Today 10 years Bitcoin blockchain!

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Exactly 10 years ago, the so-called Genesis block was created: the very first block of the Bitcoin blockchain. Satoshi Nakamoto mined this block and also incorporated a message into it: The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks . This message refers to a newspaper article in the Times of January 3, 2009, see screenshot below.

In addition to the political message of this message, it is also a so-called timestamp. With the help of this timestamp it can be proven that before January 3, 2009, for example, bitcoins have not been secretly mined before. It is a start that makes a pure (also not pre-mined) connection with an event from reality.

Highlighted a number of highlights after 10 years of Bitcoin blockchain

Obviously a lot has happened in Bitcoin over the past 10 years. The Bitcoin network has grown extremely in use, optimizations, capabilities and robustness. Technical developments follow each other in rapid succession and the number of talented Core developers continues to increase. In short, a great opportunity to briefly discuss a number of important highlights after 10 years of the Bitcoin network!

Uptime Bitcoin

As of January 3, 2009, 02:54:25 GMT, the Bitcoin Blockchain has an uptime of 99.98%. No digital payment/transaction network in the world scores as well in terms of uptime as the Bitcoin network. The stock markets and other similar networks also often experience downtime (time that a network is unavailable). These networks depend on third (centralized) parties and servers, which are therefore much more vulnerable than Bitcoin, which is built on a (decentralized) peer-to-peer network. After 10 years, the Bitcoin network is more robust than ever before.

Banks, credit card companies and stock markets close at night and on weekends. The Bitcoin network is always available: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Without dependence on third parties.

See live view of uptime: bitcoinuptime.com

Growth of the blockchain

Since the genesis block, the Bitcoin blockchain has grown over the past 10 years to ~200 GigaByte (200,000 MB & excluding Tx indexes) until January 3, 2019. See screenshot below.

The growth of the blockchain depends on a number of variables such as the number of transactions and the size of the transactions themselves. The use of Bitcoin therefore influences the growth of the Blockchain.

By means of the Bitcoin Core software (full node) you can download the entire Bitcoin blockchain and then synchronize it with the network. The full Blockchain is currently ~230 GB (including Tx indexes) growing at approximately 5-10 GB per month.

Install and sync full node

A full node is software that keeps track of and verifies the complete history of all bitcoin transactions. The latter, verifying, is what determines whether a transaction is valid according to the agreed rules.

The degree of decentralization is enforced by, among other things, the number of full nodes. This makes it necessary that a full node is available to everyone and can not only be managed by highly advanced hardware & data centers.

The larger the blockchain, the more expensive it becomes to run a full node. It is therefore of great value that the current Bitcoin blockchain can still be installed on a Raspberry Pi after 10 years !! This means that for ~ ??100.00 a complete full node can be set up and managed. Of course, electricity and internet are still required for this. This Medium article provides a comprehensive guide to setting up a full node on a Raspberry Pi.

of a Raspberry Pi 3: a mini computer that (without external hard drive, micro SD card & adapter) costs about ????? 35.00.

Lightning Network

The year 2018 was all about the Lightning Network. By means of this technique it is possible to do a lot of cheap & instant transactions via the Bitcoin network. The activation of SegWit made it possible to implement this game-changing technique in Bitcoin. Some interesting statistics that chart the growth of Lightning Network:

  • Live overview channels Lightning Network: lndexplorer

  • Growth of the Lightning Network since January 2018

  • Well-arranged website about all developments in the field of the Lightning Network, such as applications and wallets: lnroute.com
  • Understanding the State of Bitcoin & Lightning Network

The robustness of the Bitcoin network has grown extremely through techniques such as Segregated Witness and Lightning Network and will continue to grow in the coming years. New developments such as Schnorr Signatures & MAST, combined with the Lightning Network will ensure that Bitcoin not only scales well (a lot of transactions are possible without sacrificing security/decentrality), but also becomes much more advanced. Such as via Smart Contracts or microtransactions, for example. Congratulations to everyone on 10 years of Genesis block: a fantastic milestone. On to the next 10 years!!

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