In 2008, a paper titled “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System” was published anonymously under the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto. Now known simply as the Bitcoin White Paper, this document revolutionized a framework for digital currencies. The idea of digital money was not new, but before this publication, no one had solved the problem of double spending.
Previous proposals involving cryptocurrencies, most notably B-Money and Bit Gold, ran into issues when it was realized that there was nothing preventing digital money from being copied and counterfeited. This problem, otherwise known as the Byzantine Generals’ Problem, was solved by a consensus mechanism detailed in the paper.
Bitcoin, the cryptocurrency born from the paper, was first used in a purchase in 2010 for pizza. In the years that followed, cryptocurrency exchanges emerged, bringing the ability to convert between fiat money- such as the US dollar- and Bitcoin. Other developments have also emerged, including other blockchain networks, initial coin offerings (ICO), and decentralized finance.
While the terms Bitcoin and blockchain are undoubtedly intertwined, there are important differences to note in order to better understand the space and the industry.
Read the 6 Key Differences between Blockchain and Bitcoin on Blockdriven Academy.