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Bitcoin: Blockchain’s first app


If you’ve heard of any application of blockchain technology, it’s likely bitcoin. Roop Gill explores the history of the digital currency and the impact it has had to date. [This article was first published in the Blockchain Issue of Tech City News Magazine, which came out in spring, 2016.]

Money, as we knew it, changed in 2008. The ripple effects of the financial crisis paralysed the global economy. British financial institutions were nursing losses of $2.8tn. The damage in America reached $10.2tn. What followed was a whirlwind of recession, buyouts and quantitative easing. People started to lose faith in the ability of governments to effectively manage money.

In November of the same year, a low-profile member of The Cryptography Mailing List on published a paper. The person, or group, gave their name as Satoshi Nakamoto. The user profile said they were from Japan, but their email address was from a German service. The research paper described a new type of global and decentralised digital currency, not to be handled by any middleman or government. They called it bitcoin....