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The history of the Blockchain

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The technology that underpins the cryptocurrency world is the world famous blockchain.
The blockchain allows each user on the network to reach consensus without necessarily having to trust each other. It seems right to tell what the history of the blockchain is, in a nutshell.


The first days

The idea behind blockchain technology was described as far back as 1991, when the researchers Stuart Haber and W. Scott Stornetta they introduced a computationally practical solution for marking digital documents so that they could not be backdated or tampered with.

Stuart Haber and W. Scott Stornetta

The system used a cryptographically secure chain of blocks to store documents marked with a timestamp and already in 1992 the project was updated with Merkle trees, making it more efficient and allowing you to collect multiple documents in one block. Although this of the two researchers was an immense effort, this technology remained unused and the patent expired in 2004, four years before the birth of Bitcoin.

Proof of Work reusable

In 2004, computer scientist and crypto activist Hal Finney (Harold Thomas Finney II) introduced a system called RPoW, Reusable Proof Of Work. The system worked by receiving a non-exchangeable token or a non-fungible Hashcash-based “proof of work” and in return created an RSA signed token that could be transferred from person to person.

RPoW solved the double spend problem by keeping ownership of registered tokens on a reliable server, designed to allow users around the world to verify its correctness and integrity in real time.

We can consider RPoW as a first prototype and a significant first step in the history of cryptocurrencies.

Bitcoin network

At the end of 2008, one was released whitepaper, a research paper, which introduced a peer-to-peer decentralized electronic money system - called Bitcoin. It was posted to an encryption mailing list by a person or group using the alias of Satoshi Nakamoto.

This project was based on the Proof of work Hashcash algorithm, but rather than using computational hardware power such as RPoW, Bitcoin double spend protection was provided by a decentralized peer-to-peer protocol to track and verify transactions. In simpler words, Bitcoins are "mined" for a reward using the proof-of-work mechanism by individual miners and then verified by the nodes decentralized network.

Bitcoin was born on January 3, 2009.

The first block of Bitcoin was mined by Satoshi Nakamoto, with a reward of 50 Bitcoins. The first Bitcoin recipient was Hal Finney, who received 10 Bitcoins from Satoshi Nakamoto in the first Bitcoin transaction on January 12, 2009.

Ethereum network

In 2013, Vitalik Buterin, a programmer and co-founder of Bitcoin magazine, stated that Bitcoin was in dire need of a scripting language (coding, code building) to build decentralized applications. Failing to gain community consensus, Vitalik began development of a new blockchain-based distributed computing platform, and named it Ethereum. As he promised, this new network had a scripting feature inside it called Smart Contracts.

Smart Contracts are programs or scripts that are distributed and executed on the Ethereum blockchain, and can be used to carry out a transaction if certain conditions are met. Smart contracts are written in specific programming languages ​​and compiled in bytecode, which a decentralized Turing-complete (or Turing-equivalent) virtual machine called the Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) can then read and execute.

Developers, the beating heart of this blockchain, are also able to create and publish applications that run within the Ethereum blockchain. These applications are usually called DApps (decentralized applications) and can have very different forms from each other, just like the apps on our phone: social media applications, gambling applications and financial exchange applications.

Ethereum's cryptocurrency is called Ether (ETH). It can be transferred between accounts and is used to pay commissions for the computing power used when executing smart contracts.

Blockchain technology is increasingly the center of attention, is attracting a lot of attention in the mainstream, and is already being used in a variety of applications, not limited to cryptocurrencies.