Today, bitcoin is so precious that its hodlers are prone to locking their keys away inside nuclear bunkers, bank vaults, and military grade hardware wallets. But things weren’t always that way. Back in the early days, bitcoin was deemed so undesirable that you would have struggled to give it away, while exchanging it for fiat currency was out of the question.
One Man’s Junk is Another Man’s Treasure
The bitcoins you buy and sell on exchanges today for several thousand dollars apiece are in many cases the very same coins that were changing hands back in 2010. The properties of those coins, despite having passed through hundreds of wallets in the intervening years, haven’t changed: one bitcoin today is exactly the same as one bitcoin from 2010. What has changed is the value accorded to each one. Just as gold is precious on our planet, but a worthless rock to anyone inhabiting an asteroid made out of the aureate metal, when bitcoin was easy to extract and there were few ways to use it, exchanging it – for anything – was virtually impossible.
Most bitcoiners, even those who were late to the game, will recall Laszlo Hanyecz. He’s the guy who famously completed the first recorded purchase of goods with cryptocurrency, when he acquired two Domino’s pizzas for 10,000 BTC in May 2010. It might be assumed that once this historic transaction went down, the floodgates were opened to a wave of merchant adoption and a thriving exchange ecosystem was spawned. The reality is less invigorating. On June 15, 2010, three weeks after completing the pizza transaction,