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Bitcoin: Who Invented It and Why


When Satoshi Nakamoto first envisioned the idea of Bitcoin and published a white paper on the idea, he imagined a peer-to-peer electronic cash system that would work outside traditional, centralized financial institutions. The transactions would be time-stamped and recorded on a virtual ledger, making them transparent and immutable—no need for banks or a single third-party entity to facilitate transfers. Transactions would be validated by a network of computers, creating a chain of nodes to verify each transfer and eliminating the need to trust a lone mediator (link).

Satoshi released the white paper amid the 2008 global financial crisis. He imagined Bitcoin could be a way to avoid a similar problem from happening in the future by diminishing reliance on central banks. The paper was initially sent to an email list of people interested in cryptography.   

In creating Bitcoin, Satoshi sought to:

  • Design a digital currency, similar to gold, that could be used to buy products and services

  • Implement a peer-to-peer network to send and receive the digital currency

  • Eliminate the need for a central entity to verify transactions and prevent double-spending 

Just months after Satoshi released the Bitcoin white paper, the first Bitcoin was mined on January 3rd, 2009 (link). For the first two years, Bitcoin barely stayed above $0.00. It wasn’t until 2011 that Bitcoin finally reached a dollar. Since then, Bitcoin has climbed to as high as $68,990.90 in November 2021. 

It is well-known that the name Satoshi Nakamoto is actually a pseudonym, and the person or persons behind the invention of Bitcoin is still unknown. Even without a visible founder backing the coin, in the years since the first Bitcoin was minted, Bitcoin has become synonymous with the word cryptocurrency. It has consistently been the top coin by market capitalization. 

Over the years, Bitcoin has been used as both a store of value and a form of currency to buy products and services. Famously, in 2010, an early Bitcoin adopter used 10,000 Bitcoin to buy two Papa John’s pizzas (link). That 10,000 Bitcoin today would be worth more than $300 million in 2022. Today, Bitcoin is accepted for payment across industries at places like car dealerships, major retailers, and restaurants (link).   

Key Takeaways About Bitcoin:  

  • The first Bitcoin was mined in January 2009 after Satoshi Nakamoto introduced the concept in a 2008 white paper 

  • Bitcoin was invented, in part, as a reaction to the 2008 global financial crisis

  • Bitcoin is peer-to-peer, trustless, and transparent

  • Bitcoin is the top cryptocurrency by market cap 

The cashless system Satoshi envisioned in his 2008 white paper is more than just a way to conduct digital transactions. Bitcoin is the idea incarnate of a decentralized financial system outside the hands of a single government or person. Based on the coin’s popularity, the concept of a trustless banking system has caught on. If the currency continues at this adoption rate, it could eventually surpass gold in recognition. 

Right now, you can stop by any of our Bitcoin ATMs to buy your own digital currency just like you would at a cash ATM. With over 7000+ locations (link) across the U.S. and Canada, it’s easy to find a Bitcoin Depot ATM to use wherever you are. If you’re new to crypto, check out our user guide and videos (link) to learn more. You can also download our mobile app on the App Store or Google Play to send, receive, and store crypto through your mobile device.

Follow us on Twitter @Bitcoin_Depot (link) or Instagram @Bitcoindepot (link) for the latest news and updates about the crypto industry. 

May 26, 2022