 15. Although some are spared the warnings, the uncertain regulatory environment holds some prominent loopholes that virtually all Chinese exchanges quickly adopt. Using offshore banks, novel cryptographic voucher systems and other solutions, these trading platforms continue to operate, but at greatly reduced volumes from their hayday in 2013.
IRS Declares Bitcoin To Be Taxed As Property - March 26, 2014
The IRS policy document declares Bitcoin to be property, not currency, subject to capital gains tax – with that tax calculated against every change in buying power for a given amount of bitcoin, from the time it's acquired to the time it's spent. The decision is widely derided as unwieldy and overly complex, requiring users of the currency to record Bitcoin's market price with every transaction, subject to an array of largely unfamiliar calculations. Others, however, remark that the net tax paid may often be less than if Bitcoin were treated as currency proper - but to a market that emerged in tax-free innocence, it is a difficult blow to soften.
Newsweek Claims Dorian Nakamoto is Bitcoin's Creator - March 6, 2014
In an article titled "The Face Behind Bitcoin", journalist Leah McGrath Goodman writes that an unemployed engineer in Temple City, California is in fact Bitcoin's creator. Based on speculations and interviews with Dorian's family, Goodman's article ultimately draws an enourmous amount of worldwide attention to Dorian Nakamoto, who denies any involvement in Bitcoin and asks for privacy from the media.
The Bitcoin community would later go on to raise about $23,000 for Dorian Nakamoto.
Mt. Gox Closes - February 24, 2014
After putting an abrupt halt to withdrawals on February 6, claiming that a hacker had exploited their own poorly-implemented software through the use of transaction malleability attacks, disgraced bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox's website and trading engine go blank without official comment. Other exchanges and Bitcoin businesses issue a joint statement condemning the mismanagement, deception, and eventual collapse wrought by the executives of the Japan-based exchange, after an alleged leaked internal document showed that over 744,000 BTC were lost by the company.
Major Exchanges Hit With DDoS Attacks - February 7, 2014
Mt. Gox, Bitstamp, and BTC-e all experienced a stoppage of trading due to massive DDoS attacks that were apparently aimed at exploiting transaction maleability in the exchanges' software. Mt. Gox halted withdrawals first, on February 6, evidently contributing to a sharp drop in BTC price; the DDoS attack was detected on February 11, 2014.
Due to a host of problems at Mt. Gox, it may not be clear that the DDoS attack was primarily responsible for the problems they experienced on February 6th. 
Chinese Government Bans Financial Institutions From Using Bitcoin - December 5, 2013
Putting its first restraints on Bitcoin's surging popularity, the People's Bank of China declares Satoshi Nakamoto's novel invention not to be a currency. The policy change prohibits any financial institution to trade, insure, or otherwise offer services related to Bitcoin. Over the following weeks, further restrictions slowly strangle the Chinese cryptocurrency markets, as exchanges repeatedly try to find innovative, lasting ways to stay in operation, and prices around the globe sink dramatically.
Exchange Rate Peaks at $1,242 on Mt. Gox - November 29, 2013
Rapidly growing Bitcoin investment from China steadily drives prices higher and higher, reaching a peak on November 29th. Subject to strict controls concerning the movement of money across the country's borders, Chinese citizens embrace the freedom provided by Bitcoin with open arms, seeking an alternative to the state's inflating official currency, the Renminbi. The origin of mainstream Chinese interest in Bitcoin is largely credited to Jet Li's One Foundation, which publicized a Bitcoin address for donations in the wake of the April 20th, 2013 Lushan earthquake and received over 230 BTC in just two days, covered widely in the national media.
People’s Bank of China OK's Bitcoin - November 20, 2013
Speaking in Chinese at an economic forum, Mr. Yi says that “people are free to participate in the Bitcoin market,” and that he would “personally adopt a long-term perspective on the currency.” News of his statements energize the already active Chinese bitcoin markets, with the largest, BTC China, seeing trade volumes more than twice those of the world's second-largest exchange, Mt. Gox.
US Senate Holds Hearing On Bitcoin - November 18, 2013
Announced under the title "Beyond Silk Road: Potential Risks, Threats, and Promises of Virtual Currencies," hope for the U.S. Government panel's discussion is dim among the Bitcoin community leading up to the hearing. As the proceedings commence, however, many of the panelists and Senators agree that Bitcoin holds great promise. The general consensus is summed up by Jennifer Shasky Calvery, Director of the U.S. Government's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), who testified, “We want to operate in a way that does not hinder innovation.”
Dread Pirate Roberts Arrested - October 1, 2013
Following a trail of clues left carelessly across the internet, the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (in conjunction with other agencies) manages to identify the alleged operator of the dark web marketplace, which saw most of its sales in illicit drugs. Ross Ulbricht, claimed by the FBI to be the site's founder, Dread Pirate Roberts, is arrested in a San Francisco Public Library and charged with narcotics trafficking, computer hacking, money laundering and engaging in a “continuing criminal enterprise.” About 30,000 BTC of the Silk Road's alleged bitcoin holdings are seized at the time, and an additional 144,000 BTC from DPR's private holdings are swept up three weeks later.
Tradehill Shuts Down (Again) - August 30, 2013
The business-to-business bitcoin exchange had been reliant on the relatively new Internet Archive Federal Credit Union to hold its clients' deposits in regulation-compliant, insured accounts. When the IAFCU determines that it can not reasonably handle the myriad regulatory issues surrounding Bitcoin, Tradehill is forced to halt operations and return customers' funds.
DHS Seizure Warrant Against Mt. Gox - May 14, 2013
When Mt. Gox opened an American bank account with Wells Fargo, President and CEO Mark Karpelès answered “no” to the questions, “Do you deal in or exchange currency for your customer?” and “Does your business accept funds from customers and send the funds based on customers’ instructions (Money Transmitter)?” The U.S. Government thinks otherwise. With the warrant signed, Homeland Security Investigations seizes $2,915,507.40 from an account owned by a Mt. Gox subsidiary that was used to process payments to and from U.S. customers, and the future of Bitcoin's legal status becomes ever more uncertain.
Increased Trading Volume Breaks Mt. Gox - April 10, 2013
Originally thought to be a Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) attack on the largest bitcoin exchange, the great influx of traders on the heels of Cyprus's bailout announcement overwhelms Mt. Gox's servers, causing trades to stutter and fail. Speculative concerns about the exchange's hiccups feed a powerful panic-sell that saturates the market and drives prices down to pre-rally levels, before rising again a few days later.
Cyprus Bail-In - March 25, 2013
Orchestrated by Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades, the Eurogroup, the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund, the €10 billion bailout is hoped to fortify the flagging Cypriot economy. Among its conditions, however, is a sizable levy collected from most bank accounts with holdings over the €100,000 cutoff - a serious concern not just for wealthy Cypriots but many internationals, as the nation's favorable policies had made it a popular global tax haven, particularly in Russia. Seeking solutions to preserve their holdings before the bailout's conditions take effect, many of these account holders begin buying bitcoin en masse, driving a price rally through early April that brought the value of one bitcoin from about $80 to over $260.
Bitcoin 0.8 Causes Brief Hard Fork - March 11, 2013
Shaking confidence in Bitcoin and the validity of some transactions, the price briefly plummets and the Mt. Gox exchange temporarily suspends bitcoin deposits. Thanks to a swift and coordinated response by Bitcoin developers, miners, and community members, the fork is resolved within hours after the operators of two large mining pools, Michael Marsee (of BTC Guild) and Marek Palatinus (of slush's pool), honorably forgo some of their accumulated mining rewards in order to downgrade to the previous, compatible version. An updated version, 0.8.1, is released shortly after, containing safeguards to prevent the original problem.
Halving Day - November 28, 2012
In line with the original design for Bitcoin's maturation, the number of coins created to reward miners undergoes its first reduction, beginning the long and gradual process of tapering the amount of new currency entering the economy. These “Halving Days” are scheduled to occur every four years, stepping down the number of new bitcoins generated until the reward reaches 0 in the year 2140, to yield a fixed money supply of 20,999,999.9769 BTC. This pre-programmed limit to inflation is a major driver of the currency's economic controversy, value appreciation and speculation.
Wordpress Accepts Bitcoin - November 15, 2012
In a smart and savvy release, Wordpress explains the decision: “PayPal alone blocks access from over 60 countries, and many credit card companies have similar restrictions... we don’t think an individual blogger from Haiti, Ethiopia, or Kenya should have diminished access to the blogosphere because of payment issues they can’t control. Our goal is to enable people, not block them.” As one of the 25 most popular domains on the web, Wordpress's move paves the way for later retail ventures in Bitcoin.
Bitcoins Savings & Trust Halts Payments - August 17, 2012
Promising consistent weekly “interest” returns of 7% to its creditors, Trendon T. Shavers (known on BitcoinTalk as Pirateat40) manages the secretive operation for about eight months, accepting only large deposits of bitcoin (50+ BTC) and paying out “interest” weekly. On August 17, 2012, Pirateat40 announces a halt to the operation, and absconds with deposits estimated between 86,202 and 500,000 BTC. On July 23, 2013, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission files charges against Shavers for defrauding investors in a Ponzi scheme.
Linode Hacked, Over 46,000 BTC Stolen - March 1, 2012
An unknown hacker breaches Linode's server network and immediately seeks out accounts related to bitcoin, quickly compromising the wallets of eight customers. Bitcoinica, a large online bitcoin exchange, is hardest hit, losing more than 43,000 BTC, while other prominent victims include Bitcoin's lead developer Gavin Andresen as well as Marek Palatinus (also known as slush), the operator of a large mining pool. Both Bitcoinica and slush's pool bear the theft's losses on behalf of their customers.
Paxum and Tradehill Drop Bitcoin - February 11, 2012
On February 11, 2012, Paxum, an online payment service and popular means for exchanging bitcoin announces it will cease all dealings related to the currency due to concerns of its legality. Two days later, regulatory issues surrounding money transmission compel the popular bitcoin exchange and services firm TradeHill to terminate its business and immediately begin selling its bitcoin assets to refund its customers and creditors. The following day, Patrick Strateman, known on BitcoinTalk as phantomcircuit, benevolently discloses a devastating bug in how BTC-E, another online exchange, secures its clients' accounts and funds.
"The Good Wife" Airs "Bitcoin for Dummies" TV Episode - December 19, 2011
After the initial announcement of this upcoming, Bitcoin-themed episode, investors bet big on the show to catapult prices to new highs. About 9.45 million viewers tune in to watch "Bitcoin for Dummies" on January 15, 2012; the story involves a government manhunt for the creator of Bitcoin, who is charged with creating a currency in competition with the U.S. Dollar. Despite the massive exposure, prices remain stagnant following the show's airing.
Mt. Gox Hacked - June 19, 2011
By gaining access to the credentials of an official auditor working for the Mt. Gox bitcoin exchange, a hacker downloads a slightly out-of-date copy of the website's user database, including email addresses and insecurely hashed passwords. Using their newfound administrator-level access to the site, they place countless offers to sell bitcoins that don't exist, falsely deflating prices until the going rate reaches just $0.01 per coin. Mt. Gox reverses the fraudulent transactions and halts trading for seven days to re-secure their systems, and two other large exchanges issue temporary halts while their own security is reviewed. Soon after, a copy of the database is leaked and is used to launch attacks against accounts held by users of the MyBitcoin online wallet service who share the same password on both sites, resulting in thefts of over 4,019 BTC from roughly 600 wallets.
Gawker Publishes Article About The Silk Road - June 1, 2011
Titled “The Underground Website Where You Can Buy Any Drug Imaginable,” Adrian Chen's piece on Gawker is as provocative as it is popular. To many people reading it, the sudden realization that Bitcoin has a useful value – one that's entirely unique - hits home. With a link to Mt. Gox in the text, the article starts an enormous upswing in price that beats all previous records, reaching over $31 per bitcoin just one week after publication.
Three New Exchanges Open Supporting More Fiat Currencies - March 27, 2011
On March 27, 2011, Britcoin launches the first exchange to trade bitcoin and British Pound Sterling (GBP). Just days later, on March 31, Bitcoin Brazil opens a service for face-to-face exchange in Brazilian Reals (BRL) and U.S. Dollars. On April 5, BitMarket.eu begins facilitating trades in Euros (EUR) and other currencies. Together, they simplify bitcoin ownership and trading for hundreds of millions of new users and the market is expanded enormously.
Bitcoin Price Hits $1.00 USD - February 9, 2011
Just two years old, Bitcoin achieves parity with the U.S. Dollar on the Mt. Gox exchange. The following day, some popular news outlets feature stories on the symbolic milestone, causing such a surge of interest in the growing currency that the official Bitcoin website is temporarily hobbled.
Bitcoin Protocol Bug Causes Hard Fork - August 15, 2010
Using a peculiar quirk of the way computers process numbers, an unknown person creates a fraudulent transaction that generates 184,467,440,737.08554078 bitcoins – nearly nine-thousand times as many as can legitimately exist in the entire system. The oddity is quickly spotted by Bitcoin developers and community members, and a fixed version of the Bitcoin software is released within hours. By the next day, the corrected blockchain overtakes the exploited one, and Bitcoin is back in normal operation – but not before the market is badly shaken.
Mt. Gox Opens For Business - July 18, 2010
Jed McCaleb, a programmer best known for creating the successful eDonkey peer-to-peer network in 2000, announces the launch of Mt. Gox, a new full-time bitcoin exchange. Based on a prior, abandoned project of McCaleb's to create an online exchange for Magic: The Gathering cards, he soon struggles to keep up with the demands of the business and sells mtgox.com to Mark Karpelès on March 6, 2011. Mt. Gox would slowly grow to dominate the world of bitcoin trading over the next three years.
Bitcoin Posted on Slashdot - July 11, 2010
The release of Bitcoin version 0.3 is featured on slashdot.org, a popular news and technology website. Reaching a large audience of technophiles, the article brings many newly-interested people on board, driving the exchange value of a single bitcoin up nearly tenfold, from approximately $0.008 to $0.08 in just five days.
Two Pizzas Are First Material Item Purchased Using Bitcoin - May 22, 2010
BitcoinTalk user laszlo (Laszlo Hanyecz) pays 10,000 BTC for two pizzas delivered to their house (valued at about $25), ordered and paid for by another user, jercos. This assigns the first concrete valuation to bitcoin - about $0.0025 per coin.
The First Bitcoin-to-Fiat Exchange Occurs - October 12, 2009
Using PayPal, NewLibertyStandard buys 5,050 BTC from Sirius for $5.02, equating to roughly one tenth of a cent per bitcoin.
New Liberty Standard Publishes First Exchange Rate - October 5, 2009
New Liberty Standard opens a service to buy and sell bitcoin, with an initial exchange rate of 1,309.03 BTC to one U.S. Dollar, or about eight hundredths of a cent per bitcoin. The rate is derived from the cost of electricity used by a computer to generate, or “mine” the currency.
Genesis Block Established - January 3, 2009
The first Bitcoin transaction record, or genesis block, kicks off the Bitcoin blockchain and includes a reference to a pertinent newspaper headline of that day:
The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks.
The initial Bitcoin program and its source code are released by Satoshi Nakamoto six days later.