Today, the crypto community commemorates the 15th anniversary of the genesis block, reflecting on its pivotal role in ushering in a new era of money through the rise of digital assets.

Today, Bitcoin is widely accepted in the United States, the United Kingdom, Asia-Pacific nations such as Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, the Middle East, and some European markets.

Fifteen years ago, on January 3, 2009, Satoshi Nakamoto, the mastermind behind the Bitcoin (BTC) protocol that sparked the cryptocurrency revolution, successfully mined the inaugural genesis block.

As a reward for this milestone, the pseudonymous creator of Bitcoin received 50 units of the cryptoasset, which at the time had no value. Alternatively known as Block 0, the genesis block contained a secret message that read “The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks.”

New Age of Money Celebration

The Bitcoin protocol has been transformed since its inception with the mining of the first block by its creator. The network is adopted by both companies and individual miners who actively contribute to securing activities in the Proof-of-Work (PoW) protocol. Its role is to confirm and verify blocks before transactions are executed on the blockchain.

Miners are rewarded with gas fees that users pay to interact with the protocol and create new bitcoins. In 2012, the same reward Nakamoto received for running the genesis block was reduced from 50 BTC to 25 after the first Bitcoin halving.

Four years later, in 2016, the reward was reduced to 12.5 BTC; In 2020, miners were rewarded 6.25 bitcoins. With the next halving scheduled for April this year, it is anticipated that miners will receive 3,125 bitcoins.

The value of the cryptoasset has increased significantly since the genesis block. Bitcoin is currently trading at $42,829, compared to $38,500 in the same period last year.

Bitcoin’s dominance in the cryptocurrency market has increased to 52.42%, reaching levels not seen since April 2021. The crypto asset has a market capitalization of $841 billion, according to data from CoinMarketCap.

Bitcoin Becomes Official Currency

In addition to the increase in value, Bitcoin has achieved other important milestones since the genesis block. Countries such as El Salvador and the Central African Republic (CAR) officially adopted the cryptoasset as legal tender. Both countries made bitcoin an official currency to be used alongside their respective fiat for the exchange of goods and services.

In terms of regional adoption, Bitcoin is widely accepted in the United States, the United Kingdom, Asia-Pacific nations such as Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, the Middle East, and European markets.

The United States is currently considering introducing bills that would regulate the entire cryptocurrency market to provide guidance on the issuance and use of digital assets, including BTC.

Bitcoin Welcome as Payment Option

The crypto asset has also received recognition as a payment method for certain corporate institutions. Coinciding with its 15th anniversary, Phoenix Motor revealed that its subsidiary EdisonFuture, which deals in electric trucks, will accept payments in BTC. Companies such as PayPal, Microsoft, Starbucks, AT&T, Overstock, Twitch, Amazon, Whole Foods, Home Depot, CheapAir, Newegg, Namecheap, Ferrari and Rakuten have adopted the crypto asset for payments.

In terms of taxes, Switzerland recently revealed that it will allow citizens and residents of the nation to pay taxes using BTC. The Swiss city of Lugano made the announcement in December 2023, noting that residents of the region can now pay municipal taxes in BTC. Liechtenstein Prime Minister Daniel Risch announced last October that the country will also accept bitcoins as tax payments.

By Audy Castaneda


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